Sunday, December 5, 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

Dave Hannah – Scottish ’25’ Champion Eight Times!

If you had to name one man who single handedly changed the face of Scottish time trialling? The man who made sure a ‘59’ wasn’t going to win you the ‘25’ champs anymore... Dave Hannah is the man; VeloVeritas caught up with him recently at his home in Shieldhill for a long overdue chat.

Scottish Road Race Championship 2013 – Gary Hand at Last!

On a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon in North East Scotland, Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes' Gary Hand finally took the Scottish Road Race Championship after a blistering attack on the main climb of the day took him clear of 2012 champion, James McCallum (Rapha Condor JLT) and Davie Lines (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling) over the top of the hill.

Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships 2019 goes to Kyle Gordon

On a raw morning of bitter north westerly winds, with a grey Firth of Tay and North Sea brooding to the south, Kyle Gordon (RT 23) produced a ride just nine seconds shy of 30 mph to win the Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships 2019 from Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes duo, second placed Jamie Davidson and bronze medallist, David Griffiths; seven and 18 seconds back, respectively.

Scottish National 25 Mile Time Trial Championship: Preview

The only thing that is certain about Sunday's Scottish National 25 Mile Time Trial Championship, is that there will be a new champion. Reigning champion, Jason Macintyre was snatched from us before we saw the very best of him; we miss you, Jason. Sunday morning's championship is organised by Isobel Smith on the rolling dual carriageways of the A90 near Strathcathro Services between Dundee and Aberdeen. The start is near Fordoun, just a mile or two from Arbuthnott - Lewis Grassick Gibbon country.

Scottish Cyclo-Cross Championship 2007

Craig Hardie (Dunfermline CC) disproved the old adage that; "a good big 'un, will always beat a good little 'un," when the 37 year-old from Dalgety Bay left his much-taller rival Dan Whitehead several lengths back to win the Scottish Cyclo-Cross Championships 2007 on a snowy and technical circuit at Plean Country Park.

David Griffiths – Scottish Hill Climb Champion 2017

Pro Vision’s David Griffiths successfully defended his Scottish Hill Climb Championship on the tough Stow climb recently – VeloVeritas caught up with the bearded winner not long after his success to ‘have a word.’

At Random

The Edinburgh Nocturne – It’s Millar’s Night

The Face Partnership, the guys behind the Revolution Series on the track, brought an evening of exciting, all-category and professional racing to Edinburgh last night, in the shape of their successful Nocturne format.

Erick Rowsell – “I do like to race a lot”

It’s been a while since we last spoke to young English rider Erick Rowsell (and yes, that’s his sister) - it was at the time when he was one of eight Endura riders (and just five Britons) to survive the inevitable cull which occurred when the team merged with German Pro Continental squad, Netapp for season 2013.

Iain Macleod takes the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial 2021

With victories already this season in various time trial distances ranging from 25 to 100 miles (with a two mile hill climb win too), Iain Macleod (Kelpie Racing) added the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial 2021 title to his growing palmarès.

Fedor Den Hertog – Amateur Colossus, Rest In Peace

Less than a month after the death of Peter Post, Dutch cycling has lost another of its 'Greats' with the news that Fedor Den Hertog succumbed on Saturday 12th February, after a long battle with illness. For anyone involved in cycle sport in the late 60's and early 70's, amateur Den Hertog's name was as well known as any of the top professionals.

Alistair Speed Memorial 50 Mile Time Trial 2014

It was 11:20 am on Thursday September 5th 2013 on the A91 road between Gateside and Strathmiglo when we lost Ali Speed. He was just 49 years-old, out on his bike and doing what he loved when he was snatched away. Ali rode his first race at just 12 years-old and was racing just days before he died. VeloVeritas ran an obituary for Ali at the time of his death and it goes without saying that we had to attend the 50 mile time trial his sister Mhairi organised in his honour on behalf of Fife Cycling Association. We thought that rather than straight race reportage – albeit not ignoring Iain Grant’s (Dooleys) dazzling 1:47 to win – we’d drive most of the course and look at the roads and places Ali trained and raced on.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 14: Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule > Lyon, 191km. Trentin Takes It

Winner today: Trentin, Quote of the day: this comes from a gentleman of Ivan’s acquaintance; ‘It's not fair what Contador did to Froome, using his team like that in the wind.’ Damned Johnny Foreigner – no wonder they don’t play cricket.