Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeInterviewsAlan Thomson - Scottish 50 Mile TT Champion 2015

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.

Congratulations on another ’50’ title, Alan – remind us about the basic stuff.

“I ride for Sandy Wallace Cycles, I’m 34 years-old, live on the Southside of Glasgow and work as a charter surveyor.”

Scottish 50 Mile TT
Alan Thomson. Photo©Ed Hood

Remind us of your palmarès please…

“I won the ’50’ champs in Fife in 2011 and the Olympic TT champs when it was on The Meldons in 2013 and I’ve had medals in the ’10’ and ’25’ champs – I’ve never had a medal in the ‘100.’

“I rode one once – never again!”

I believe it was a tough shift up there in the North East?


“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.”

We heard comments that maybe the course was dangerous traffic-wise?

“I entered but kept an eye on the weather – I was up in Fraserburgh with my work a few weeks ago and drove over the course.

“It was raining that day and I decided that if it was raining on the morning of the champs I wasn’t going to ride – just too dangerous.

“But on the morning it was dry, marshalled really well and I had no bad experiences at all.

“A lot of guys are racing with a red flashing light on the bike now – it’s a good idea, maybe we should all ride with one?”

Scottish 50 Mile TT
Alan in action in last year’s 50 Champs. Photo©Martin Williamson

What was your expectation going in to the race?

“I didn’t know how my form would be – but I knew I’d done the training.

“Then, on the morning there was no Arthur Doyle or Chris Smart – then Iain Grant quit.

“But I didn’t realise he’d chucked it ’til the last turn.”

You were well clear of silver, two minutes.

“I didn’t have any time checks; I was catching folk so I knew I was going OK – seeing riders on the horizon is good, it helps pull you out, especially on a hard day.”

Why do you think the ’50’ is your distance?

“I dunno!

“I don’t have the top end for a ’10’ – I had to work really hard for my medal in the championship – it just seems I’m more suited to the ’50’ …”

How do you gauge your rides?

“On power; I ‘rode into it’ then tried to maintain a 329 watts average – then tried to lift it at the end.

“Sometimes it seems too easy early in a race if you ride on power but it’s easy to get carried away and go too hard, too early.”

You’re a Giant man, now?

“Yes, a Trinity, it was the machine of Alex Wettherall, the professional when he was with Endura.

“I bought it when the team finished up.

“I thought I’d have to do a lot to it but I’ve hardly touched it and it fits me perfectly.

“I ride 54 x 11 to 23 on Continental Tempos – it’s a nice tyre but fragile.

“I locked up at one of the roundabouts in the ’50’ and thought that I might have burned through the tread band but it was fine.”

What about nutrition during your ride?

“I was up early and had breakfast three hours before my start.

“I had some gels before the race but didn’t eat during it – I didn’t want to risk upsetting my stomach.

“It was hot so I had a CamelBak under the front of my speed suit with SiS orange isotonic in it to keep me hydrated.”

What’s next?

“Nothing is penciled in, I’m off on holiday but hope that Sandy Wallace will be putting a team in for the team time trial in September; we have strong riders; guys like Silas Goldsworthy and Peter Ettles.”

What’s still on the AT ‘to do’ list?

“I’d still like to do a 19 minute ’10’ – preferably in Scotland, but anywhere would be good!

“I have a 20:07 but the thing is that the weather is so unpredictable in Scotland and there are only so many days when it’s ‘on.'”

Don’t we know it!

Congratulations again to Alan – but we can’t say; ‘good luck for the ‘100’ …

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

Peter Murdoch – Scottish 25 Mile TT Champion 2015

This piece is about the man who recently added his name to those of Bilsland, Obree and Macintyre on the roll of honour – Mr. Peter Murdoch (Neon Velo). The 35 year-old from East Kilbride’s ‘25’ silver in 2014 surprised us a little but his win this year didn’t; he looked every inch the champion to us as he blasted out to the final turn.

Steven Lawley – The New Scottish Road Race Champion for 2015

It wasn’t ‘til after the ‘25’ Champs that we managed to catch up with Steven Lawley (Neon Velo) – he’s a busy man, netting another two wins since his fine victory in the Scottish National Road Race Championship where he pushed multiple ex-champion, Evan Oliphant (Raleigh) off the top step of the podium. And in the meantime his team mate, Peter Murdoch scooped the aforementioned ‘25’ title at Irvine.

Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship 2015 – Iain Grant Takes it Again!

On a dour, grey morning by the banks of a brooding River Clyde Iain Grant (Fullarton Wheelers) reminded us why he's Scotland's short distance king with a stunning 19:38 in the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship on a sodden, cold Westferry course.

Iain Macleod – Scottish 50 Mile TT Champion 2019

Iain MacLeod? Yes, the new Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Champion from Aberdeen Wheelers. VeloVeritas caught up with the man the day after his win.

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2015 – Peter Murdoch Takes Gold

On a windswept day for the strong of leg and heart on the Ayrshire coast it was last year's silver medallist, 'fresh' from that toughest of races, the RAS, Peter Murdoch (Neon-Velo Cycling Team) who's 52:13 was 22 seconds too quick for deposed reigning champion, Iain Grant (Fullarton Wheelers) and 49 seconds faster than bronze medallist and another former '25' champion, Arthur Doyle (Dooleys).

Kyle Gordon – Scottish 50 Mile TT Champion breaking Obree’s Record!

That Kyle Gordon (RT23) fella marches on; selection for the Commonwealth Games, solid performances on the Gold Coast, the Scottish 25 mile title, a close encounter with the Scottish 10 mile record – and now the Scottish 50 title in a Scottish record 1:41:16, taking 1:48 off the legend that is Graeme Obree’s time and 6:14 off his own personal best. VeloVeritas just had to ‘have a word’ . . .

At Random

Volta ao Alentejo

At the Volta ao Alentejo I spent the majority of every single stage on the front of the bunch controlling the race. All four days. Our sprinter was quite well placed to win the race, so I was quite happy to do this.

Dan Bigham – the new mens’ 25 Mile Time Trial Champion for 2017

We’re proud of our record here at VeloVeritas; we’ve interviewed every British 25 mile time trial champion since 2005. Michael Hutchinson, Jason MacIntyre (rest in peace), Joe Perrett, Matt Bottrrill, Ryan Perry - and this year is no exception with Dan Bigham (Brother NRG Wattshop) taking time to chat to us about his seventh British title of the year [adding to CTT ‘50,’ CTT Circuit TT, TTT, kilometre, individual pursuit and team pursuit] and his ambitions for the future.

Steve McEwen – Helping Israel to International Track Competitiveness

Steve McEwen hails from a little Scottish town on the banks of the Crinan Canal and was instrumental in the recent revival and dominance of Dutch track fortunes on the international stage. Steve is now charged with building track sport in Israel from zero to international competitiveness. We found out more...

Michael Mørkøv’s Very Big Milan-Sanremo Adventure

It's a long way from Copenhagen to Sanremo. Last autumn we saw Saxo Bank's Michael Mørkøv ride the classic 'sit in and sprint' race in the Copenhagen Worlds netting 18th and best home rider among the absolute cream of world cycling.

Wilson Renwick – Tour de Trossachs Winner

It was back in May 2015 when Jim Cusick told us about the professional jockey who was riding time trials. Since then Wilson Renwick has swapped equine saddles for the narrower models you find on time trial bikes, winning the Scottish 'Olympic' Time Trial Championship back in the spring of this year and has just added the classic Tour of the Trossachs to his palmares. We caught up with him the day after his epic ride on what was the toughest day most can remember for the event.

George Atkins – National Criterium Series 2013 Winner

As well as Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant’s recent overall win in the Premier Calendar another national competition was claimed by a rider who has close links to Scotland – 100% ME’s George Atkins regards Edinburgh as his second home and spent time in the capital after he left the BC ‘Plan’ a year or two ago.