It’s 23 years since Andrea Pogson of Midlothian RT last won the RTTC [now CTT] 100 mile time trial championship for Scotland with a 4:12 ride at Teeside, and whilst Jo Patterson – who has just won the race with a stunning 3:42 ride in Wales, riding for The Independent Pedaler-Nopinz – has represented Ireland internationally and was born in England, she lives in Scotland and works in Wishae – that’s ‘Wishaw’ to non-natives… ‘good enough for us,’ we thought to ourselves, here at VeloVeritas.
Congratulations on a great ride, Jo – the basics first please?
“I’m 32 years-old from Northern Ireland but based in Glasgow where I attended university.
“I’m married and work in Wishaw where I’m training to be a GP.”
3:42:35 on a ‘long’ course – that’s a very impressive ride, what was your previous best for a 100 mile time trial?
“I’ve never ridden one before! That was only the second time I’ve ridden a bike a distance of more than 100 miles.”
How did you pace the ride?
“I spoke to my coach and we agreed that I would start the race conservatively, I was riding to 240 watts but as the day progressed I raised that to 250 whilst saving a bit of energy on the descents.”
“The course was on a circuit, I believe?
“Yes, originally it was to be three laps of a circuit but it was changed to a different circuit which we did four laps of.
“It was a fun, varied course with unclassified roads, dual carriageway and a bit of elevation.
“It was really rainy to start with, I couldn’t wear the visor on my helmet, some parts of the road were flooded but it cleared up and become sunny as the day went on.”
What about hydration and nutrition?
“I don’t usually eat or drink in a race but had a bladder filled with carb drink – I took gels with me, they were in the leg of my skinsuit but they slipped out in the rain.”
Tell us about your back-up for the ride.
“The Independent Pedaler support crew were on the course with spare wheels and my husband was down there with me too.
“Our goal was to break the CTT 100 mile team record and we achieved that with Jennifer George recording 3:57:31 for fourth and Alex Clay taking second with 3:50:39 to give us an aggregate 11:30:49; the previous record was 11:43:18 from DRAG2ZERO in 2018.
“Jennifer is new to time trials, her background is in road racing which is a much different effort.”
Your time was only 32 seconds off Alice Lethbridge’s 3:42:03 competition record but the course was ‘long’ – 100.4 miles, I believe?
“I wasn’t really aware of what the record was and if I’d known how close I was to the record I may have been able to push that bit harder on the final lap.
“However, I’m really happy with today as it was a total unknown but was really fun!”
Tell us about your bike.
“It’s a Canyon ‘Speedmax,’ I’m from a triathlon background and it’s a good bike for that but I’ve up graded it with new tri bar extensions and a new 58 tooth chainring – I guess I’m more of a ‘pusher’ than a pedaller?
“I have a HED front wheel and Revolver rear disc with tubeless clinchers, I’ve had a few issues with them but thankfully not in the championship.
“Prior to medicine I studied sports science in Bath and am always interested in aero gains and optimising position to allow me to ride as fast as possible for as little energy which I guess helps in races like the 100 mile.”
How did you get into the sport to begin with?
“I was a runner, 200 and 400 metres, then when I went to Glasgow University I used the gym there regularly and entered a triathlon with some friends.
“I met my coach, he reckoned I had potential and I got serious about triathlon and from there moved into time trialling.”
Tell us about your training.
“It’s tough to fit in with my job as a trainee GP, I ride 40 minutes each way to work in Wishaw, I still do triathlon training, swimming and running and I try to for a longish run on the bike in on a Saturday.
“I do work on the turbo too, five days each week.”
Do you have a coach?
“Yes, I work with John Dargie who uses the power-based Training Peaks system which is the brainchild of Hunter Allen who I think you guys interviewed a few years ago? We do strength based work, gym stuff, mobility…
“The combination of my coaching set up and help from the Independent Pedalers has greatly helped with confidence and anxieties I’ve experienced previously following a couple of bad bike crashes; they’re always supporting and looking for ways to continue my development.
“John is also a really knowledgeable bike fitter and has helped me tweak my position as function has allowed.”
Have you considered the road and/or track?
“I’d love to do both but I came late to the sport and would really need to upgrade my road bike to race – it’s a logistics issue.
“The track does interest me, I think with my background I could be suited to the 4,000 metres individual pursuit and would like to try that – but would have to go through my accreditation for the track.”
What’s next on the agenda?
“I have the CTT ’25’ Championship at Keswick on Sunday 8th August, the ‘50’ Champs in Cheshire on Sunday 29th August and the ‘10’ Champs on Saturday 11th September at Bournemouth; we’re aiming for the team titles in those.
“I have an Ironman Triathlon in September and I’d love to ride the time trial in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.
“My nationality situation is complicated because I was born in England, live in Scotland but ran in the 400 metres for Northern Ireland at the last Commonwealth Games.
“I finish my GP training in November so hopefully I want to try and devote time to the track but as I said I’ll have to start from scratch and get accreditation.
“I’m not part of any high performance plan so I’ll have to see how it goes.”