Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Robert Hassan – First Super Six Winner of the Year


If it’s the first weekend of the month and the snow drops have burst through – it must Scottish Super Six time.

VeloVeritas caught up with the first Super Six winner of the year, 19 year-old Dumbarton man Robert Hassan (Endura/PedalPower Development: Team) the day after he’d triumphed over 65 miles of beautiful East Lothian countryside in the Edinburgh Road Club promotion at Gifford.

Robert Hassan
Robert Hassan, winner of the first Scottish Super Six race of 2011.

Congratulations on the win, Robert – you’re with Endura/PedalPower this year, a good move?

“A great move, it’s a good bunch of guys who are all keen to race; and the team provides kit and financial help with racing expenses.”

A wrench to leave the Glasgow Wheelers?

“No, this is an upwards step and the club wishes me well.”

Is your uncle Dave happy — he was a Wheelers man?’

“Oh yes — he sees at as a step up and I have to take it to move on.”

Tell us about your win at Gifford, what was the team’s game plan?

“To cover every move and not leave it to a bunch sprint — that’s too risky.

“The winning move didn’t form until the last lap; it’s a difficult circuit for a break to be successful on — there were a lot of moves coming and going.

“My team mate Gary Hand was in the break with me and we agreed a strategy to mark the two danger men — Ben Greenwood (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Tom Last (Sigma Sport) I took Greenwood and Gary took Last.

“It worked perfectly because it meant that the one had to chase the other if they went because there was one of us with them.

“We had a decent gap over the last half lap so didn’t have to go through too hard; at the finish it came down to a sprint and I won it comfortably with Gary in second place.”

Robert Hassan
With a lap to go, Robert takes it easy for a second at the back of the winning break.

How did your winter training go?

“The first half of the winter I just do long runs at the weekend and mid-week with The Wheelers.

“But the second half of the winter has been pretty dodgy for me, I’ve been ill on and off all the time — the last two weeks I’ve had a bad chest.

“My legs are strong but I don’t have any real form.”

How do you fit training in around university?

“I did my first year at Strathclyde last year, but this year I’m taking a year out to concentrate on the bike — I can always go back to uni.”

Do you have a coach?

“No, my dad was a good rider ten years ago and I work with him; he has a lot of experience and we sit down agree what I should be doing.”

Robert Hassan
For a young man Robert has “a good race head”.

The Premiers?

“Yes, they’re a target; we’ll definitely be doing the two in Scotland and also the National road race at Newcastle – I got my entry back last year but I’ll be there, this year.”

Doon Hame?

“Definitely, that’s my first major target of the year; last year I was 27th which was a good result in my first senior year, but this year I want to improve upon that.”

The Commonwealth Games 2014?

“I’ll definitely be up for that but there’s a long time until then — I’ve got four years of racing to do.

“My goal is to be a professional by then but it’s certainly something which I’ll focus on.”

Robert Hassan
A good team spirit was evident at the finish, with the other riders in the squad heading straight over to congratulate Robert.

Do you fancy a spell in Flanders like Dougie Young and Michael Nicholson did, last year?

“I was going to go last year but it didn’t work out.

“This year I hope to be spending some time in July racing down in the Pyrenees; I think the hard, hilly racing down there would suit me better.”

The Super Sixes — a good thing?

“Definitely, whilst the course at Gifford was good, it was very hard to establish a break, I just hope that there will be Super Sixes on harder courses with more hills, which suit me better.

“It’s a shame that some of the classic road races from the past have disappeared, they were hard races and as I said, I just hope that all of the Super Sixes don’t end up on flat courses.”

And who’s going to win at Rosneath in the next Super Six?