Scottish time trialling came within ten seconds of a major upset on the wind swept tarmac of the A77 near Newton Mearns on Saturday morning as 45 year-old Peter Ettles (Forres) thrashed his 104” fixed gear to within that many seconds of defending 10 mile champion and current short distance king, Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) at the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship 2009.
Doyle’s 20:46 saw of the challenge and also led his Dooleys squad to team victory; but the destination of the bronze medal was another surprise as Alister Robinson (Endura Racing) rode to 21:07 off number 22 — much too early for VeloVeritas!
We set up shop some three minutes racing time from turn; shafts of warm sunshine gave way to grey clouds and a cool cross wind that rose as the morning progressed.
The first rider we photographed was Dooley’s Super vet, Bob Taylor off 79 and looking good on his new Argon (we’ll spare any jokes involving Bob and gas).
His roadman team mate Paul Rennie, on a rare excursion into the ‘alone and unpaced’ twilight zone was the first whose tubs were making the correct noise on the tar — 21:53 was what the watch said at the finish.
We waited in vain for former 10 medallist Jonathan Copp (Sandy Wallace), but Alan Thomson (Glasgow Couriers) was looking good.
Dave Caesar (thebicycleworks.com) arrived on time, which was a surprise to us; we thought he ventured too far on his pre race warm up.
Evan Oliphant (Plowmans) still has the best legs in the business, but despite a course record at the Kirkliston 10 mid-week; 21:13 was as all the time keeper could tell him.
Evan was the man we set the watch on and it was a surprise to see another roadie turned ‘clock basher’ for the day, Michael Nicholson (Glasgow Wheelers) only one second down on the man from Wick.
Ian Black (Sandy Wallace) wasn’t enjoying his battle with gravity and we had him 27 seconds down, although he was flying on the way back.
Another of the Dooley’s squad, (there’s a wheen of them) Sean Gray battled past, he was looking the part, but those digital watches are painfully honest and it wasn’t happening for him.
It was around this stage that the riders passing began to differ from our start sheet (printed from the internet, late last night) and our checks went aglae for a few riders.
Peter Ettles was one we couldn’t get sorted with a time, but purely on visual, he was flying.
Last year’s silver medal winner, Dave Martin (thebicycleworks.com) was a no show.
But Glasgow Couriers duo of Chris Smart (21:36) and Jim Cusick were both looking good, unfortunately former 10 medallist Jim would succumb to a front wheel blow out and crash at the turn.
Davie Gee (another Dooley’s man) was hurting as the wind rose (21:57), with virtual zero traffic flow to break the blast.
Reigning 25 and 50 champion, Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace) was grinding it out on a huge gear, but a medal would elude him by a solitary second, at the finish (21:08).
By now it was cold and we’d completely lost the plot with the times; we didn’t need the watch to see that Ben Abrahams (Team Velo Ecosse) was looking neat and pedalling at a high cadence but not getting the speed that’s required to compete with the big gear men – it was over 22 minutes before the watch stopped for him.
Medal favourite and podium finisher in’08, Gary Robson (Dooleys — again) was looking smooth and on top of the job but at the finish would bemoan the cross wind which held him to 21:22.
Carlos Riise (Shetland) has won this race before, but despite the immaculate position and big gear 21:29 wasn’t going to win a medal.
Arthur was last man and as they say on Cycling News; he ‘had his race face on,’ he looked like a winner to us and we took a few snaps of him from the car as we whisked past him.
What they said
Back at the strip, we sought out the medallists a few words…
Alister Robinson explained;
“I was off early because I don’t have a ten time, I’ve been racing in Belgium for a couple of seasons and there are no time trials out there!
“I was riding for Frigas; kermesses and inter-clubs, you ride a lot of races, but you don’t get much freedom; the team tell you what races you’ll ride and how you’ll ride them; I’ll have a lot more freedom with Endura.
“I spent five years at Uni in Scotland and my girlfriend is at Uni here, so it’s a good connection for me at Endura.
“I was surprised by my ride, like I said, I haven’t done a lot of time trialling; I intend to focus on the road this season but the BCF circuit time trial is a big goal for me.
“Next up for Endura, we have the Tour series crits coming up — they’re a big target for the team.”
Peter Ettles was still looking a tad shell shocked;
“I can’t believe it!
“I was in Majorca on holiday, but didn’t do any special training.
“My goals are centred around the age related pursuit championships — British, European and maybe Worlds; I wasn’t aiming to be at a peak for this.
“I started steady, I wanted to get up that hill after the downhill run from the start, then race from there; I was on 104” fixed – it was a hard day.
“It’s spooky; the last time I won a Scottish medal was 30 years ago in the juvenile 10!”
Arthur Doyle didn’t even bother to taper for the race;
“I have the British 10 next weekend, I’ll ease back this coming week, but leading up to today I’ve still been doing some hard sessions.
“When I woke up this morning it was nice and calm, but it was gusting hard on the course — brutal.
“What gears did I ride? I’m not sure, I was on 56 x 11 to 21 and I spent a lot of time around the middle of the cassette but I was down towards the 21 on some of the hills.
“Next target is the British 10; I’m entered for the British 25 too but it involves so much travelling — virtually a whole weekend to ride one race; we’ll see what happens.”
Sorry to whinge, but how about changing the start sheet on the ‘net too, next time?
1 Arthur Doyle Dooleys RT 20:46
2 Peter Ettles Forres CC 20:56
3 Alistair Robinson Endura Racing 21:07
4 Mark Atkinson Sandy Wallace Cycles 21:08
5 Michael Nicholson Dooleys RT 21:10
6 David McGaw Artic Premier RT 21:13
7 Evan Oliphant Plowman Craven 21:17
8 Gary Robson Dooleys RT 21:22
9 Carlos Riise Shetland Wheelers 21:29
10 Richard Hunter Perth United CC 21:35
11 Chris Smart Glasgow Couriers 21:36
12 Barry McGurk Glasgow Couriers 21:39
13 Ian Black Sandy Wallace Cycles 21:49
14 Paul Rennie Dooleys RT 21:53
15 David Gibson Dooleys RT 21:57
16 Steve Nutley Fife Cycling 2000 22:00
17 David Caesar Thebicycleworks.com 22:03
18 Gary MacFarlane 22:05
19 Alan Thomson Glasgow Couriers 22:10
20 Graeme Cockburn Glasgow Nightingale 22:11
21 Iain Grant Johnstone Wheelers CC 22:14
22 Ian Sim Glasgow Couriers 22:16
23 Alan Holms Inverclyde Velo 22:21
24 Ben Abrahams Velo Ecosse 22:23
25 Raymond Johnston Glasgow Couriers 22:31
26 James Hall Sandy Wallace Cycles 22:36
27 Andy Torrance Dooleys RT 22:39
28 Thomas Gordon Dooleys RT 22:43
29 Chris Adamson Musselburgh Roads CC 22:50
30 Andrew Rowat Musselburgh Roads CC 22:53
31 Hugh Jamieson Dooleys RT 22:53
32 stuart macgregor Dooleys RT 22:53
33 Bill Dallas Ythan CC 23:02
34 James Daly Johnstone Wheelers 23:04
35 Richard McPherson Glasgow United CC 23:05
36 Jeremy Greengrass Glasgow Nightingale 23:06
37 Sean Monaghan Granite City RT 23:16
38 Douglas Nicholson Dooleys RT 23:16
39 Sean Gray Dooleys RT 23:18
40 Keith Smith Glasgow Wheelers 23:18
41 Derek Timmins Musselburgh Roads CC 23:23
42 Iain Duguid Thebicycleworks.com 23:30
43 David Walker Kelso Wheelers CC 23:38
44 Jonny May Edinburgh RC 23:47
45 Matthew Ball West Lothian Clarion 23:49
46 Steven Anderson Glasgow Nightingale CC 23:51
47 David Wards Fullarton Wheelers 23:52
48 James McDonald Johnstone Wheelers CC 23:52
49 Colin McKenzie Edinburgh RC 23:53
50 Matt Hennon Inverclyde Velo 23:54
51 Kevin Lackie Elgin CC 23:59
52 Jeremy Smith Kelso Wheelers CC 24:00
53 Brian Nicholson Edinburgh RC 24:02
54 Scott Newman Inverclyde Velo 24:05
55 David Pritchard Unattached 24:10
56 Magnus Davidson Velo Ecosse 24:14
57 Ian McLeod Denny RC 24:18
58 Steve Beech Sandy Wallace Cycles 24:18
59 Alexander McPhee Ayr Roads / Harry 24:20
60 Sandy Wallace Sandy Wallace Cycles 24:24
61 Graeme Stewart Edinburgh RC 24:30
62 Graham Jones Edinburgh RC 24:32
63 Alan Brown 24:36
64 John McPaul Inverclyde Velo 24:40
65 Alan Solway Kennoway Road Club 24:40
66 Bud Johnston Glasgow Co