Evan Oliphant’s going to have not one but two new chums to chat to at Raleigh for season 2016.
We’ve already spoken to Aberdeen’s Craig Wallace and now it’s time for Perth man Fraser Martin – who also pulls on the jersey with the famous name – to give us his story.
How old are you, where do you live and how did you get into cycling, Fraser?
“I am 19 years-old and I live in Edinburgh (term time) and Perth (during the summer). I started cycling because my Dad was cycling recreationally and I asked if I could go along with him.
“I then joined my local club and I caught “the bug!”
“My Dad, a few friends and I went to Oudenaarde one year to ride the Tour of Flanders sportif and watch the race the following day.
“I remember watching the finish in a little café with all the Belgian fans and it cemented it in my brain that cycling was the sport for me.”
What was your first race, how did it go?
“My first race was hilarious. It was a “Skinny Tyres” Ingliston crit when I was a first year youth A.
“I remember turning up being really scared and then lasting about three laps before getting dropped from the group. I was with another lad from Perth United and we rode around together.
“When they blew the whistle for us to signal a “sprint lap” we would try hard that lap and then have a few laps easy…
“We didn’t know what a sprint lap meant!
“I’m pretty sure we got lapped countless times by the bunch that day…”
Are you still at university, what are you studying?
“I’m studying Sport Science at Edinburgh University, currently in my second year.”
Remind us of your road palmarès, please.
- “1st – Stage 3 Ballater Falling leaves Stage Race.
- 1st – Ballater Falling Leaves Stage Race overall.
- 1st – CSP Autumn Criterium.
- 1st BUCS Elimination Race.
- 1st Hugh Dornan Race to Roseneath.
- 2nd British Team Pursuit Champs.
- and I obtained my Elite License.”
You rode Kreiz Breizh (savage stage race in Brittany) – tell us about it.
“It was a phenomenal experience.
“I had ridden a few Premier Calendars and the British road champs before hand so I was beginning to understand what it was like to suffer.
“But the conditions in France were a bit different to what I was used to riding in the UK. The race itself was very hot and very long – something I am not used to. I did what I could and I am thankful to Scottish Cycling for giving me the chance to race it.
“I’d love to go back to give it another bash.”
Who are your role models in the sport?
“I admire Phillipe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet and Nikki Terpstra – they’re all ultra classy and I love their attacking racing style.
“They’re all the kind of rider that I’d like to be.”
That was a nice ride in the team pursuit – the Commonwealth Games must be a target but how do Raleigh feel about your track ambitions?
“I signed a contract for Raleigh-GAC with ambitions of road racing and criteriums.
“I enjoy riding track but for now I’m going to focus on the road.”
Team pursuit apart do you have any other aspirations on the track?
“Maybe one day but for now I’m going to focus on the road.”
Do you have a coach – what’s the ‘watchword’?
“I’m being coached by Craig McCulloch. We have worked together for over a year now and all the training is done with power. I found it has been extremely beneficial to my training.
“I’ve also had a lot of support and encouragement from Craig Grieve and Blair Whiteside at Spokes RT too.”
How did you get the Raleigh ride?
“Craig McCulloch texted me while I was in France saying that Raleigh-GAC were looking for some young guys to take on and that Evan thought it was worth me applying.
“As soon as I was home I sent away my CV and a week or so later I was on a flight down to meet Cherie [Pridham, the Raleigh team owner and DS].
“I have to thank Craig, Evan and also James McCallum for helping me land this opportunity.”
When is the first Raleigh training get together and when will you get your bike and clothing?
“We are having a weekend in December where I will get to meet a few of the guys and will be given a bike.”
Has the team given you any guidelines about how they want you to ‘winter’?
“Not really, just train really hard!
“We have a training camp in Calpe, (Spain) next year which I’m really looking forward to.”
Is the race programme for 2016 largely criterium based – will there be continental trips too?
“I think it will mostly be Elite Circuit Races, Prems and Tour Series.
“I was told all riders get to ride a UCI race but which ones I’m not sure.”
It must be good that Evan will finally have someone on the team to talk to now?
“Yeah, I guess he won’t be lonely with Craig Wallace and I on board in the early season Scottish Nat B Road Races!”