Wednesday, July 28, 2021
HomeInterviewsMichael Nicholson - Out Hard and Suffering Back

Michael Nicholson – Out Hard and Suffering Back

-

I remember my first 50; it was a 2:27 0n the Fife course in 1973 and I think I rode 79” fixed — I was in pain for days after it. Michael Nicholson of Dooleys in first ’50’ returned a 1:51 and it took him to the Scottish title on a wind swept Saturday night along the banks of the Cromarty Firth.

We thought we’d better have a word with the man.

Michael Nicholson
Michael took the 50.

Tell us a little about yourself, Michael.

“I’m 23, from Inverness and I’m a full time student, studying electronic engineering at Glasgow University.

“I first got into the bike three or four years ago; I did the Highland Cross duathlon, really enjoyed the cycling part and it all stemmed from there.

“I didn’t join a club for the first year I was at Uni but then I joined the Glasgow Wheelers.”

I believe you approached Endura about a ride.

“Kind of; at the end of last season I was looking to join a new club, I heard that Endura were taking folk on, I approached them but they never got back to me.

“In the meantime I spoke to Paul Rennie and he suggested Dooleys; I joined but then in January, Endura came back to me — I think it was when they were running up against the UCI age limitations — and asked me if I wanted to join, but I said “no” because I was already organised with Dooleys.”

Isn’t Dooleys largely time trial oriented?

“Yes, but we have Paul Rennie, Stuart McGregor, Graeme McGarrity and Arthur Doyle rides the road too – so it’s not a bad road presence.”

What about your drift in direction; road to time trials?

“It’s not really a change of direction; I just want to try a bit of everything.

“I’m all right at time trials, but the road is still my main aim.”

Michael Nicholson
Michael feels his future lies on the road. Photo©Martin Williamson

Was the 50 a big goal?

“Not really, we came back from that stage race in France and I hadn’t really thought about what I was riding after that.

“The 50 struck me as a kind of roadies distance.”

What was the 50 game plan?

“Just to see what happened, it was a complete unknown to me, I’d never ridden one before, in fact, I’ve only ridden a couple of 25’s.

“I had no idea how to pace it, people said to me; “just go out hard and suffer back” — so that’s what I did!”

You rode home today; Inverness to Glasgow — 200 miles?

“No, no, it’s only 165 or so.

“I did it in around 8:35; I like big runs, especially on roads that are new to me.”

Are you riding the 100 and 12?

“No, I could hardly sit down after 25 or 30 miles last night; I think a 100 would knock off all chances of me ever having kids!”

The road race champs?

“Yes, I’d like to go well but there’s pretty much no chance, Endura have nine guys and now they have Ross Creber and Evan Oliphant that makes it even harder.”

The future, the Commonwealth Games?

“My future is on the road but I think that the time trial is a more obvious route for me; Scottish Games selection criteria is two top three places in Premiers for the road or two top three places in Rudy Project events for the time trial.

“I think that there’s little chance of a two Premier podiums, but the Rudys are a different prospect.”

And what about the continent?

“Yeah, definitely, that event we rode in France sparked real interest; the racing was so attacking and positive.

“I don’t know the exact plan but next year I’d like to spend some time out there.”

With thanks and congratulations to Michael; and a ‘thank you’ to Bob Taylor for setting it up for us up to chat to his rider.

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

Hamish Strachan – “I thought Italy would play much better to my strengths”

You may have read our recent interview with Senor Flavio Zappi here on VeloVeritas? This season the Zappi Racing Team will have strong Scottish representation with Messrs. Hamish Strachan and Matthias Barnett quitting Bonnie but chilly Scotland and the brooding, icy waters of the North Sea for La Bella Italia and the more benign waters of the Adriatico.

Ruaraidh McLeod – First Win in Belgium

It’s been a month or two since we last spoke, and it’s nearly time for Ruaraidh McLeod to head home to land of the long white cloud - but we thought we’d best say ‘congratulations’ on his first win (and see if he’s crossed paths with those Scotsmen that are also over there in Belgium).

James McKay Blog – Ronde des Combattants puts hairs on my chest!

I was on a high from last week’s success before the Ronde des Combattants, a race with four stages over three days in Verdun. Teams were competing from Luxemburg, Germany and even a team from the CCM (UCI World Cycling Centre) in Switzerland (who host riders from poor countries without the support of large national federations).

Ruaraidh McLeod – Lots of Time in the Gutter!

For 2009, our 'Kiwi discovery' was Jack Bauer - who will it be this year? Clinton Avery ? Or this man, who has a great Scottish name, but is also from the land of the long white cloud; Ruaraidh McLeod.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke – “I think I’ve shown I’m tactically aware”

VeloVeritas recently took time to talk to the man from Devon who is setting the early season roads of Southern France aflame - Endura's Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. We spoke to him soon after took his fourth and fifth wins of the season-the second stage and the GC in the tough Tour Cycliste International Haut Var.

Star of the Future: Calum Anderton – The GHS ’10’ Winner’s Move to Belgium

The GHS ‘10’ – as in George Herbert Stancer (OBE, 1878 – 1962), racer, journalist, cycling administrator and the man who lends his name to the British juvenile ten mile championship. Stancer was a champion of the race against the watch and the event was first organised to honour his memory and encourage youngsters to ride in time trials. On many occasions the winner has gone on to win the junior BBAR and then ...

At Random

Bremen Six Day 2018, Nights One, Two and Three

At the Rotterdam Six Day Gent winners Moreno De Pauw and Kenny De Ketele carried on where they left off – but instead of winning by two laps, they made it four... dominant for sure but no spectacle. We drove north for a couple of hours then parked up in a truck stop for what passes as sleep on the Six Day carousel... Bremen is the next stop, an industrial city of more than two millions souls in Northern Germany.

Hamish Haynes – Waging a War on Want

'First race today, took it pretty easy, finished 14th - feel good.' Yes, Hamish Haynes is back to start his 10th season in the flatlands. No World Class Performance Plans, no Lottery funding, just hard graft and dedication. Haynes came late to sport but has been racing and winning in the Flanders since 2003.

World Road Championships 2011 – Day 4, rest day

No races today, time to catch up with some old friends, the gossip and write up the Worlds Elite rr preview and fit in an interview - I have to justify my existence. We're about 20 K from the city of Copenhagen in Naerum, which is right on the course. It takes two trains to get to central Copenhagen, but they run frequently and bang on time. Our meeting this morning was with Dane, Jimmy Hansen.

The Time Capsule: Colby Pearce – An American Team in the Six Days

The experienced American rider Colby Pearce was one of the guys looked after by Kris, Martin and Ed at some of this winters' Six Days, including the recent event at the Ballerup Stadium in Copenhagen. Having raced at elite level on the track at the Olympics, at World Cups and in the World Championships, as well as being a National Champion 14 times and holder of the US Hour Record (50.191), together with a spell working as the US Track Coach, Colby had seen most of what track cycling had to offer. One element was missing though: Six Day Racing...

Alan Thomson – Scottish 50 Mile TT Champion 2015

VeloVeritas didn't make it to the National '50' but we did pick up the phone and ring the winner, Alan Thomson. We asked if it was a tough shift up there in the North East; "Nuts! 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."

Le Tour de France 2007 – Day 9: Stage 19, Cognac – Angoulême

I forgot to say last night, for the first time in this Tour, I got a prediction right. I chose Casar out of the four man break, you could see it in his eyes, he wanted it more than any of the others. There's a great picture of him on the front cover of L'Equipe today - it's all there in his face, determination and pride; "maybe the other French guys can't win a stage, but I sure as hell can!" Cafè au lait (have you noticed that Mertin has shown me how to get accents above the letters now?) and a Cognac, nine euros!?! "Eef you cannot steeff les touristes, then oo' can you steeff, hien?" Still, it was a good coffee, a grande measure of cognac and the toilets were free of Lasa Fever.