Mark Bell died in 2009 at just 48 year-of-age but his journalist brother, Tony – a fair rider himself, ‘back in the day’ - very kindly agreed to talk to us about a rider whose palmarès, whilst spectacular, could have been so much broader. Mark Bell, a rider we never really saw the very best of.
He's raced in Belgium and spent time in The Basque Nation but the pro contract for 2016 has come closer to home with Raleigh. Aberdonian Craig Wallace joins Evan Oliphant at the 'Heron squad' for the next phase of his career - here's what he had to say to VeloVeritas, recently.
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...
Raleigh professional Evan Oliphant handled the age old dilemma of the pro racing against amateurs – if they don’t win they’re criticised, but if they do then it’s ‘expected’ – by taking the best option and winning the Gala CC’s Gordon Arms Hilly Time Trial over 20.5 cold and cloudy Borders miles in 50:06; some ways short of Mark Atkinson’s (Velo Ecosse) 1999 course record of 48:47 but enough to give him the result by 41 seconds over Carl Donaldson (GS Metro).
It's hard to believe but this will be Evan Oliphant's eighth season as a professional. It was back in 2005 when he first pulled on a Recycling jersey; he won the East Yorkshire Classic that year and grabbed second place to Serguei Ivanov on stage four of the Tour of Britain.
Last season saw his usual domination of the Scottish scene continue and a strong 11th place on GC in Paris-Correze. For 2012 there's a new name on his jersey - but it's an old name, really.