Sunday, July 25, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsScottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship 2008

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship 2008

-

Mark Atkinson successfully avoided that fate to take his third Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship title; leading Sandy Wallace team mates, second placed Jonathan Copp and fifth placed Ian Black, to take a double championship win on a bright but cool and windy Sunday morning on the A9 near Invergordon.

“Given my record of bad luck in 50’s, when I heard that the course had been changed, I expected to end up in the Cromarty Firth at the turn, checking out the dolphins!”

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Mark Atkinson.

Copp’s ride for silver was out of the top drawer and it was only Atkinson’s ability to drag the last vestiges of energy from deep inside himself that kept the title safe from his team mate.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Jonathan pushed his team-mate hard today, but had to settle for second.

In third place was defending champion, perenial Jim Cusick; unfortunately his Glasgow Courier’s bid for the team foundered when Chris Smart – author of rapid rides in the 10 and 25 championships – was a non starter due to a bad cold.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship 2008
Jim Cusick, third place today, but no chance of the team prize.

There were a few spots of rain as the first riders hauled up from the start at Invergordon to the main A9, for the long headwind grind to the Ardullie roundabout at the end of the Cromarty Bridge.

VeloVeritas set up shop on the A9 a couple of miles into the race and started the watch.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship 2008
Stevie Blom.

In the absence of number 20 Smart, first favourite was his team mate, Stevie Blom with his trade mark, “peching like a dug” breathing method.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship 2008
Ian Black.

Ian Black (30) was the first man whose tyres were making the right noise as he powered past.

Number 35, Dave Gibson, was a ‘no-show’ maybe it was because his fellow Dooleys greyhounds, Arthur Doyle and Gary Robson didn’t fancy 50 miles ‘alone and unpaced’ and there was slim chance of a team medal.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Ray Wilson.

Black’s roadman team mate, Ray Wilson was focused and several seconds up on his northern club mate – it was early days though.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Jonathan Copp.

Jonathan Copp was next up, a tad down on Black and Wilson as the wind speed accelerated, but it was already apparent that barring disaster, the team medals were going to Inverkeithing.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Carlos has surely been on holiday recently – it just wasn’t possible to get a tan like that in Shetland when I lived there! – Editor

Carlos Riise (Shetland) was down on them all, but having won the title on this course on a day like this before, he knows all about pace judgement.

The ladies were coming back from the turn by now, flying with the tail wind.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Jessica looked focused at this point.

Reigning champion Cusick pedalled past looking smooth having already caught Caithness stalwart, Al Washington – on a shiny new Cervelo – for a minute.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Jim Cusick

Steve Beech (Sandy Wallace) was a top roadman when I started cycling in the early 70’s and he’s still out there – I wonder what happened to all those Russians you rode against in the Milk Race, Steve?

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Steve Beech.

Last man, Atkinson was already up on all comers and the pain was there to see on his face.

The early starters from the men’s race were now whistling past at what was around half distance.

Ian Black was compact and on top of the job as he made full use of that tail wind.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Chris Adamson (Musselburgh Roads).

There we’re big gaps in the field before Ray Wilson came past, 10 seconds up on Black, but the third SWC man, Copp was going even quicker; 1-15 up on Wilson. Copp was doing a good job – Riise was a minute down, Cusick 30 seconds down and only Atkinson was up – 30 seconds.

Instead of the dog leg along the old A9 back to Invergordon – omitted because of road planing work – the course was extended east, out past the Nigg roundabout.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
The Dornoch Firth from the Fearn Peninsula.

Into the beautiful Pict heartland of the Fearn Peninsula, but the road surface wasn’t beautiful – like a ‘shed roof’ according to the new champion – nor was the extended slog back into the stiffening wind. Those long fast, swooping 11 and 12 tooth stretches were now brutal tests of will.

With around five to go; all of it into the teeth of the westerly, Black was still slogging purposefully – he’d caught and dropped Stevie Blom for five minutes.

Ray Wilson pedalled past with a nod, but the lack of a helmet on his head explained that he’d thrown in the towel.

Copp was flying; Riise hadn’t found a rabbit in the hat; Cusick was smooth but off the pace and Atkinson was hurting. The Fort William man wasn’t giving us any lessons in style, he was just pummeling a ‘big one’ into the wind; he was getting it round, but the sweat streaming from his nose and gritted teeth were self explanatory.

At the line, my amateur time keeping looked about right – Atkinson 1-50-45, Copp 1-52-02, Cusick 1-53-21, Riise 1-54-07, Black 1-54-09.

What they said

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship
Jonathan Copp.

Jonathan Copp

Jonathan was satisfied with his ride:

“I’ve come on a lot since the 10, I was disappointed there. In the 25 I was happy with my ride, even though there wasn’t a medal, but I’m very pleased today.

“I haven’t raced so much this year, this is only my fifth or sixth event. It was very fast with the tail wind today, I was in 53 x 11 and thinking that I could have done with 55 x 11, but I suppose that would have meant I’d have burned up a lot of extra energy which is needed for the head wind section. I’ve been trying to replicate race efort in training, now I’ll have to try and get some miles in for the 100.

“It was good to win the team today, that was one of the reasons I joined Sandy Wallace, so it’s nice to get my first time trial team medal. I’m really looking forward to the TTT, it’ll be hard fought, with us, Dooleys, Pedal Power and The Couriers all in the frame.”

Talking of The Couriers, Jim Cusick had;

“..no complaints, it was a tough shift, I was ready for that stretch of rough road out at Nigg, I know it from the 12, but that finish stretch was very hard. It’s just a pity Chris Smart has the cold or I think we could have been in contention for the team. It was a well organised championship and like I said – no complaints.”

Mark Atkinson was happy too;

“I’ve not really done the training to do a 50 justice, so I’m just pleased to have won. I’ve been doing up to a max of one-and-a-half hours training, but you have to try and strike a balance, I have a full time job where I work overtime and I’ve got a young family to think about too.

“This is my first 50 for 13 months, the last one I rode was in Fife, at the start of last year. I’ve had a lot of misfortunes in 50’s but I’ve always regarded them as my speciality, so I’m happy with the win. I hadn’t seen that new bit of road out to Hill of Fearn before, it was very rough.

“On a day like today, with that surface and the wind, time doesn’t matter, it’s just down to doing the job and winning. My time today is actually the same as my 50 split when I broke the 100 record here, a couple of years ago. I won’t be doing the 100 this year, not when I see the state I’m in today, at the finish of a 50!”

VeloVeritas tip for the 100? Copp.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championships 2013 – Iain Grant Romps Clear

Iain Grant (Dooleys Cycles) dominated the Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship on a windy and overcast morning, taking yet another national title with his 1.46.53 a superb two and a half minutes clear over silver medallist Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles), and the Royal Navy's Sean Childs a further minute and a half back in third place. Seven women completed the event, with Anda-Jay Burgess (Sandy Wallace Cycles) the fastest in 2.04 51, silver going to Christine McLean (Shetland Wheelers) 30 seconds down, these two well clear - over seven minutes - of bronze medal winner, local rider Toni McIntosh (Ayr Roads).

Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007

A chilly, breezy but rapid Sunday morning on the roads alongside the Cromarty Firth saw Shetland's Carlos Riise reclaim the Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 title he last won in 2004, with a personal best 3-51-43. This was Carlos's eighth hundred title, the man who ended his run of seven straight wins and who took the title in 2005, Jonathan Copp (Deeside) was not riding, neither was last year's champion and current record holder, Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace).

Stephen Williamson takes the Scottish 100 Mile TT Championship 2015

Courtesy of the Legend of North East Cycling that is Ms. Isobel Smith, here’s the lowdown on the 2015 Scottish 100 Mile Championship. "With six miles to go it was all done bar the shouting; Stephen Williamson was looking strong and had increased his lead to 3.39 over the Deeside rider with last year's winner now having to settle for bronze."

Preview – The Scottish National 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2009

Organiser Isobel Smith is certainly hoping the recent run of fine weather continues for her race on Sunday morning, the Scottish National 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2009.

The Scottish Road Race Championships 2008

"Yeah, I'm happy to have won, but I'm not happy at having to go back to Yorkshire again - I just came from there, last night! And I'm sick of eating pies!" The words of Plowman Craven professional Evan Oliphant after successfully defending the Scottish road race title on a deceptively tough course over 81 miles of the beautiful rolling Borders country around historic Hawick.

Jennifer George – Scottish Ladies’ Road Champion 2019

Whilst we reported the men’s race, VeloVeritas didn’t make it up to Alyth in time for the Scottish Ladies Road race Championship on Saturday – ‘real life’ stuff got in the way. Sorry ladies. But we did catch up with winner for the second year, Jennifer George (Torelli-Assure-Madison) a day or two after the race; here’s what she had to say to us.

At Random

The VeloVeritas Years – 2013: The David Walsh Interviews

It's hard to believe it's nearly five years since we sat down with hime and conducted the David Walsh Interviews, his dogged pursuit of the American Armstrong's own doping and team-enablement, and the recently-published USADA "Reasoned Decision" to ban Armstrong for life and to strip all seven Tour de France wins from his palmarès. David had been in Edinburgh to give a talk in the city's Lyceum Theatre as part of his speaking tour on the subject, and we took the opportunity to spend a few hours with him the following morning at his hotel.

Jocelyn Lovell

It’s with much sadness that VeloVeritas reports the passing of Canadian Cycling Legend, Jocelyn Lovell on June 3rd at 65 years of age. ‘Controversial,’ ‘outspoken,’ ‘colourful,’ are all adjectives which have been used to describe the sleek, blond kilometre specialist but for me he’ll always simply be, ‘one of the coolest.’ Always immaculate, slim and long limbed; astride a track bike with that beautiful pale blue with white sleeves and maple leaves Canadian national jersey on his back he looked like he’d been born to perform the role.

Daniel Holloway – Setting Fire to Speed Week

The 2014 Giro was a brilliant race, so good in fact that a lot of good racing came to be ignored. Take ex-Raleigh man, and six day rider Daniel Holloway’s (Athlete Octane & USA) setting fire to the Speed Week criteriums series in the USA. ‘Hollywood’ first caught the eye as US Novice 500 Metre Time Trial Champion on the track in 2003; by 2005 he’d won a stage in the Canadian Tour de l’Abitibi – ‘the junior Tour de France.’

The VV View: We’re Disappointed in You, Gabriele Bosisio

"Our pal Bosisio positive,' said the text from Dave. Gabriele Bosisio of LPR Brakes and Italy was the subject of a UCI out of competition test; "the adverse finding was a direct result of a targeted urine test, conducted immediately after a blood test triggered an unusual blood profile within the biological passport program," said their statement.

Sandy Gordon – Part One: a fixture on the West of Scotland cycling scene in the 60’s and 70’s

Late June 1972, Loch Lomond and history is made as Sandy’s Gilchrist and Gordon tie for the Scottish ‘50’ mile time trial title with 2:01:46 whilst Ron Gardner is third with 2:05:15. My part in this historic day on the old road which tracked every curve and bump of those bonnie, bonnie but tough banks? I was caught by both winners on my way to some ignominious time which I now no longer remember but which would have been closer to 20 mph than 25 mph...

Michael Mørkøv’s Very Big Milan-Sanremo Adventure

It's a long way from Copenhagen to Sanremo. Last autumn we saw Saxo Bank's Michael Mørkøv ride the classic 'sit in and sprint' race in the Copenhagen Worlds netting 18th and best home rider among the absolute cream of world cycling.