Jason McIntyre (The Edge RT/Dooleys) successfully defended his Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 on the A77 near Glasgow on Saturday morning; that’s the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘when’.
In time-trialling though, the real information come from the watches, with no superlatives or flowery prose.
In second place was Evan Oliphant (DFL) with 21-25, his form honed by a spring spent on the continent sparring with the likes of Tom Boonen.
Third, six seconds behind his former Velo Ecosse team mate in 21-31, was multiple Scottish time trial champion Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace Cycles).
Just two seconds behind Atkinson, in fourth place was Scottish pursuit champion, Arthur Doyle (Ivy CC) with 21-33.
It was the slimmest of margins back to fifth-placed Gary Robson (The Edge RT/Dooleys), one second to 21-34.
At this distance and intense level of competition these margins are the ones that might be expected.
Jason McIntyre beat Evan Oliphant by one minute and 29 seconds with a time of 19-56; no string of superlatives is necessary, the figures speak for themselves.
The early starters had rain — as well as a cold south westerly wind, which the whole field had to contend with — in their face as they faced the time keeper on the A77, just south of Newton Mearns.
There’s a downhill start but a drag follows it right away; a long heart-breaker to the moors. Up there, it rolls, wide, smooth but very exposed until it drops to the roundabout turn, however the drag out of the turn was made easier by the tail wind on Saturday.
That downhill start means an uphill finish though and the finish is further up the drag, so it’s a tough finale — on a different day this could be the ‘record’ course though.
The big names were all in the last 20 starters, with ten mile specialist Billy McFarlane, at 99 and the first man to get the dubious honour of me putting a watch on; I positioned myself at the top of the opening ‘killer’ drag, just before it levelled-off across the moors, perhaps two miles into the race.
Evan, off 103 was the first of the medal favourites and I had him 30 seconds-plus up on Billy; big Sandy Wallace man, Ian Black who started right behind Evan was 20 seconds down on the DFL pro.
Next-up was Gary Robson (The Edge), just-off Evan’s pace and looking very good; Stevie Blom (Glasgow Couriers) and Jonathan Copp (Deeside) weren’t going to be in the medals however.
Nor was Dave Gibson (GS Modena), usually a flyer over ten miles – a pulled-wheel on the start line after a pre-race puncture being the culprit.
Maybe ten miles isn’t far-enough for 12 record-holder, Joe Wilson (Sandy Wallace) to get kindled-up, but whatever the reason it wasn’t happening for him.
Arthur Doyle was a different prospect, attacking the drag, looking very determined and all-square with Evan.
Sean Gray (The Edge) was well-off the pace, another victim of a pulled-wheel on the start line; then it was the physical style of former ten champion, Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace).
I had him down on Evan and Arthur but Mark is nothing if not a competitor and he wouldn’t want to go all the way back to Fort William without a medal.
Another far-travelled, former ten champ was next-up, Carlos Riise (Shetland Wheelers), but he was going to have to stage an awful big-finish to get back on terms.
Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) was on the same sort of time as Carlos and there was only one rider to come.
Jason looks even-slimmer this year and the style that took him to two British titles last year had him ten seconds up on Evan and Arthur on my watch; a higher cadence than most, with back flat and parallel to the tar — as stylish as he is rapid. It was strange to see him on a Cervelo though, after all those years on Giants.
I drove back in to towards the finish and stopped near the start; the riders still had a few hundred yards to ride to the finish at that point.
There wasn’t much point in taking times, so I concentrated on getting some pictures, one piece of time-keeping was easy though as Jason swept-past Jim Cusick after catching him for two minutes — Jim finished 8th (and second vet behind Carlos) with 22.00; Jason’s finishing effort adding 4 seconds to those two minutes.
Jason also lead Gary Robson and best junior, Tom Dempster (22.54) to the team prize to make it a double for The Edge RT.
A very competitive and fast race, particularly given the conditions, but Jason really is on a different playing field.
What they said
“I drove down this morning, arrived a bit late and drove-over the course. I didn’t ride it, originally I was going to drive down yesterday and ride over it but I’ve had a bit of a cold. I didn’t feel there was a disadvantage in not riding it beforehand – I could see it was a hard course and the wind in the trees told its own story.”
“Its funny racing with no spectators, it’s quite hard to find motivation. I didn’t bother with a warm-up, I just rode-up from the start. I’ve had a bit of pain in my leg since Dunkirk, that’s why I wasn’t at my best in the Sam Robinson last weekend.
“I’m riding at Ingilston this afternoon and maybe the Grand Prix in Fife tomorrow. I’ll be riding the Scottish road race then its back to the continent for The Tour of Luxembourg.
“I’ll definitely be riding the British Elite road race, that’s a big target — Steve Cummings (Discovery) is getting ready for it at the Giro and I’m here, riding the Scottish ten!”
Jason: [I opened by saying to Jason; “it was a hard course this morning”]
“Was it? I’ve been a lot more careful with myself coming into this race than I was going to the British ten, with the benefit of hindsight that 19-33 I did before the British took more out of me than I imagined and I did a heck of a lot of interval work too. “Between that 19-33 and the British ten I did something like 15 hours of driving, it’s not an excuse but it does leave you with dead legs. The course was only 25 minutes drive from where Hutchinson live
s so he had that advantage. I really wanted to get it all out today and I felt very good out there, better than I did in the British.
“I think that I could have sustained that level of effort for two laps of the course, so that bodes-well for the 25 next week – I really want a result there. I was comfortable going out this morning, I like to pedal, but it was the 11 and 12 all the way back, I’ve just gone up to a 55 ring, it means I have a better chain-line in the middle of the cassette where the chain spends a lot of time. I was doing 34/35 mph all the way back with a high of 43.
The crash at Girvan;
“Let’s not talk about it; I had concussion and I still have a cut on my spine which bleeds if I rub it. I was on the home trainer the two days after it for a little while each day then I started bleeding from the nose and mouth, so I was off for another three days — I didn’t venture out the door on the bike for about ten days.
“Next goals are the British and Scottish 25 champs than a rest and a build-up to the British circuit champs.”
A 50 or 100?
“I certainly have the base for it, but I like going fast too much and wouldn’t want to loose any of my speed; I don’t think that ten miles is my best distance but I really enjoy them.”
Yes, we noticed, Jason! And a final word from Jason’s former Velo Ecosse team mate, John Stollery; “It’s a pity it wasn’t the British today, I think he’d have beaten Hutchinson.”