Tuesday, October 26, 2021
HomeInterviewsHarry Bulstrode - Silver Medallist at the Scottish '10' Championships 2015

Harry Bulstrode – Silver Medallist at the Scottish ’10’ Championships 2015


The start sheet for the National ‘10’ took a bit of getting hold of; but I guess we shouldn’t forget that all those obscure course codes were designed to maintain the secrecy back in the days when we weren’t supposed to race on the public highways.

Do I hear you say; ‘but that was 70 years ago, Ed ?’

Well, yes, but you can’t let just anyone have a start sheet, I mean they might want to come and report on the race and even take photographs …

Start sheet duly obtained – thank you Silas – we had a swatch; the ‘usual suspects’ were all there, the aforementioned Mr. Goldsworthy, Arturo Doyle, Iain Grant, Alan Thomson, Chris Smart …

But hold on, who’s this dude among the seeds – he must be fast to be back there – Harry Bulstrode of VC Edinburgh ?

An English name apparently, coming from the Berkshire village of the same name and meaning, ‘The Fort on the Marsh.’

That didn’t get us very far; best ‘have a word’ with the boy – especially since he took the silver medal on that horrible morning on Westferry.

Scottish 10 Championships 2015
Harry Bulstrode. Photo©Martin Williamson

Congratulations on the silver medal, Harry – what was your race game plan?

“Normally I ride to power but I didn’t know the course, although I drove over it in the car beforehand and decided that I’d need to save a bit for those long drags.

“With the benefit of hindsight maybe I overcooked it on the way out.”

We had you just two seconds down on Iain Grant on the run-in but the margin was much wider at the line …

“I felt like I put a strong spurt in on the way back but must have been flagging – Iain is such a strong competitor and he has a great, wiry, racer’s build.”

So you’re a power meter rather than a ‘feel’ man?

“I’ve been riding time trials for a few years now and been riding to power for three or four years; I think it’s best for longer events – especially for 25’s where it’s easy to overcook it early on.

“I really like sporting courses, which Scotland is great for with the quiet roads through the hills – I was sorry I missed The Meldons due to work commitments.”

Are you a man for the big gears?

“Yes, I like to pedal a big gear, I did have a 56 ring but now I’m on a Wolf Tooth 52 ring; that’s a thick/thin system which prevents you unshipping your chain – it comes from mountain biking and works well.”

Tell us about your training.

“I put in a really good winter with the VC Edinburgh guys; they dragged me over all the big hills in the area – climbs like The Granites – and dropped me on them but I got my pay back on the flat runs home!

“I do spinning on the rollers and also like to do laps of Arthur’s Seat – I’ve never lived anywhere you have good training roads so close to home.

“It’s a close-to seven minute interval up there.”

VC Edinburgh?

“The club has been around a while but they don’t ride a lot of time trials, they’re more the hardened roadman types.

“I did their three hour Wednesday night with lights, hard bashes with them all through the winter – it’s a good workout.”

You were a rower before you got into cycling?

“That was a while ago, ten years or so – but the training is similar to cycling in that you have a lot of interval work and also steady state work.

“But when you’re working it’s hard to fit rowing training in twice each day and I started to do some road racing.

“I enjoy the road, the tactical element but over time I’ve gravitated towards time trials.”

Have you ridden the road much up here?

“I rode the Gifford race early in the year and plan to do a few more once the national time trial championships are over.

“The road in Scotland is much safer than it is in England – there are just so many cars on the road, down south.”

Scottish 10 Championships 2015
Silver medallist Harry is great at 10’s, but not such a fan of 50’s. Photo©Martin Williamson

You were well seeded in the ‘10’; you must have some quick times to your name.

“Near where I lived in England there were some super-quick courses with ‘gift’ hills in them; I have an 18:47 but there’s a stretch where you’re doing 40 mph for a couple of minutes – I’d say that it’s perhaps 60 seconds faster than Westferry.

“I’ve not done many fixed distance time trials up here – although I did the National 25 at Irvine, last year – I really like the sporting courses in Scotland with the rolling hills and sweeping bends they’re fast but challenging.”

What made you chose a Cervélo?

“I like the geometry of the P3 and P4 with the long top tube and short head; it makes it easy to long and low.”

What brings you to Edinburgh?

“I’m working with the NHS on research at little France but head back to Southampton in the autumn although in the long term I’d like to move here.”

I read you do ‘regenerative medicine’ …

“That’s a catch all term; it’s stem cell research – how you can use stem cells to aid recovery from strokes, for instance.”

And will we see you at the ‘25’ and ‘50’ champs?

“I’ll certainly be at the ‘25’ but I’ve never been much keen on ‘50’s …”

Thanks to Harry for his time – always good to see a new face come along and shake up the established order. We’ll be watching for him in the ‘25’ champs.

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.

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