Steve Nutley on winning the '100'

Saturday, 13th August, 2011

It was another surprise win in a Scottish time trial championship as Sandy Wallace Cycles', Steve Nutley took the honours in the '100' on a wet day along the Cromarty Firth, last Sunday. 

Braveheart: Congratulations, Steve - can you give us the basics first, please?

Steve Nutley: I'm 55, live near Newport in Fife and I'm a software engineer. 

BH: 55?

SN: Yes, Norman Skene reckons that he was the oldest rider to win a Scottish time trial championship before me - he won the '12' when he was 48. 

BH: What's your background in the sport?

SN: I used to ride the mountain bike but started road racing in 2008 at 51.

I rode the Fife mid week time trial league and have been concentrating on time trials for the last three years. 

BH: You used to be with Fife Cycling 2000?

SN: Yes but the Fife Cycling guys tended not to race outside of Fife; I used to see the Sandy Wallace guys around at races and they have a good roster of guys. 

BH: What was your '100' personal best prior to the championship?

SN: That was the first one I finished, I did 3:54:33; I started one in 2009 - when Ian Black won - but packed at 33 miles because I was having problems with my back. 

BH: Did you think you could win?

SN: I started with zero expectation but knew I had decent form after I won bronze in the '50.'

I was just hoping to finish, I had no time checks although I was conscious of people shouting to me - but with the rain drumming on my aero helmet and visor, I couldn't hear what they were saying.  

I knew I was going OK and with the way the course is designed you get a good impression of how you're comparing against other riders at the turns. 

BH: Did you ride the lo-pro bike and are you a big gear man?

SN: Yes and I am a big gear man, I was using 60 x 11 as much as I could. 

I wouldn't recommend it for everyone but it works for me.

I know that it's unconventional but I can relax when I'm top of it and then try to spin up the drags. 

BH: What about nutrition?

SN: I took a gel every 20 minutes and used a 'camel front' - it hangs inside the skinsuit and you're not really aware that it's there. 

BH: Did you like the course?

SN: Yes, some of the surfaces are getting a bit rough, but it's the same everywhere. 

It was quiet to start with but there was a cruise liner docked at Invergordon and it just got busier and busier as the day went on - particularly the bus traffic. 

BH: Is there are a '12' this year - and are you thinking about the BAR?

SN: I don't think the '12' is being held, no - as for the BAR, I hadn't thought about it until you just mentioned it!

I have a reasonable 25 - 54:06 and a reasonable 50 - 1:52:01, which I did in the championship, so it's something to think about. 

BH: Are you a 'scientific' trainer?

SN: The exact opposite!

I ride my bike for an hour a day around a local circuit I have. 

I don't have a coach - I just blast that loop. 

The only thing I've done different this year is a 30 minute 'lactate session' on the rollers each day; like riding a '10' - it's supposed to increase your lactate tolerance and it seems to be working for me. 

BH: Which are your favourite courses?

SN: I don't travel much, I race mainly in Fife and travel to the Nationals - I don't go over to Glasgow to chase the fast '10's' for example. 

BH: Which is your favourite distance?

SN: The '50,' definitely - you have time to think about what you're doing and time to apply yourself. 

BH: What's your take on the Scottish TT scene?

SN: I love it, very friendly and there's respect - there's a bitterness about road racing, sometimes.

BH: What about the fact that it's all old guys doing the winning?

SN: I think time trialling it's too hard for young guys, isn't it?

BH: What goals do you have in the sport?

SN: Just to ride and enjoy it, I've only been doing it for a few years so I hope I'll have a couple of years improvement before I get really old!

Article and image courtesy of Ed Hood


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