Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsWilson Renwick - Tour de Trossachs Winner

Wilson Renwick – Tour de Trossachs Winner

"You’re never going to get round a course like that without some sort of obstruction."

-

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 palmarès.

We caught up with him the day after his epic ride on what was the toughest day most can remember for the event.

Wilson Renwick
Wilson powers up the Dukes Pass from Aberfoyle. Photo©Martin Williamson

Congratulations on a great ride, Wilson – in what were very testing conditions.

“Yes, it went all right, it’s my kind of course but I don’t usually go well in the cold and I’ve struggled in the Trossachs the last few times.

“I tried to warm up on the Turbo but gave up after five minutes and headed straight to the start; I went all right up the Dukes.

“But on the descent I got stuck behind a bus, I couldn’t get past and had to freewheel so I was cold by the time I got to the bottom.

“I was thinking that my ride was going to end up a disaster but I warmed up again by the time I got to the boat house on Loch Venachar side and my legs felt alive again.”

And still on that 1×11 transmission, I see.

“I was on 11 to 30, I could fit a 32 but the Dukes isn’t that steep so the 30 is fine; the chain ring is thick/thin so there’s no problem with chain retention; I’ve used this set up in the Meldons and Gordon Arms and have never dropped a chain.”

What was the tyre choice for such a horrible day?

“I was on my usual Vittoria Corsa Speed tubeless clinchers, the saving over tubulars is four or five watts and you can run them a little softer if the surfaces are bad like in the Trossachs.”

Wilson Renwick
Wilson keeping in the tuck. Photo©Ed Hood

Any ‘moments’ to report?

“Getting stuck behind that bus wasn’t ideal and I had to brake for cars along the Invertrossachs Road but you’re never going to get round a course like that without some sort of obstruction.”

How did you judge your pace – that last stretch into the wind means you need to have some gas left in the tank, does it not?

“Yes, it was a headwind back to the finish but having ridden the course before I knew there are lots of bits where you can’t pedal and have to freewheel.

“That means you’re not on the power constantly and gives you ‘mini breaks’ where you can recover.

“And then there are the big descents off the Dukes and Braes – but if you ‘blew’ on the finish straight you could lose a lot of time.

“There wasn’t a lot of wind to start with but I could feel the cross wind over the top of the Braes and it was a headwind finish.

“I was a bit worried that the early starters had the best of the day – that last drag was very hard.”

Did you have a ‘try out’ over the course beforehand?

“I drove the course in the morning; it’s actually the first time in four attempts I’ve got all the way round without incident – I punctured once, it was cancelled, then I was ill.”

Wilson Renwick
Wilson riding up Shiplaw climb in the Tour of the Meldons earlier this year. Photo©Martin Williamson

Did you do any special preparation for the race?

“I’ve not done a lot of racing recently, I had a fair break in the middle of the season but I did the Knockhill Hilly Time Trial as a ‘try out’ the other week – it was very windy but it was good to get an event like that under my belt.”

You were fastest to top of the Dukes, is a Hill Climb Champs bid on the cards?

“I was pleased with that, I rode it hard but there’ll be no hill climb champs for me as I’m training hard for other stuff – you need to be fresh for a serious hill climb attempt.”

And are you still living ‘up north’?

“Yes, still there, the weather has been good – and of course there’s always the Turbo…”

When we last spoke, after you won the Olympic Trial Championships you were talking about doing some races in Belgium?

“I rode the Tour of Estonia, Scandic Grand Prix and Ronde de L’Oise.

“I have a ride with the Java-Partizan continental team, we ride some nice races; our best rider is Charalampos Kastrantas who was Greek Road Race Champion in 2017.

“He also won the Tour of Serbia last year and this year he won the GP Ville d’Algere and was top 10 in the Tour de L’Oise.

“He’s a strong lad with a really good sprint and my job is to help him get a result.”

Wilson Renwick
The Trossachs National Park is lovely – even during a time trial on a dark, rainy morning. Photo©Martin Williamson

Do you have track ambitions with those RT 23 boys?

“I’m playing with the idea of riding the Scottish Champs, I’m going all right but BC has set 4:25 as the minimum qualifying standard for the British Pursuit Championships.

“I only have two opportunities to achieve that so I’ll have to get on the track and see where I’m at.”

What’s on the agenda for 2019?

“I’m not sure, like just about everyone else I’m trying to secure a ride – I hope to be with Java again.

“On the home front I’m back down to second cat. which means I can race more – if you’re an elite there are only about five races you can ride in Scotland, being second cat. takes that up to about 20 events.

“I don’t really understand the system; in the early season races I rode in Spain they have big fields and simply award prizes to each category within the race – it’s a better way to do things.”

Our chat with Wilson wraps up our Trossachs coverage for another year – but Janette, can you sort out the weather for next year please?

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

Sarah Phillips – Scottish and British Champion in the 90’s

She’s Sarah Rowe these days but in the world of cycling she’s remembered as Sarah Phillips; Scottish Champion at 10 and 25 miles in 1988, 1990 and 1991 with Scottish records at 10 miles with 22:43, 25 miles with 57:18 and 50 miles with 2:00:51 achieved during 1990. Here’s her tale...

Tour de Trossachs 2009

Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) underlined his superiority as Scotland's short distance TT king, around the Trossachs on a glorious Sunday afternoon with a 96 second margin over Phil Brown (Velo Ecosse) to add the Scottish Olympic TT title to the 10 and 25 crowns which he already wears, and completing a second successful Trossachs campaign to follow last year's decisive win.

Scottish 50 Mile TT Championship 2009

Off no.45, Michael Nicolson (Dooleys RT) never looked like being beaten in the Scottish 50 Mile TT Championship 2009, but a but a clutch of riders fought it our for the minor placings in the mens competition, whilst Jessica Wilson -Young (Edinburgh RC) took a comfortable win in the women's race.

Tour de Trossachs 2010 Preview

Although the start sheet for the Tour de Trossachs is still to be finalised, it's looking to be a very interesting race - the field has been extended to accommodate 140 because the race is proving to be popular with riders of all abilities, and sees National Champions and World Champions taking part, as well as newcomers interested in trying out this classic course. Arthur Doyle (Dooleys RT) will defend his title for the third time, but the big question is will he manage to beat both the hill climb and course record set by Jason McIntyre in 2007...

Tour de Trossachs 2007

Tour de Trossachs 2007 Mile zero: 09.54, and Alastair McNicol of Kelso Wheelers is on the line. Off No.1 at 10:01, he's not going to miss his start. It's six degrees, there are just wisps of cloud in the sky and Scotland has never looked better. Ferns, conifers and beech, lime green to dark brown form the backdrop for the timekeepers; to the north, the hills of the Trossachs wait quietly for the onslaught.

Scottish National 25 mile Time Trial Championship 2012

On a grey, damp but mild and fast Sunday morning on the roads around Blairdrummond near Stirling, Dooleys' Ian Grant added the '25' title to the '50' with a fine 52:26; besting Sandy Wallace's Silas Goldsworthy - whose fight back over the closing miles hauled back a 17 second deficit on Grant down to six at the line. Last year's '50' champion Alan Thomson, took another medal for Sandy Wallace with bronze in 53:09. The event was not without controversy, however.

At Random

Steve Beech remembers Grant Thomas

Steve Beech sent us in his memories of his friend Grant Thomas and his ‘Golden Era’, the 70’s. Whilst he’s perhaps best remembered for winning the British Championship, his greatest triumphs came in The Netherlands – on road and track.

Raymond Vanstraelen – Bioracer’s Founder talks Bike Fit, Aero Kit, and the Ineos Deal

With the news that the mighty INEOS Grenadiers will ride Bioracer clothing from 2022 for at least three seasons we thought it was time to introduce you to the innovator who formed the company back in the 80’s, Mr. Raymond Vanstraelen – but his search for cycling perfection isn’t just about clothing…

Harrison Wood – Moving up to SEG Racing Academy for 2020

It’s not just any youngster who gets a ride with the Dutch SEG Racing Academy but ‘Brit’ Harrison Wood, who recently finished a solid top 10 in the Chrono des Nations, will be riding in SEG colours for 2020.

The Lake APR 2007

The Lake APR: 63 riders took to the start on a bitterly cold - but dry - morning in the village of Bulclyvie. Split into six groups, with a fast scratch which included the previous week's Rosneath winner, Gordon Murdoch of East Kilbride Road Club, as well as the inform Paul Coates of Squadra Via Mazzini Racetool, myself: Stuart Macgregor and Edge pairing of Paul Rennie and Graham McGarritty (who won this race 25 years ago when still a junior!).

Joe Perrett – British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion 2013

There was a big surprise in that British 25 Mile Championship as IG Sigma Sport’s 22 year-old Joe Perrett relegated Hutchinson (In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT) to third; with Matt Bottrill (www.drag2zero.com) in the silver medal spot.

14th International Critérium de Levallois 2010

It was a typical cold grey Scottish autumn day for the 14th International Critérium de Levallois - even though we were in Paris.