With pre-race favourite Iain Grant (Dooleys Cycles) pulling out of the Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championships on Sunday before the finish, the race gave us a new winner in mountain bike rider – turned roadman Eddie Addis, beating Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) by the slim margin of 28 seconds.
We caught up with Eddie after the race to hear how it went, and chat about his preparation.
Any aches and pains, today?
“My legs feel a bit heavy and my neck is a bit stiff but not too bad. More just generally tired, but I think that might be as much to do with getting up at 3.15am to drive up from Stirling.
“I’ve been having a bit of bother with my knee in the last few weeks, it was sore in the first hour but felt fine after that; or maybe the rest of me just started hurting more!”
Prior to Sunday, what was your best for a ‘100’ – when and where did you achieve that?
“My best time for a ‘100’ was actually another 3:54 last year at the champs on the same course, which got me the silver medal behind this year’s bronze medalist, Steve Nutley.
“I’ve only ridden one other which was the Furneaux Trophy earlier this year when I did a 3:57.”
What was your race strategy?
“I knew from the other 100’s I had ridden that pacing was the key, my heart rate monitor died in the one I rode earlier this year – I went a bit hard in the first 75 miles and really suffered in the last 25 losing a lot of time.
“From riding the course at last year’s champs I knew I could do a sub four hour ride, so I tried to do the first 50 miles in as close to 1:55 as I could.
“I hit the turn with a 1:57 and was a bit disappointed with the time as I expected to slow in the second 50, but thankfully I kept enough back to do the second 50 in a fairly similar time.”
Was the race a specific goal or ‘just another race?’
“I wouldn’t say I specifically targeted the event, I was keen to do well, but after seeing the start sheet I wasn’t overly confident about getting in the medals.
“I’ve entered my first 12hr TT, which is in two weeks, so I was keen to get as many race miles in on the TT bike as possible before then and the ‘100’ was ideally placed to fit in with these plans.
“I seem to be better suited to the longer events; even in road races I prefer the longer distances.”
How did you train for the 100?
“I had a good winter and managed to get quite a lot of miles in, which gave me a solid base. Having done several 100 mile plus rides I think it helps psychologically as the distance no longer seems like a daunting prospect.
“After that I did quite a few Road Races and a handful off TT’s. I’m not overly scientific about my training, and rarely use a turbo. Most of my miles are done on the road.
“I know if I was probably more specific about training I could potentially do less in terms of actual hours in the saddle, but to be honest I quite enjoy riding my bike and just getting out on the road.
“I have been riding the TT bike more over the last few weeks, again more to get used to it for the 12hr.
“I did go out a few weeks ago, with Stirling rider, Andrew Wilson for a bit of an epic ride, we managed to do 207 miles at 19.5mph, sure that must’ve helped too!”
Was it on the Invergordon course – did you like it, and how was the weather?
“Yes, it was the Invergordon course. I had ridden it last year so knew what to expect.
“It’s a good course as the surfaces aren’t bad, plus there are no real hills on it.
“The sections between the turns aren’t too long either so you always feel like you are making progress.
“The only bit that I remembered not liking last year, and it was the same again this year, was the section after you come back off the A9 towards Alness, the last bit from Invergordon to the finish/turn is always longer than I remember.
“The weather wasn’t too bad, a few light showers and a bit overcast but nothing compared to last year, where it chucked it down for the whole race and was a lot colder.
“There was a bit of a wind yesterday, from the North East which made the out section to the Tain roundabout and the return leg from the bottom of the course a bit tougher.”
What was the field like and who were the ‘danger men?’
“It was quite a small but strong field, with quite a few names on the start sheet who I knew were capable of doing very good rides.
“Obviously Iain Grant has had blistering form recently and I think was everyone’s pick for the win, and Phil Kelman had put the six minutes into me in the other 100 I’d ridden this year.
“Steve Nutley, Jim Cusick, Carlos Riise and Gavin Shirley were also riders I expected to do good times.”
Were you getting time checks – how did you gauge your ride?
“My girlfriend Lauren was helping and handing me up bottles but I wasn’t getting any time checks, I was using the turns to try and estimate how I was placed against the other riders.
“At the 50 mile turn Phil Kelman and Iain Grant were well up on me, I think Phil had put about three minutes into me and Iain must have been about six or seven minutes up.
“I was expecting them to catch and pass me in the second 50 miles, but then I didn’t see Iain again so assumed he must’ve had a problem and pulled out, and at the final time round the bottom turn I had taken quite a bit of time back from Phil.
“I think that gave me a bit of a lift for the final 20 miles or so of the race, but I knew Jim and Steve were still riding strongly.
“From what I could work out, myself, Jim and Steve were very close for most of the race.”
What kind of gear ratios did you ride?
“I’ve just got a standard 52/39 on the front and 11-23 on the back.
“I try not to push too big a gear so didn’t actually use my 11 that much during the race, except for the downhill, tailwind sections.
“I would probably say I spent most of the ride in the 14 sprocket.”
What did you eat and drink?
“Mainly just the usual energy drink and gels; I do try and eat something solid too as I find it help my stomach cope, and it’s just a bit of a change from all the other gloopy sweet liquids.
“I also had a bottle of just water at one point instead of energy drink; that was a refreshing change and it seemed to help just to keep me hydrated as sometimes it’s hard to take on enough fluid if all you are drinking in carbohydrate drink.
“I did have a bar of peppermint cream attached to my final bottle which I was really looking forward to but when I grabbed the bottle from Lauren it went pinging off onto the verge.”
Up until Sunday, how had the season been for you?
“The season so far has been solid as opposed to startling.
“I had a couple of good results early on in hilly TT’s and some pretty good results on road races too, got quite a few second and third places so it was good to get a win.
“I was hoping for a good ride and the Scottish RR champs and went into the race with good form on a course which suits me, but managed to snap my chain just over an hour into the race.
“After that I lost a bit of motivation and form and had a bit of a stale patch.”
Will you chase the BAR?
“I’ve got quite a good 50 mile time already, but not really done a great 25.
“I just don’t seem to have had the top end for them, probably just because I haven’t ridden enough of them.
“I am planning on doing a couple more 25’s this year to see if I can improve on my time.”
What else is on the agenda for this season?
“The big aim for the season is the 12 hour, which is in two weeks on the 19th of August at Lancaster.
“I’ve never ridden a 12 before so not sure what to expect, apart from a lot of suffering. I was thinking about it during the race on Sunday and wondering if I really could sit on my bike for another eight hours – I suppose I’ll find out in a couple of weeks!
“I’ve not really got much planned after that as I may never want to ride a bike again!
“September always involves a trip over to the Rothesay Weekend, organised by the Bute Wheelers – a good group from Stirling always go across.
“However it’s usually more about the après race than the actual bike riding!”
How did you get into ‘testing’ – I thought you were a mountain biker turned roadman?
“I started out mtb’ing quite a few years ago as I was a wee bit overweight when I finished college – putting it mildly.
“I progressed from there onto the road; I bought a road bike to get a bit fitter for my mountain biking and got addicted.
“I did the odd TT, mainly when there were local 10’s and other races on.
“When I started riding for Velo Ecosse in 2010 I got a Giant TT bike from the team and started to do more ‘testing’.
“I quite enjoy it as it’s all down to your own ability on the day, road racing can sometime be very frustrating when you know you are going well but just don’t get the results, there’s no one else to blame in a TT apart from yourself.”
What do you do for a living – how do you fit the bike in?
“I’m work in forestry, I’m a manager for a large private forestry company looking after mainly commercial forestry which people own for investment purposes.
“We manage the forests to maximize the clients’ investments.
“I live about nine miles away from the office and am quite lucky that I can commute to and from work.
“I’ve got a variety of different routes to and from the office that I can ride depending on the weather and what I am wanting to do, some flat some hilly.
“One of the favorites is up Logie Kirk and over Sherrifmuir, which is a tough climb; and ideal to get a shameless plug in about a new hill climb event which I’m helping Stirling Bike Club promote on the 29th of September, ‘Up the Kirk’ website.”
Wiggo – what are your thoughts?
“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for what Wiggins and Team Sky have achieved over the last few years, and no one can deny that this year has been nothing short of awesome, and a huge boost to cycling in the UK at all levels – but to be honest I’m not his biggest fan.”
There goes his Sky contract!
And VeloVeritas felt that we had to get to the bottom of Iain Grant’s ‘disappearance’ – here’s what the man himself said;
‘That seems to be the question on everyone’s lips! LOL. (We think that’s ‘txt spk’ for ‘laugh out loud’).
“The easy answer would be that I was not prepared and didn’t give the event the respect it deserved. I had been carrying a virus for two or three weeks and only made the decision to compete on Friday so I was a little under prepared.
“I struggled to get enough fuel in throughout race and eventually ran out of gas; I decided once the pace wasn’t there to pack in and live to fight another day.
“It wasn’t worth forcing the body any harder just to say I had finished. I went for the win and to break the record but was a little under prepared – however, I’ll be back for another crack.
“I’m really happy for Eddie – a well deserved winner, he was looking super smooth out on the course.
“I received a lot of advice from guys like Jim Cusick, again well deserved silver – and I’ll use all his info next time.”
Lots of respect for all the athletes who raced and finished on Sunday, it’s not only a battle of fitness it’s a battle of the mind.
Thanks to Eddie for supplying the photos.