We make no apology for interviewing Jason MacIntyre again.
It’s not every day that a Scotsman pulls-on a British champion’s jersey and the Fort William man did that very thing after Sunday’s British circuit time trial championship near Farnborough.
In second place was multiple time trial champion and fourth-placed in last winter’s Commonwealth Games TT, Michael Hutchison.
First of all Jason, congratulations on your second British title of the year. Tell us about the couple of days immediately before the race…
“Mark (team mate Atkinson, Scottish 50 & 100 mile champion) and I travelled down from Fort William to Edinburgh on the Thursday and spent the night there. On Friday we collected the team car, picked-up Gary, (third man in the team Robson) and headed south.
“It was a bit of a ‘drive from hell’ with the traffic conditions but we got there in time to drive, then ride the course. We rode the course on Saturday too, but I was pretty familiar with it having checked-out the race website, which was excellent. In fact the whole race organisation was superb.”
What was your race strategy, Jason?
“We signed on early on Sunday. We had agreed that we wanted to keep everything low key, just keep our heads down. We took the opportunity to look at the junior times and could see that the times for the second lap were around a minute slower than the first lap, they were all fading on the second circuit.
“The senior race was three laps and we agreed that there was a lesson to be learned from this tailing-off in times. I decided to ride conservatively on lap one, try and maintain that pace on lap two then give it everything on the last lap.
“My second lap time was only nine seconds off my first lap time; on the third lap you didn’t finish in the same place as where the lap times were taken so it’s hard to give a direct comparison but I don’t think I was much slower on that circuit.”
What was the course like?
“It was very deceptive, the sections that we thought would be fast when we rode the course beforehand were hard and the parts we felt would be tough were fast. I rode everything from the occasional 54 x 11 to 44 x 19 so that tells its own story.”
What was the weather like?
“It was a nice day, 26/27 degrees but very, very windy, on a more exposed course it could havebeen dangerously windy.”
What about traffic?
“There was a lot more traffic than you would get in Scotland but it never aided your speed, in fact it was a hindrance, especially at the junctions. At one stage I got caught behind six cars and a tractor and had to thread my way through them.”
Did you catch many riders?
“I caught quite a few, especially in the first two laps when there were still riders on the course doing their second and third laps. Again it was a bit of a hindrance because you had to be careful of the traffic when passing slower guys.”
What was the hardware?
“It was the same carbon Giant that I’ve been on all season, 44 and 54 x 11-up.
“I had a four spoke composite in the front and a disc in the rear on Continental Olympics. I was riding my Rudi Project aero helmet which is very comfortable.”
You said you used a wide variety of gears?
“Yes, I was all over the cassette, I suppose I used 54 x 13 a lot with only a few short burst on the 11 and 12. I was on the 44 ring quite a bit, I compared notes with Mark after the race and there was one hill where he rode 58 x 19 and I was on 44 x 19.”
What about training for the race?
“I did a lot of IT and Evan Oliphant (Recycling professional and Tour of Britain rider) was up staying with me for a bit; we did some very good work. I did most of it on my time trial bike except for a few days when I had to let my backside recover from the pounding it takes on the low-pro.
“I was doing runs of 70 and 80 miles on the TT bike and I think that definitely makes a difference come race-day.”
How have you managed to be so consistent this season?
“I structured my season with two peaks, the British 25 and Sunday’s circuit champs; everything else was fitted-in around those races. I’m very lucky that I have a very stable domestic situation and a good sponsor. I did have a bit of a ‘downer’ after the British 25.
“You’ve trained and prepared so hard for it, then you win and it’s a bit of an anti-climax. Then it was only eight weeks until the circuit champs and I got focussed again.”
The cycling media hasn’t treated you too well has it?
“No, that’s true, I was only mentioned as an after thought in the preview for the circuit time trial race and there’s been more made of the fact that Bradley Wiggins didn’t ride. I’m used to it though; a few years ago I won the Glasgow-Dunoon from a really good field and I was expecting a good write-up, but the guys who finished behind me got more of a mention. You start to think: ‘what have I got to do?’”
When do we see the British Champion’s skinsuit for the first time?
“You’ll need to ask my sponsor about that one!”
What does the rest of the season hold?
“I’m hoping to ride the Tour of the Campsies on Sunday, then there’s a 25 at Eglinton and then it’s the Tour de Trossachs. There are no road races left to ride so it’s all tests.”
Is it too early to talk about next year?
“I’m really not sure about next year. I would like to do more of my first love, which is the road. It’s just that Mark is always talking me into riding tests – I think I’ll have to avoid him next season!”
Let’s hope Mark keeps-up that brain-washing! Congratulations and thanks again to Jason,
British 25 Mile TT Champion AND British Circuit TT Champion.