Sunday, October 17, 2021
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Jon Entwistle – Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion and Record Holder

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Jon Entwistle
Jon Entwistle.

We had a feeling we’d be chatting to this gentleman again, after the Scottish ‘100’ Mile Time Trial Championship – and so it proved.

Originally scheduled to be held up on the Cromarty Firth but postponed due to bad weather the ‘100’ was incorporated with the Furneaux Trophy in the Aberdeen District and won by their reigning ‘50’ champion, Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) – we caught up with him soon after he’d achieved his ‘double.’

You’re now ‘50’ and ‘100’ champion AND 100 mile record holder, congratulations, Jon.

“Thank you, it’s actually difficult to find information on what the Scottish records are but I reckoned it was Mark Atkinson’s [Velo Ecosse] 3:49 so that’s what I had my sights set on.”

Any hint of ‘revenge’ in there, beating Steve Williamson into silver after he did that to you, last year?

“None at all.

“My style is to make a plan and then stick to it – I had my eye on the record – although, as I said, it’s difficult to find out what it was – and I felt that if I could go sub four hours last year in terrible conditions then it was certainly possible.”

The champs course changed, didn’t it?

“Yes, originally it was to be a North District event up on the Cromarty Firth but it had to be postponed because of the gales.

“Kenny Anderson of Deeside Thistle worked wonders to incorporate it into his Furneaux Trophy event which was over two laps of the ‘50’ course south of Stonehaven.

“It incorporates both dual carriageway and A class road sections – it was a bit windy but not too bad and that endless bit of A class road didn’t seem as a long as usual.”

What was aforementioned ‘plan?’

“I decided to ride a ‘negative split’ race, stick to certain lower power values for the first lap then increase the power for the second lap with a big finish in the last 10 miles from Stratcathro up towards Stonehaven – and that’s exactly how it went.”

Jon Entwistle
Jon in action at the Tour of the Meldons in the Scottish Borders. Photo©Martin Williamson

And did you stick to the ‘starvation diet’ you told us about for your ‘50’ win?

“I had a bag with bottles, gels and a banana ready at the start of the second lap if I needed it but I didn’t eat or drink anything for the first 90 miles.

“I did with 10 miles to go when I could see that the record was in sight.

“I spoke to former ‘100’ champion Callum Finlayson about this aspect and he holds similar beliefs about eating and drinking in ‘50’s and ‘100’s to mine.”

And was it another big gear job?

“Yes, my usual 56 osymetric – which gives you the equivalent of a 60 at some parts of the rotation – with an 11 up cassette; but I’m thinking about going up to a 58 osymetric ring.”

A wee bit disappointing entry for the race – 30 with just one complete team finishing?

“Yes; I think there may have been more if the race had been in the Aberdeen area originally – but that ship has sailed and the riders that were there were all of the best quality – Finlayson, Williamson, Kelman.”

How has recovery been?

“I pedalled to the shops on Monday then did three hours on the mountain bike at night – the ‘100’ is all part of my training for the Haute Route.”

When does that kick off?

“This weekend over seven days from Nice to Geneva with an average of 130 kilometres and 3,500 metres of climbing each day.”

Jon Entwistle
Jon is aiming to add a third Championship medal this season. Photo©supplied

And the ‘25’ champs?

“I’ll be back in time for them, yes – I’ll have had plenty of training for it in the Haute Route.”

Isn’t huge volume the exact opposite of how you’re meant to prepare for a short distance time trial?

“Well, ‘it is what it is’ and as you’ll have gathered, I like to challenge convention!”

How’s the Best All Rounder Competition situation – I believe that one can still win the Scottish ‘full distance’ BAR if you ride the English ‘12’ champs?

“I’d hoped to ride a ‘12’ down south, this year – which I feel I’m ready to do – but couldn’t fit in; but over the ‘middle distances’ of ‘25,’ ‘50’ and ‘100’ my ‘25’ is my weakest with a ‘53’ so I want to post a good time in the National ’25.’”

And what’s on the agenda after the Haute Route and the ‘25’ champs?

“There’s the hill climb championship; I tend to ‘bulk up’ for time trials but weight’s obviously not your friend in a hill climb so I need to get into good fettle for that, weight-wise.

“Then I’d like to ride the veteran’s cycle-cross series.”

Jon Entwistle
The 100 Mile TT champs was preparation for the Haute Route event for Jon. Photo©Team JMC

Have you considered riding the track and/or road?

“The track in Glasgow is a long way to go and if you do a ‘cost/benefit’ analysis then it’s hard to justify – the amount of driving you have to do there and back doesn’t compare well to the amount of time you’re actually riding on the boards for.

“If there was a track Aberdeen then that would be different and there’s no doubt I’d ride.

“As for the road, I take a lot longer to heal these days, now that I’m older – so I prefer to chose my own method of getting injured!”

The man is ‘different’ that’s for sure; we wish him ‘all the best’ in France and for the ‘25’ champs – we might even be speaking to him again after that one…

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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