Monday, July 26, 2021
HomeInterviewsMatti Dobbins - Young Scot is trialling with Team GB

Matti Dobbins – Young Scot is trialling with Team GB


The UCI have been at it again, messing with the format of what was the track “World Cup;” with trade teams no longer eligible it’s now the “Nations’ Cup.”

There will be three rounds across three different continents in season 2021: Newport, Wales on 22nd to 25th April; Hong Kong on 13th to 16th May and Cali, Colombia on 03rd to 6th June.

The good news is that Scotland is eligible to field a team and encouragingly, we have around a dozen riders vying for the Newport ride.

One of those on the squad is 19 year-old Matti Dobbins from Bridge of Weir, who as a junior was a Scottish track champion across multi-disciplines and has been trialling with the GB squad at Manchester, focusing on making the GB and Scottish Team Pursuit squads.

He rides for RT23 and has no plans to move – unless he gets that GB spot, of course. 

We decided we best have a word with Scotland’s third fastest man over four kilometres, behind John Archibald and Kyle Gordon.

Matti Dobbins
Matti Dobbins (c) is aiming for a slot on Team GB. Photo©Scottish Cycling

How did you get into the sport, Matti?

“Originally I saw a triathlon on the TV and I thought; ‘I’d like to do that.’

“That lead me into cycling and I joined the Johnstone Jets; it was a good time to get into track cycling because the Chris Hoy velodrome had just opened and I was able to get my accreditation.”

You had a very successful first year junior track championship campaign.

“Yes, I won the Scratch, Pursuit and Madison.”

And you’re Scottish Junior three kilometre Pursuit record holder.

“Yes, with a 3:18 ride, the previous record was a 3:25 and my previous best was a 3:27 so I was pleased with that ride.”

Matti Dobbins
Matti Dobbins has enjoyed success on the Glasgow velodrome boards.Photo©Johnstone Jets

And you were in the team which set the Scottish record for the four kilometre Pursuit.

“Yes, with Alfie George, John Archibald and Kyle Gordon, we did a 4:09 on Manchester.”

What’s your best for an individual four kilometre effort?

“I did a 4:24 in qualifying for the British this year but feel that I could have done better than that; but really my focus is on the Team Pursuit.”

Is the Scottish squad in serious preparation for the UCI event at Newport?

“Yes, Evan Oliphant is our coach and we started training for it as soon as the lockdown ended, the training is varied but there’s a major push on building the strength you need to get the bigger gears that are part and parcel of the event now off the line.”

[Denmark’s world record of 3:44:672 was set on what we believe were gears of 58 x 13 – or 120” in old money. Experts on the event will tell you that the starting lap is one which should receive most focus as the one where substantial gains can be made ed.]

“That involves gym work; I’m fortunate in that I enjoy gym work and have found it beneficial.

“Right now I’m on an endurance block, clocking up the kilometres; you can see the snow on the hills from Bridge of Weir but so far the roads are OK for riding. 

“Our training obviously involves a lot of technique work and I think I’m on top of that, but of course we’re locked down again so I don’t know when we’ll be able to resume training at the velodrome.”

Matti Dobbins
Matti Dobbins is getting high-quality Pursuit exposure and assistance. Photo©Scottish Cycling

Is it a committed group?

“Yes and we have around a dozen or-so riders in the pool – John Archibald, Kyle Gordon, Alfie George, Joe Nally, Mark Stewart, Johnny Wale, Daniel Kain

“So it won’t be easy to make the final line up.”

You were silver medallist with Alex Haines in the 2019 British Madison Championship, is that a discipline you enjoy?

“I do, it’s a lot of fun but I think that the Team Pursuit is a very rewarding discipline too – there’s a lot of satisfaction in being part of a successful team.

“That said, I’ve only ridden one competition and that was when we set the record time.”

Your best known as a track rider but do you enjoy road racing?  

“I have more affinity with the track but I do miss road racing, this season I only managed one road race before lockdown; that was the early season Gifford event.” 

Matti Dobbins
Matti Dobbins is looking forward to gaining more Team Pursuit experience. Photo©Kenny Steele

How was lockdown for you?

“I don’t usually have a problem training on my own, it’s what I usually do anyway but when you don’t get to meet other riders at races or training sessions training on your own continuously means you can struggle with motivation.”

It’s good to see that Scotland has such talent on hand for the 2021 Nations’ Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Team Pursuit is a tough discipline at Commonwealth level with three of the world’s very best teams on the start sheet – England, Australia and New Zealand, but any journey starts with a single step and that has certainly been taken by Scottish Cycling. 

In addition, Messrs. Archibald and Gordon have their experiences with the HUUB track squad to draw upon which should make a massive contribution to the project.

VeloVeritas wishes them well.

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

Rik Evans – Part Two; “It was a win that lost me my job”

Rik Evans continues telling his story, from giving away a Worlds title to Commonwealth Gold medal, top club 34 Nomads and his slide out of cycling but into depression. Evans has now settled in Australia and cycling has come back into his life.

Martyn Irvine – Two Silver Medals at the Glasgow UCI Track World Cup

One of the stars of the Glasgow World Cup endurance events was Martyn Irvine. Although better known as an omnium specialist, the 27 year old took silver medals in the scratch and pursuit.

François Pervis – New World Kilo Record Breaker

Cycling never ceases to amaze me; Frenchman Kevin Sireau’s 200 metre record of 9.572 seconds set in Moscow in 2009 looked ‘on the shelf’ – as did his compatriot Arnaud Tournant’s kilometre record of 58.875 set in La Paz in 2001. But one man didn’t just break both records within virtually hours of each other – he destroyed them. François Pervis rode a 9.347 for the 200 to take two tenths off Sireau’s time – a huge margin at this level. And not satisfied with that, he then took two-and-a-half seconds off Tournant’s time in winning the kilometre, also in the Aguascalientes World Cup meeting, in an incredible 56.303.

Gary Willis – SCU National Development Coach

The last few seasons have seen few youths or juniors names grace the start sheets in Scotland, but 2006 saw a few of those 'green shoots of recovery' the politicians tell us about. The man charged with nurturing the crop is Gary Willis, so VeloVeritas decided we should ask him some questions. First off, we spoke a little about the job itself.

Dan Bigham – Mixing it with the World’s Best in the Track World Cups

We caught up with the man behind the team and the holder of the record for most British titles won in one season – eight – Dan Bigham, after he returned from a successful foray to Canada where round two of the Tissot World Cup took place on the boards of the Milton Velodrome in Ontario where the men in black came away with silver.

Phil Trodden – From Rugby to Cycling to National Championship Medals in Two Seasons!

"Hey Ed, hope you are well? Just thought I'd let you know the Scottish guys are racing Ras Muhman this weekend, a four day over in Ireland. Phil Trodden in particular is riding for Scotland. I don't know if you know Phil, but he is an absolute gent and a proper racer..." That was the message from British Points Race Champion, Mark Stewart – best not argue with those trackies, they can get very emotional – so we dropped Phil a line and here’s what he had to say to us.

At Random

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 – Day Five, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

At the Rotterdam Six Day 2011 and I'm sitting next to this chap, drinking my coffee, eating my Vacansoleil cookie and thinking; 'I should know who he is, he's the double of Ezequiel Mosquera.' Then the penny dropped; it was Old Zeke, in person, my - now tarnished - hero from the Vuelta.

Paul Rowney – at the British Elite Cyclo-Cross Championships

'Scottish Aussie,' Paul Rowney (Velo Ecosse) rode Sunday's British Elite Cyclo-Cross Championship; we caught up with him [hands"“free, of course] as he chased the cat's eyes north after the race.

Fedor Den Hertog – Amateur Colossus, Rest In Peace

Less than a month after the death of Peter Post, Dutch cycling has lost another of its 'Greats' with the news that Fedor Den Hertog succumbed on Saturday 12th February, after a long battle with illness. For anyone involved in cycle sport in the late 60's and early 70's, amateur Den Hertog's name was as well known as any of the top professionals.

A Wander Through Robert Millar’s Palmarès

Drew Wilson’s ‘Robert Millar Appreciation Group’ has generated a lot of interest on FaceBook, with 1,185 members - by now everyone must know he was Britain’s greatest stage race rider until Team Sky and their marginal gains came along – we had another name for that ‘back in the day’...

Dave Clarke – Drummond Trophy 2014 Winner

VeloVeritas didn’t make it to the recent Drummond Trophy, for which we offer our apologies to Mr, Norrie Drummond, one of the sport’s staunchest supporters and a former competitor himself – you can read of his Flemish exploits ‘back in the day'. It would be rude of us to let ‘The Drummond’ pass without a mention, so with the aid of ex-Cervelo and Raleigh professional, not to mention friend of VV, Dan Fleeman we got in touch with the 2014 Drummond’s winner – English professional Dave Clarke (KTM Cycling Team).

Evan Oliphant – Scottish Road Champion 2014

The Giro was a wonderful race, no question; but whilst it's charging across Italy everything else gets ignored - like the Scottish Road Race Championship, for example. The winner was - unsurprisingly - Raleigh's Evan Oliphant. VeloVeritas caught up with the man from Wick a few days after the race...