Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeInterviewsChris Smart - Tour of the Meldons 2015 Winner

Chris Smart – Tour of the Meldons 2015 Winner

-

Chris Smart (Paisley Velo) explained to us that he’d no choice but to successfully defend his Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championship over the Meldons course in the Scottish Borders, recently.

If he hadn’t, he’d only have been the champion for half a year; with the Trossachs being the championship race in October 2014 and the Meldons coming in April of this year.

And in the time between us interviewing him and this piece appearing he’s gone and won another title – the TLI 10 mile championships on the A77 with a 21:19 to Ben Peacock’s 21:27.

Tour of the Meldons
Chris Smart. Photo©Martin Williamson

We started by asking the 34 year-old fireman from Saltcoats to remind us of his haul of Scottish medals thus far …

“This is my second Olympic Time Trial title; I’ve had a silver medal and two bronzes in the hill climb; team time trial gold and a bronze in the ‘25’ champs.”

The Meldons; perhaps not as technically challenging a race as the Trossachs?

“I don’t know about that but they’re certainly two very different races; in the Trossachs I kept the lid on it until I was off the Dukes Pass, the descent was wet and tricky so I took it steady and started my race after I was down.

“For the Meldons it was different, I went from the gun, right up that long dragging start climb – but I did get a fright at the finish.

“I wasn’t expecting that steep finish climb – I was seeing stars by the top!”

Tour of the Meldons
The Meldons hills are a popular destination for rides and picnics. Photo©Martin Williamson

Early/late season, it doesn’t seem to make much difference – you still won the championship?

“I usually plan to have my first peak for the ‘25’ champs but I’ve had to change my season plan because my brother gets married the day before the ’25’ so I won’t be riding.

“And I felt that I had to defend the Olympic TT else wise I’d only have been the champion for a half of a season!

“I like the Trossachs and the Meldons, they’re both good courses.”

How did you gauge your ride – ‘feel’ or on power output?

“I have a power meter for training but I don’t use it for racing, I just go flat out from the start!”

Tell us about your training.

“Purely turbo; I don’t have time for any other way with working shifts and having young kids.

“I was racing on four hours training each week – on the turbo at 10:00 pm – but have more time now that we have kids at nursery so it’s two hours on the turbo, four times per week.

“I love the turbo and use the power meter to track my progress – that said I’m not a ‘data geek’ by any means.

“I don’t have a coach as such, I’m self-coached but Alex Ross – who was in the Scottish team 2000-2002 and is better known as ‘Charlie’ – keeps an eye on what I’m doing and reins me in if he thinks I’m doing too much.”

Are you ‘an equipment man?’

“No, I just upgraded my 20 year-old Bianchi to a Planet-X because the Bianchi snapped.

“I’m a big gear man, 53 x 11 and 12 – I like my 12 sprocket!”

Tour of the Meldons
Chris in the 12 sprocket at the ’10’ Champs a couple of years ago. Photo©Martin Williamson

How about road racing?

“I don’t ride the road anymore; this is my 22nd season – I started when I was 12 years-old and grew up riding the road.

“I went to France to race when I was 20 and achieved an elite licence in the UK but I was always on the outskirts of the top placings, not winning.

“That’s what I like about time trials, you get rewarded for your efforts – which isn’t always the case on the road…”

Track?

“I got the bug when the Glasgow track opened and was riding the track league – but you can’t do it all and even though it’s the winter, you have to turn up fit because it’s so intense.”

Fourth in the ‘10’ champs last year and third in the ‘25’ – you must be looking to move up?

“I believed I could win the ‘10’ last year because I’d won the Jason MacIntyre Memorial just before it; but it didn’t pan out like that.

“As I said, I won’t be riding the ‘25’ – my next target is the TLi ‘10’ Champs which is promoted by my own club, Paisley Velo so I’d like to do well in that (as we noted earlier, Chris won the event with 21:19, ed.).

We were surprised when you were DNS at the ‘50’ last year?

“I gambled on that one that it’d be a quiet night on shift at the fire station – but it wasn’t and the last thing I could do was to race after such a hectic shift.”

The ‘100’?

“It’s something the guys in the club and I have discussed and if it was held closer to home I’d certainly be interested; but with it being way up there at Invergordon it’s a big commitment – it wouldn’t be fair on the wife and kids for me disappear up there for a whole weekend.”

You were a Royal Marine – does that help when the going gets tough ?

“Yeah, it does help; it teaches you to push to your maximum and then beyond – that’s why I’m sick after the finish of my races!”

And on that happy note we’ll wish Chris ‘bon chance’ for the upcoming Scottish ‘10’ Champs – see you there?

Tour of the Meldons
Lynsey Curran, Ladies’ Scottish Champion. Photo©Martin Williamson

Result - Tour of the Meldons 2015

Full Result

1 108 Chris Smart Paisley Velo Race Team 0:57:23
2 55 Alan Thomson Sandy Wallace Cycles 0:57:40
3 106 Silas Goldsworthy Sandy Wallace Cycles 0:57:56
4 102 Arthur Doyle www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 0:58:06
5 104 Benjamin Peacock Billy Bilsland Cycles 0:58:54
6 39 Kyle Gordon Sandy Wallace Cycles 0:59:36
7 100 James Cusick www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 0:59:39
8 92 Gavin Shirley www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 0:59:47
9 20 Edward Addis Peebles CC 1:00:59
10 25 Jason Barnes Glasgow Nightingale CC 1:01:00
11 96 Jamie Kennedy Paisley Velo Race Team 1:01:01
12 24 Andrew Underwood Glasgow Wheelers 1:01:24
13 85 Andrew Scott Musselburgh RCC 1:02:03
14 49 Gary Robson Gala Cycling Club 1:02:07
15 80 Craig Dale TheBicycleWorks 1:02:45
16 90 Allan Mill Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:02:50
17 26 Kenneth Russell Edinburgh RC 1:03:15
18 28 Ruairi O’Driscoll Edinburgh University CC 1:03:46
19 84 Jon Clarke Glasgow Nightingale CC 1:03:49
20 60 Nathan Beard Gala Cycling Club 1:03:59
21 51 Stephen Couper Glasgow United CC 1:04:00
22 54 Tony Scott Loudoun RC 1:04:02
23 86 Steve Davidson Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:04:40
24 75 Jason Fogarty Edinburgh RC 1:04:51
25 83 Andrew Cox Peebles CC 1:05:12
26 37 Alistair Meikle Gala Cycling Club 1:05:34
27 35 Ross Dymock Glasgow Green Cycle Club 1:05:46
28 87 Paul Friel Glasgow Road Club 1:05:50
29 57 Buchanan Paterson Stirling Bike Club 1:06:10
30 88 Brian Muir Royal Albert CC 1:06:15
31 70 Brian McCartney Ronde Cycling Club 1:06:23
32 79 Neil Muir Royal Albert CC 1:06:28
33 21 Graham Jones Edinburgh RC 1:06:36
34 46 Andrew McGhee Glasgow Couriers 1:06:45
35 74 Calum Kennedy Edinburgh RC 1:06:45
36 32 Alan Dobbie Edinburgh RC 1:06:48
37 17 Lynsey Curran www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 1:07:01
38 19 Tommy Garland Edinburgh University CC 1:07:12
39 61 Albert McLellan Glasgow Couriers 1:07:18
40 66 Jonny May Edinburgh RC 1:07:45
41 22 Matt Goode Edinburgh Triathletes 1:07:49
42 43 Graeme Docherty-Walthew Stirling Bike Club 1:08:01
43 58 Robert Marshall www.Hardie-Bikes.com 1:08:09
44 34 Joseph Agnew Edinburgh RC 1:08:29
45 62 Jarlath Flynn Edinburgh RC 1:08:57
46 68 Kevin Chalmers Peebles CC 1:09:07
47 69 Adrian Hay Dunfermline CC 1:09:10
48 31 Douglas Kirkham Musselburgh RCC 1:09:12
49 47 Stephen Malaney Glasgow Couriers 1:09:23
50 53 Warren Crombie Edinburgh RC 1:09:30
51 63 Allan Crosbie Pedal Power RT 1:09:43
52 48 Eoghan Maguire Edinburgh RC 1:09:45
53 78 Roy Richardson Peebles CC 1:09:53
54 44 Craig Hayes Edinburgh RC 1:10:13
55 5 Louise Borthwick Project 51 1:10:14
56 23 Tony Nugent East Kilbride Road Club 1:11:37
57 67 Colin Russell Edinburgh RC 1:12:28
58 29 Chris Allen Edinburgh RC 1:12:32
59 7 Mireille Captieux Edinburgh RC 1:12:54
60 76 Iain Cowden Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club 1:14:29
61 9 Sandra Tulloch Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 1:14:34
62 72 Willie Stephen Velo Club Vitesse 1:15:18
63 13 Katherine Wren Stirling Bike Club 1:15:50
64 77 Paul Lawson Weaver Valley CC 1:16:53
65 1 Lyndsey Carson Team Thomsons Cycles 1:17:17
66 6 Anna Fairweather Spokes Racing Team 1:17:30
67 3 Aileen Clyde Fullarton Wheelers 1:17:31
68 2 Sarah Bradford Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club 1:17:35

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 10 Mile Time Trial Championships 2014 – Iain Grant Confirms his Status

On a typical four seasons in one day Scottish spring morning on the fast dual carriageways of the Irvine by-pass, Dooleys' Iain Grant reminded us all why he's Scotland's short distance king with a stunning 19 minutes and 40 seconds ride to relegate his team mate and former '10' champion, Arthur Doyle into the silver medal position, 15 seconds back and reigning champion Ben Peacock (Paisley Velo) into bronze with 19:59.

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2014 – Three in a Row for Ian Grant

On a blustery, squally day on the dual carriageways of the A78 and A71 around Irvine and Kilmarnock on Sunday morning, Dooley's Iain Grant added the Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial title to the "10" with a stunning 50:46 ride; a massive 1:39 clear of surprise second, Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo) with Murdoch's team mate Chris Smart a further 25 seconds back in the bronze medal position. VeloVeritas had eventual fourth placed Arthur Doyle in the bronze medal spot, late in the race. But cramp hit Doyle in the closing miles and he had to freewheel across the line, two seconds down on Smart.

Grant, Doyle and Peacock: Top Three at the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championships 2014

With the ink dry on our page of the Scottish National “10” Championship report and thoughts now turning to the ‘25’ we thought we best have a word with the medallists on what was a changeable but ultimately very rapid day.

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Champs 2014 – Murdoch and Grant Look Back

A day or two after the dust from the ’25’ Champs had settled on the A71 and A78, VeloVeritas caught up with the gold and silver medallists to get their in depth comments on the race. We had expected a four way battle between Iain Grant (Dooleys), team mate Arthur Doyle, Ben Peacock (Paisley Velo) and Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace). We got some of it right; Iain did indeed win and Paisley Velo were in the frame – but not with Ben; Messrs Peter Murdoch and Chris Smart took silver and bronze respectively. Peter Murdoch shared bronze with Sean Childs in last year’s ‘25’ title race but this year made silver his own.

Tom Gordon – Medallist in the Scottish ’50’ Championship

In the recent Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championships the names in first and second spots were ones we’ve spoken too many times on VeloVeritas – winner Silas Goldsworthy and silver medallist, Alan Thomson (both Sandy Wallace Cycles); but the bronze medallist, Tom Gordon of Dooleys was new to individual TT honours.

Callum Finlayson – Five Years from Stroke to Scottish Champion

It's not everyday we get emails from Time Trial Royalty, so when BBAR and 100 mile time trial legend Ian Cammish tells us; "Hi, just been involved in a brief exchange of emails with a guy from Moray Firth CC - Callum Finlayson. He's just won the Scottish 100 champs with the 2nd fastest time EVER in Scotland. Got a pretty good story to tell too ... suffered a Stroke a few years ago!"

At Random

Ronan McLaughlin – on life after The Flatlands

“There is life after The Flatlands.” The Worlds, Harrogate last month, and I’m ‘poaching’ those ‘just-past-the-finish-line’ pics that I like to nab. ‘Hey Ed!’ hollers an Irish voice. It’s Ronan McLaughlin.

Le Tour de France 2008 – Day 1: Stage 14, Nîmes to Digne-Les-Bains

Le Tour de France 2008, Digne-les-Bains, Saturday afternoon, 38 degrees and U2 are telling us it's a "Beautiful Day" - that Bono, he knows everything. We were supposed to meet up with American reader, John Larsen in Forcalquier, watch the race and sample the local fare with a BBQ, however Jet2.com kept us sat on the tar at Turnhouse for an hour before take off, scuppering our chances of catching the race.

On the Way to the Scottish TTT 2009

I've achieved an ambition today - I'm sitting in John Anderson's Six Million Dollar Man pick up truck at the Scottish TTT 2009.

Hugh Carthy – Lines up with Txurruka at Caja Rural in 2015

If you’re my age then you’ll remember Basque climbing legend, Marino Lejarreta in the colours of Caja Rural back in the 80’s. The name has been associated with Spanish cycle sport off and on since then and season 2015 will see an English name alongside the likes of Amets Txurruka in Spain’s only Pro Continental team. Hugh Carthy’s win in the UCI Tour of Korea has catapulted the 20 year-old from Lancashire into the big leagues after two seasons with John Herety at Rapha Condor JLT.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 11; Pamplona – San Miguel de Aralar (Navarre), 151 km. Fabio Aru Shines Thru

We had a feeling that Quintana would find it very hard to continue in this Vuelta – whilst the man is hugely talented he’s not at the level he was in the Giro and to make up three minutes on Messrs. Contador, Rodriguez and Valverde was never going to be easy. His morale was in his boots anyway but then fate intervened, down he went on the stage from Pamplona and the Media can stop asking daft questions about imaginary feuds in the Movistar camp.

Over Already?

"It's over already?" Most of the riders in the peloton would be thinking that as the rest day ends and they prepare for the final week of this year's Tour. The racing has been brutal: nervous and hectic through the first week, typically savage through the Pyrenees (which happened through the second week), and windy and wet virtually the whole time.