That great British institution, the national road championships, takes place this weekend in Glasgow. Photographer Geoff Waugh captured the quintessentially English 2010 edition in Lancashire, while Tom Southam tells of an earlier time and a newcomer to its peculiarities. Extract from Rouleur Annual 4, available here for £10.
I clearly remember Max Sciandri’s one and only attempt at the nationals in 2000. Being Italian and used to some semblance of order to the pattern of a race, he had spent the first few hours hiding at the back, concentrating on looking cool.
When he did eventually slide gracefully to what he thought was the front, he was stunned to be informed by an Addiscombe CC rider that this group was in fact already several minutes down on the leaders.
Furthermore, there was not one break down the road, but several groups of riders, all plugging away at different time gaps, and that no, there certainly would not be any kind of cohesive effort to reel these groups in for the finale.
Max’s day was over before it began, and was curtailed swiftly at the next feed zone where, cursing these odd English amateurs, he swore never to return.
A pair of Englishmen sat exhausted outside their hotel, staring into the distance.
No messing here: the inner chainring is the beefier Record version with additional braces. The outer, however, has not escaped the pantographer’s deft touch. The GT logo can be seen clearly, and small, subtle grooves have been milled to shave grams without reducing rigidity. The “over the top” cable guide for the rear derailleur can also be seen which, despite being awkward to clean, did provide a smooth route for the inner wire.
Let's go back to a time when the appearance and efficiency of a bicycle mattered far more.