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The VeloVeritas Years – 2018: John Archibald’s National ’10’ Championships


HomeOtherThe VeloVeritas YearsThe VeloVeritas Years - 2018: John Archibald's National '10' Championships

A National Champs in Scotland? We weren’t going to miss that! Together with the strong possibility that one of our ‘own’, Ribble‘s John Archibald could take the win in the RTTC ’10’ Championships on roads we know so well meant that we were up and out early to be able to catch the early starts as well as the ‘bigs’.

This day exemplifies what VeloVeritas is all about – standing at the roadside with cameras and stopwatches, discussing form and equipment, weather and traffic volumes, capturing the effort and bringing the day to our readers, and is our pick for 2018.

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This article first ran on 2nd September, 2018

For those of you who believe that all that you need to talk about in a time test is the result: first, John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling) 18:18, second, Marcin Bialoblocki (NOPINZ) 18:21.

Wow!’ indeed. 

John Archibald
John Archibald. Photo©Martin Williamson
John Archibald
Marcin Bialoblocki. Photo©Martin Williamson

Archibald’s team mate Simon Wilson lifted bronze with 18:50 and backed by Dan Bigham’s 19:11 it was an individual/team double for Archibald.

John Archibald
Simon Wilson. Photo©Martin Williamson

VeloVeritas editor and photographer, Martin had Archibald three seconds down on the big Pole at the turn but the Scot overturned the deficit on the tough return leg and became one of a very few to have beaten Bialoblocki this year.

It was an unforgiving morning, grey and ‘sticky’ with the general consensus being that it was a headwind out but you didn’t get ‘blown home’ and had to fight all the way to the line.

An RTTC championship in Scotland? VeloVeritas couldn’t miss that – on the way down I was thinking about opening lines; ‘Bialoblocki gives himself as a birthday present a clean sweep of all CCT titles from 10 to 100 miles.’

But Mr. Archibald was having none of it and pulled off the testing surprise of the year.

Martin and I split up, he headed for the turn to take pictures of the riders whilst I ambled round the start area taking pics of nice bikes and chatting to folks – no better way to spend a Sunday morning.

John Archibald
Photo©Ed Hood

First man on the ramp was Steven Horne (Airdrie Cycle Club); it did occur to me that if you were comp. record holder and your record was beaten by a single second by someone who enjoyed a ramp start, you’d be within your rights to cry ‘foul’ – a ramp start must be worth a second or two?

John Archibald
Steven Horne. Photo©Ed Hood
John Archibald
Jim Cusick and Linsey Curran. Photo©Ed Hood

On the way from the start line back to the race HQ I came upon Jim Cusick (Dooleys RT) warming up; he and team mate Linsey Curran were of the opinion that the ladies and juniors had enjoyed much better conditions for their championship the day before; Linsey recorded 22:31 for 14th place in the championship.

John Archibald
Jockie Johnstone. Photo©Ed Hood

Perennial Jockie Johnstone (Icarus Racing) needs to work on his mental game; ‘what am ah daen here, but?’ he asked me as he headed for the start. 

John Archibald
Marcin Bialoblocki watches as Dave Baronowski sorts the rear wheel. Photo©Ed Hood

Meanwhile, the main attraction had arrived and Marcin and mentor Dave Baronowski were assembling the Lockheed F-117 Stealth – or should I say, ‘Pinarello Bolide.’

Bialoblocki looks the part; tall and leaner than I’d imagined, a picture of fitness and power.

John Archibald
Marcin is a powerhouse. Photo©Martin Williamson
John Archibald
Marcin’s front hub setup. Photo©Ed Hood

There’s a lot of time and thought gone into his machine; no front quick release, for example, chamfered Allen key bolts hold the wheel in place – and the fork end is a mini aerfoil.

John Archibald
The Bialoblocki Big Ring. Photo©Ed Hood

The drive train is state of the art with solid carbon 58 big chainring, SRAM electronic gears and Ceramic Speed (one of his sponsors) oversize gear jockey rollers.

I’m rather glad I no longer race, I’d have to have all that kit and would happily plunge myself into debt to get it.

John Archibald
Harry Tanfield. Photo©Ed Hood

Another race fave arrived, Commonwealth and GB TT Championships silver medallist, Harry Tanfield (Cleveland Wheelers) and his lovely Canyon TT rig.

As most readers will know, Harry joins World Tour team Katusha for season 2019, we interviewed him about the move recently.