Words/Images: The Press Room
“That’s me finished with 10 mile time trials now. These have been my nemesis for eight years but I can finally put it to bed. Try as I might I can’t get under 20 minutes: these courses with long drags are really good for me and a 20:35 here should be quick on a flat course but it just doesn’t happen. I’m going for the lot this year: 10, 25, 50 and 100 and I really fancy the drag sections on the Eglinton course at the 25.”
The words of the new Scottish Cycling 10-Mile TT Champion Chris Smart (GTR) after he set a new record on a hard, brutal course at Monifieth.
In the Women’s race Lynsey Curran (www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk) must be seeing 2016 playing out just like 2015: triumphant in the Olympic TT she was the favourite to take this title but just like last year she was beaten to the line by another rider. Last year it was Katie Archibald but this year it was Glasgow Wheelers Neah Evans, putting all her track endurance to good use, who pipped Curran to the post…by a mere two seconds. All the more impressive as she wasn’t using traditional time trial gear…no aero helmet, no skinsuit, no disc wheel, just good old-fashioned power.
In the Junior categories it was an excellent ride from Finn Crockett that saw off the challenge from the Glasgow Cycle Team riders of Calum Shackley and Euan Sutherland. Shackley took silver 39 seconds behind the Ben Wyvis rider with Sutherland and Alexander MacRae (Speedflex RT) tying for third a further 5 seconds back.
In the Junior women’s race it was a very smooth performance from Rhona Callander (Team Jaden) to see off the challenge from Forres CC’s Georgia Mansfield with Emma Borthwick (Edinburgh RC) rounding out the podium positions. Callander finished 38 seconds ahead of her rival with Borthwick just under another minute and a half behind the Forres rider.
Here’s how the day played out:
Arriving in Monifieth we were pleased to see that Dave Martin and his Dundee Thistle crew had laid on dry weather, with sun promised later. It was decided that just before the turn would be the place to be and so it proved as riders fought their way into the strong headwind to the tricky Muirdrum junction. Once safely negotiated it was ‘give it everything’ up the rise away from the slip entry as the tailwind kicked in.
First rider away from the starter, and first to the turn, was Alexander MacRae who was looking characteristically strong. A minute behind it was Glasgow Cycle Team’s Euan Sutherland and the two riders would keep this minute’s gap all the way to the line finishing in exactly the same time to crowd out the third step of the podium (the organiser hadn’t counted on this and will have to get another of the funky awards made up).
Strong riders came and went but it wasn’t until Finn Crockett came home that the pair were pushed down the order. And then last male junior Calum Shackley finished but he had been unable to better Crockett’s time, taking silver on this occasion.
Then it was the turn of the Junior women with Georgia Mansfield coming down towards the turn…and another rider cresting the rise just 30 seconds behind her. Rhona Callander was looking very strong into the wind but with the power advantage neutralised by the tailwind after heading back in the opposite direction, the gap remained much the same to the finish. Emma Borthwick was being chased by the senior women and took the bronze in the junior race.
Sun Breaks Through
The early women riders had conditions a little chillier than the later starters but the strength of the wind remained much the same throughout the day. Ingrid Kidd (Angus Bike Chain) set the early pace with a strong 25:43. This was bettered a short time later by Christina Murray (Glasgow Green CC) who reduced the time by 37 seconds and this benchmark would hold until Amanda Tweedie (Velocity 44 Stirling) took another 6 seconds off.
Riders came and went before the smooth power of Neah Evans headed to the turn. Powering back to the finish she was the first rider to go under 25 minutes finishing in 24:14. Next through was Catriona Gunn (Sandy Wallace Cycles) and she finished in 24:41 which would see her lift the bronze, just one step down from last time out at Eddleston. Mireille Captieux (Edinburgh RC) was off the podium, 2 seconds over 25 minutes with Ayr Roads CC’s Toni McIntosh finishing one place and 5 seconds ahead.
It was all down to Lynsey Curran and she must be wondering what she has to do to win this event. Ten miles of racing and she finished 1 second behind Evans to take silver once again. She was looking strong all the way but she’ll be back for more and would be a good bet to take more titles this season.
Hard Push to the Turn
Now it was the turn of the men and with some well-known faces near the top of the start sheet we were in for some early pole setters. First of the big hitters to power their way to the turn and fly back to Monifieth was the current 25 champion Peter Murdoch riding for Pro Vision Cycle Clothing. Pedro would set a respectable time of 21:44 and this would last for just under 10 minutes before his teammate Rob Friel would reduce it by 37 seconds. Wilson Renwick (Parentini Test Team) came close in 21:24.
Now there was a bit of a wait until Chris Smart (GTR) drove for the turn and spun out on the way back to finish in 20:35. This was a superb effort and the work was done on the way out as time gaps with the tail wind would always be much smaller.
Apart from the almost out of sequence time of Smart other riders were still trying to break the 21 barrier. Douglas Watson (Icarus Racing) came home in 21:05 to get close. John Archibald (Pro Vision Cycle Clothing) got even closer in 21:03…Kenneth Armstrong (Ayr Roads CC) got closer still in 21:01 but it was Glasgow Cycle Team’s Andy Brown who broke through the barrier finishing in 20:58. (Again, Chris Smart’s performance having been a ride above).
Next inside the barrier was Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) who was looking really aggressive towards the turn. His time of 20:43 would see him take a step up on the podium and he’ll be trying to go even higher at the 25 in Irvine.
Penultimate starter Robert Martin (Gala CC) would slip behind Entwistle’s time by a mere 3 seconds to take bronze and it was all down to last man off Arthur Doyle (www.Dooley-Cycles.co.uk). Looking fast he would also get inside 21 minutes but his 20:58 was only good enough on this occasion for joint 4th, equaling the time of Andy Brown.
The trio of Murdoch, Friel and Archibald was sufficient to see Pro Vision Cycle Clothing lift the Men’s team prize with Janet Erskine and Toni McIntosh lifting the title for Ayr Roads CC.
Chris Smart had not only set the benchmark but he’d also broken the course record and in doing so he takes his second Scottish National title in a fortnight. He’s riding every national distance this year and will certainly be a rider to watch out for as the season progresses.
Neah Evans stepped away from the velodrome and showed what you can do with a steady track base. Her time was all the more exceptional as she was riding with pretty standard, not particularly aero, kit.
All that was left was a huge thank you to Dave Martin and his team of able helpers and now the TT circus moves onto Irvine for the 25 Championship on 4th June but there’s the small matter of the Scottish National Road Race at West Calder on the 22nd May before that.
We’ll be there to bring you the details.
1st - Finn Crockett, Ben Wyvis CC 23.23
2nd - Calum Shackley, Glasgow Cycle Team 24.02
3rd – Alexander MacRae, Speedflex Race Team 24.07
3rd – Euan Sutherland, Glasgow Cycle Team 24.07
1st – Rhona Callander, Team Jadan 26.26
2nd – Georgia Mansfield, Forres CC 27.04
3rd – Emma Borthwick, Edinburgh RC 28.31
1st – Neah Evans, Glasgow Wheelers 24.14
2nd – Lynsey Curran, www-dooleys-cycles.com 24.15
3rd – Catriona Gunn, Sandy Wallace Cycles 24.41
4th –Toni McIntosh, Ayr Roads 24.57
5th – Mireille Capiteux, Edinburgh RC 25.02
1st – Chris Smart, GTR 20.35
2nd – Jon Entwistle, Team JMC 20.43
3rd – Robert Martin, Gala CC 20.46
4th – Arthur Doyle, www.dooleys-cycles.com 20.58
4th – Andy Brown, Glasgow Cycle Team 20.58
Ayr Roads (Toni McIntosh 24.57/Janet Erskine 25.39 30.36
Pro Vision Cycle Clothing
John Archibald 21.03/Robert Friel 21.07/Peter Murdoch 21.44) 1.3.54
Lynsey Curran 24.15/Arthur Doyle 20.58 45.13
Rachael Grieve, Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 28.31
Andy Brown, Glasgow Cycle Team 20.58