VeloVeritas didn’t make it to the National ’50’ but we did pick up the phone and ring the winner, Alan Thomson.
Congratulations on another ’50’ title, Alan – remind us about the basic stuff.
“I ride for Sandy Wallace Cycles, I’m 34 years-old, live on the Southside of Glasgow and work as a charter surveyor.”
Remind us of your palmarès please…
“I won the ’50’ champs in Fife in 2011 and the Olympic TT champs when it was on The Meldons in 2013 and I’ve had medals in the ’10’ and ’25’ champs – I’ve never had a medal in the ‘100.’
“I rode one once – never again!”
I believe it was a tough shift up there in the North East?
“The course rolls and there were spells of brutal headwind where I was down to 19 mph then you were back up to 30 mph and sections you thought would be fast were slow.
“It was a day where you really had to concentrate and think about what you were doing.”
We heard comments that maybe the course was dangerous traffic-wise?
“I entered but kept an eye on the weather – I was up in Fraserburgh with my work a few weeks ago and drove over the course.
“It was raining that day and I decided that if it was raining on the morning of the champs I wasn’t going to ride – just too dangerous.
“But on the morning it was dry, marshalled really well and I had no bad experiences at all.
“A lot of guys are racing with a red flashing light on the bike now – it’s a good idea, maybe we should all ride with one?”
What was your expectation going in to the race?
“I didn’t know how my form would be – but I knew I’d done the training.
“Then, on the morning there was no Arthur Doyle or Chris Smart – then Iain Grant quit.
“But I didn’t realise he’d chucked it ’til the last turn.”
You were well clear of silver, two minutes.
“I didn’t have any time checks; I was catching folk so I knew I was going OK – seeing riders on the horizon is good, it helps pull you out, especially on a hard day.”
Why do you think the ’50’ is your distance?
“I don’t have the top end for a ’10’ – I had to work really hard for my medal in the championship – it just seems I’m more suited to the ’50’ …”
How do you gauge your rides?
“On power; I ‘rode into it’ then tried to maintain a 329 watts average – then tried to lift it at the end.
“Sometimes it seems too easy early in a race if you ride on power but it’s easy to get carried away and go too hard, too early.”
You’re a Giant man, now?
“Yes, a Trinity, it was the machine of Alex Wettherall, the professional when he was with Endura.
“I bought it when the team finished up.
“I thought I’d have to do a lot to it but I’ve hardly touched it and it fits me perfectly.
“I ride 54 x 11 to 23 on Continental Tempos – it’s a nice tyre but fragile.
“I locked up at one of the roundabouts in the ’50’ and thought that I might have burned through the tread band but it was fine.”
What about nutrition during your ride?
“I was up early and had breakfast three hours before my start.
“I had some gels before the race but didn’t eat during it – I didn’t want to risk upsetting my stomach.
“It was hot so I had a CamelBak under the front of my speed suit with SiS orange isotonic in it to keep me hydrated.”
“Nothing is penciled in, I’m off on holiday but hope that Sandy Wallace will be putting a team in for the team time trial in September; we have strong riders; guys like Silas Goldsworthy and Peter Ettles.”
What’s still on the AT ‘to do’ list?
“I’d still like to do a 19 minute ’10’ – preferably in Scotland, but anywhere would be good!
“I have a 20:07 but the thing is that the weather is so unpredictable in Scotland and there are only so many days when it’s ‘on.'”
Don’t we know it!
Congratulations again to Alan – but we can’t say; ‘good luck for the ‘100’ …