WHILE our Olympic cyclists have been taking centre stage in London, the more modest surroundings of Kinross were the destination for local riders as they took part in the Scottish Team Time Trial Championships.
As predicted last week, the four-man team from Sandy Wallace Cycles smashed their rivals, to win – as they did last year – by a comfortable margin.
The victorious team – Alan Thomson, Silas Goldsworthy, Peter Ettles and Steve Nutley – looked comfortable from the outset and were always ahead of their rivals, completing the 40-mile course in a time of 1hr, 23mins and 32secs.
Paisley still had plenty to cheer about, however, with the silver and bronze medals going to local teams – with Paisley Velo besting www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk for second place.
Both Paisley teams lost a man during the event, with Stevie ‘The Flying Dutchman’ Blom getting papped from the foursome as he felt the sting of the Velo’s pace, and Davie Gibson getting ‘a mechanical’ for the Dooley boys.
Luckily, while teams start with four, only three need to finish and Paisley Velo’s three remaining riders – Ben Peacock, Chris Smart and Ian Sim – blasted around the course in a time of 1hr, 24mins and 47secs.
Following closely behind were Dooleys’ three remaining riders – Iain Grant, Arthur Doyle and Tam ‘Flash’ Gordon – who finished on 1hr, 25mins and 36secs.
Thomson, who was the star man for the Sandy Wallace team, said: “We were nervous because of the firepower that Dooleys and Paisley Velo presented. However, my team-mates have won the event twice before and were very calm and collected about it during the build-up.
“We were very smooth, kept the pace consistently high over the full 40 miles and there were no errors.
“Everyone knew what was expected, and rode within themselves.
“We have gelled really well as a team this year and a couple of us are heading to the British TT championships at the start of September, where Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome are expected to show.
“That’s keeping the motivation going into the last couple of months of the season!”
This weekend sees Scotland’s best testers take part in another championship, this time over 100 miles.
Favourites for this event include the Glasgow Couriers rider ‘Gentleman Jim’ Cusick, Shetland’s ‘Norse God’ Carlos Riise and Sandy Wallace team member Nutley.
All three of these riders are contenders at the long distance time trials.
However, it might turn out to be a first time ‘100’ rider who takes the gold, since Dooleys’ pocket rocket Grant will be rolling up to the start line in Alness tomorrow morning.
No-one doubts Grant’s ability and, as champion at both 25 and 50-mile disciplines this year, he is probably the highest rated first timer since Thomson stormed to victory in last year’s 50-mile championship.
Grant will need to pace his effort to the exact watt if he is to win, after he demonstrated he was human at last week’s team TT, when he cracked eight miles before the finish, leaving ‘Flash’ Gordon to roll the Dooley train home.
Tomorrow is also a big day for Scotland’s ‘roadies’ as one of the few remaining major road races takes place near Falkirk.
The Bill Warnock Memorial Race, organised by the Falkirk CC, sees four Dooleys’ riders, two Couriers and two Johnstone Wheelers take on the likes of professionals Jimmy McCallum, of Rapha/Condor/Sharp, Evan Oliphant, of Team Raleigh, and a five-man Herbalife squad.
No doubt the pros will ride off into the sunset and allow the amateurs to race themselves behind.
If things go as they normally do, then East Kilbride RC’s Rich Semple will overstep himself, ride away with the pros, blow up and then end up out the back of the amateurs!
“I could’ve been someone, I could’ve been a contender,” was the cry at the Anderside Classic Road Race and also the reason for his departure from the Dooleys’ team back to his local club.