Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeInterviewsMarc Anderson - Tour of the Meldons Winner

Marc Anderson – Tour of the Meldons Winner


Congratulations to Marc Anderson of GTR Return to Life p/b Streamline on winning the CTT Scottish District Olympic Time Trial Championship which was incorporated in the classic Tour of the Meldons.

But first, a wee bit of Meldons history courtesy my old chum, John ‘Ginger’ Gray: 

In 1956 the first Meldons mountain time trial was run – it was called the Harry Jeffrey Memorial Trophy, it started at the foot of Shiplaw with grass in the middle of the road.

Joe Christinson, Comet RC won it with a 56:17 the next year there was snow and he won again with 57:43. 

Christinson went on to join the Viking professional team, the following year The Meldons was won by Kenny Laidlaw (Musselburgh Roads CC) who went on to ride the Tour de France. 

But with more traffic on the road the start was changed to the top of Shiplaw with the finish there too.

After a few years the road was changed; the right angle bend then left angle bend before Romano Bridge were removed rendering the road straight down to Romano Bridge.

Other winners ‘back in the day,’ – Stewart Sutherland, Musselburgh Roads Cycling Club, the late Irvine Morrison, Edinburgh Road Club, Brian Temple of East of Scotland Clarion, Comet Road Club and Velo Sportiv won it three times, Ronnie Boa Comet RC won it twice and held the record with a 52:55.

In those days for a ‘cuppa’ there was just the Black Barony or the Café in Peebles – or George Pennel’s bike shop café with tea in black cups!’ 

With thanks to Ginger. 

Moving on to 2022 we caught up with this year’s winner a few days after his ride:

Marc Anderson
Marc Anderson in action at the recent CTT Loch Ken time trial. Photo©Martin Williamson

Congratulations, Marc – tell us about yourself please.

“I’m from Darvel in East Ayrshire, 44 years-old, married with three kids and I have my own wee land drainage business which involves a lot of hours and physical labour.”

How long have you been cycling?

“It’ll be 14 or 15 years; I knew a lot of boys in the local Loudoun Road Club and started going out with them, I was holding my own and so I started to ride some races.”

How long have you been with GTR?

“For two years, I was with Loudoun right up until then but there aren’t many members who race; GTR gave me the opportunity to ride team time trials and be part of a team chasing team prizes.”

Marc Anderson (r) with his GTR team mates. Photo©Ed Hood

Prior to the Meldons what were your best results?

“I did OK in road races, I won one and had a number of top 10 finishes which moved me up to second category.

“But I had a couple of crashes and turned to time trials, I remember one Sunday where I crashed and was covered in road rash but had to turn out to work on the Monday morning.

“I got more into the time trials and like the aspect that you can see yourself improve – my best ‘10’ is a 20:12 but I’d really like to do a ’19.’”

Had you ridden the Meldons course before?

“I rode in 2018, I can’t remember specifically what I did but it was OK, I was sub-hour.

“This year it was super-fast down the valley, I was spinning out but it was very hard over the Meldons, you had to push hard on the descent too.

“It’s a good course, I like it but didn’t go into the race thinking I could win, it was just when I started hear what my team mates times were…”

Marc Anderson riding for Loudoun RC at the Scottish 25 Mile TT Championships in 2014. Photo©Martin Williamson

How do you pace your rides – watts, heart rate?

“A bit of both, I was looking at Strava and I wasn’t one of the fastest on the early, rapid sections of the course, the hillier parts suited me better.

“I wasn’t getting any time checks so I didn’t know how I was going compared to the rest of the field.”

You’ve stepped a level this year, why?

“I’m a bit more motivated, the chat and motivation within GTR is good and I did a bit of ‘Zwifting’ over the winter, that may have helped?”

Tell us about your training.

“I train around the Muirkirk circuit, it has a long history as being a classic Louden Road Club loop – it was one of Jim Gladwell’s favourites.

“I do a bit on the turbo but still go out in winter even if the weather is bad – just not as far…

“It’s not something folks are aware of but I have Crohn’s disease, it causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.

“Fortunately it’s not too problematic for me as far as my cycling goes – I’m asthmatic too but I think that the fitness I’ve built on the bike with my improved cardio-vascular condition has helped a lot.

“But these things affect individuals differently and I’m lucky that they haven’t hampered me too much.”

Marc Anderson looks like he has his position pretty well sorted. Photo©Harry Tweed

Do you have a coach?

“No, I just do what works for me, my day job is very active, I burn a lot of energy, I’m doing around 20,000 steps every day – I don’t think that does my general fitness level any harm?”

Tell us about your bike.

“It’s a Planet X Exocet, I seem to go OK on it.

“I ride the very fast ‘Streamline’ composite wheels which are made by my GTR club mate, Daniel Cain.

“I ride tubeless – Continental GP 5000 – you can run them at lower pressures which gives more comfort over rough road surfaces. 

“I ride an Ultegra double chainset with a 52 ring and 11-up cassette, a 52 is small compared to the chainrings some of my club mates but I like to maintain a good cadence rather than grind it round.”

Your position looks well sorted.

“I haven’t really got too technical as far as that goes, I think I could do with getting my head down a bit?

“I’ve taken advice from my team mates but haven’t been to a wind tunnel or anything like that.”

Marc Anderson
Marc Anderson is enjoying chasing prizes with his GTR team mates.. Photo©Martin Williamson

What’s the rest of 2022 about?

“Doing the best I can; I have the CTT ‘10’ champs next weekend and then the Loch Ken time trial, I missed it last year and am looking forward to that. [Marc finished at Loch Ken with the 3rd fastest time, ed.]

“I’m also looking forward to the TTT champs and I’d like to dip below 20 minutes for a ’10.’”

With thanks to Marc and GTR ‘Capo’ Stevie Blom for connecting us with Marc.

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a 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 for some of the world's top riders. 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

John Archibald – Winning and Dominating the Tour of the North and Meldons Time Trial

A 19 minute two-up ‘10’ in February, a solo 19 minute ‘10’ in March, Gifford, The Gordon Arms, The Tour of the North and now The Tour of the Meldons incorporating the Scottish National ‘Olympic’ Time Trial Title – that John Archibald (ProVision) laddie is on fire; better have a word...

Robbie Mitchell – 24 Hour TT National Champion

Robbie Mitchell (Auchencrow Thistle CC) does things the hard way; he’s never ridden a 12 hour time trial but jumps right in at the deep end – a 24 hour time trial. And not just any old 24 hour time trial, the CTT National Championship; oh yes, and then he goes and wins the thing… 

Tour of the Meldons 2016 – Smart and Curran Retain Their Scottish Titles

Chris Smart (GTR) put on another exemplary performance in the Tour of the Meldons hilly time trial in the Scottish Borders to retain his national title for the 'Olympic Time Trial' for the third time in a row, his 56:08 being 75 seconds faster than his time for the same course last year and 67 seconds faster than silver medallist Kyle Gordon (Sandy Wallace Cycles). Third was Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) a further 10 seconds back.

Chris Smart – *Not* the New Scottish 50 Mile TT Record Holder

The 2021 CTT Scottish ‘50’ title race took place on the fast dual carriageways north of Dundee with GTR Return To Life rider, Chris Smart winning in a stunning 1:40:36 with veteran team mate Dougie Watson a scant six seconds back in the silver medal position.

CTT Team Time Trial Championships 2021

Defending champions and race favourites, Ribble Weldtite with strong men Dan Bigham, James Shaw and Simon Wilson took the CTT Team Time Trial Championships title on a cool, damp but still morning at Irvine on the west coast of Scotland, with a time of 54:01, averaging 55.9 kph to best their own ‘B’ team by 2:32, the line up there being Zeb Kyffin, Joe Wilson and Matt Gibson.

Tour of the Campsies 2021 Goes to Chris Smart

We liked our jaunt to the Tour of the Campsies last year and feel at home among the rolling countryside and green hills there so we headed west, first of all paying our respects to the Robert Millar mural at the foot of the Crow Road; when you watch Roglič take the Lagos di Covadonga stage in the Vuelta it’s difficult to imagine the wee fella from Glasgow winning that stage – but win it he did.

At Random

Dan Fleeman – Not Making Any Mistakes

Cervelo's Dan Fleeman first came to our attention when he won the 2008 Tour of the Pyrenees; we've kept in touch with the 26 year-old Englishman ever since; through Langkawi, Paris-Nice and into the Ardennes classics.

Ian Field Blog: Tough Times Make the Good Times Even Better

Whenever there is a long gap between me writing blogs it usually means I have been really busy training and racing hard. This time is no different! I ended the last blog on the disappointment of the Koppenberg Cross and as I mentioned next up would be the Superprestige at Hamme. I got a really good weeks training in between the two races and morale was high as my girlfriend was able to come and visit for just over a week.

Copenhagen Six Day 2010 – Day One

It's 01:41 Day One at the Copenhagen Six Day 2010 and I've decided to rattle off a few lines before I succumb to the coma that surely awaits me. It wasn't vintage racing tonight; there wasn't much of a crowd, the whole bunch looked like it was pedalling in mud and Franco said he'd never seen Bruno struggle the way he did in the first chase.

George Woods – “happy to be back on my bike and racing again” (and winning in Belgium!)

It was back in July when we first heard about 21 year-old George Woods (Richardson’s Trek Racing Team) ‘doing the business’ in Belgium, we ‘had a word’ with him but with all that Tour carry-on we didn’t get round to writing the interview up. Then the other week we saw he was in the frame again, winning a 114 kilometre kermis at Deinze. High times we gave ourselves a shake and got the piece published!

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 3: Strasbourg Prologue

Another good sleep, alarm at 06:00 and straight into the shower, shave, jump into shorts and a T-shirt then down to the car and haul the bike out, stick the wheels in, blow the tyres up, run over it with a baby wipe [they work great] and we’re off to the Strasbourg Prologue.

Le Tour de France 2007 – Day 3: Stage 14, Mazamet – Plateau-de-Beille

The sun is high in the sky as we head south to the Pyrennes and Plateau-de-Beille from Toulouse. The French are making a real fist of out-doing the Italians as the worst drivers on the planet; we stopped at a cross-road in Toulouse last night and the guy behind us had a fit, horn, wild arm movements and a challenge to a square-go. We got his registration and will be back down after the Tour to visit him with a young-team from Ballingry. The game-plan today is to spend a full day on a mountain, just watching it all happen.