Talkingshop: Tom ‘The Scud’ Scully


Introducing a rider who has had a great start to his season with Team Raleigh, New Zealand’s answer to the Scud missile, Tom Scully.

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Each year for a while now, British teams have brought in riders from the other side of the world and the question that arises before we see them race, will they cut it in the British and European scene. So many have and one that has already in 2013 is Tom Scully.


Tom was a rider in the Development team for Garmin and whilst riding for them but when that team was stopped at the end of 2012 and the Garmin team didn’t have room for him, he had to find another team which he did in Team Raleigh.

Tom was third in the Under 23 Paris-Roubaix (his favourite race) which is a pretty special result! Not only that, he was won medals in World Track Cycling Cups and a month ago followed in the wheelmarks of Stuart O’Grady by winning the Golden Wheel at Good Friday in London.

In 2013, Tom is wearing the colours of Team Raleigh and as well as second in the British Classic, the Eddie Soens, Tom won the prologue in the Tour of Normandy and has been at the sharp end of races in Europe for his team. But, and it’s always a big but, how would he fair when all the best of the British based riders came together for a battle on British roads?

New Zealand has had some great champions race here in the past. Gordon McCauley made a big impact whilst here and Jack Bauer used his time with Endura Racing to move up to ride for World Tour team in Garmin. Mike Northey too made such an impression with Node 4 they built a team round him and he’s returned with even more Kiwis!

It wasn’t a surprise then that in th3 first move that stuck in the CiCLE Classic, there were two Kiwis from the three riders, Mike Northey and Tom Scully and lone Brit Yanto Barker. Not a complete surprise as I know what a class act all three riders are but for Scully, a little surprise. The day before, in some rather swish chalets at a local golf resort, I had sat down to interview Tom and he’d spent the time before that, telling his teammates, ‘I can’t shake your hand as I’ve been sick in the car on the way to the hotel’.


Shortly after arriving, Tom (left) mixed it with other missiles  in Olympic champion Ed Clancy and Ian Bibby.

He didn’t look well but there he was on the start line the next day and 10k later in the break that stayed away. He is a class act on and off the bike and should make a big impact in the Tour Series just as Jack Bauer did. Tom has won a round of the Bay Crits in Australia before and he’s so fast he is not called the ‘Scud’ for nothing.

“It’s been a really good start to the year for us” Tom explained on Saturday. “There are a lot of good vibes from the team that Cherie and Eddie have put together. Everyone has really gelled well and that has showed in the racing. The riders have a hunger for doing a good job which is great; it’s a real positive environment to be in.”

Asked for a highlight so far, Tom replied “Normandy was definitely a good one for me. I was third there in 2012 when riding for Chipotle (Garmin Dev team) so to get the win there was pretty cool. I knew the course and was pretty lucky with the weather that day.”


Tom had a good time at the Good Friday meeting winning and enjoying the outdoor carnival. Photo Antony Edmonds.

“The ‘Good Friday’ Track Meeting was a special event too. It was an event that I’d heard about growing up as a kid and racing the track. I’d see it on the internet and when the opportunity came to race it, I said let’s try and make it happen and then sure enough we got the nod. I’d just come off the Tour of Normandy and it was something pretty special to be part of; an outdoor track carnival.”

“In those events you have to deal with the weather, and cold weather it was that day but that’s what makes them so special and I really enjoyed it” Tom added.

Such carnivals are very popular over the Christmas period in Australia so I asked if Tom had the same type of events in New Zealand? He replied “we do and that’s where I got a real introduction to track racing on the flat out door tracks like Timaru (400 metres), Waimate (400 metres) and Invercargill where I first grew up”.

“On these long outdoor tracks, you had to deal with the weather and the rain and its good fun, it’s the grass roots of track racing and it’s good to see that the Good Friday meeting was so well represented with all the riders.”


Within a kilometre of leaving Oakham, the ‘Scud’ is in a break. He later made the one that mattered …

Asked how the early season form he had travelled from New Zealand to the cold, wet and gritty races in Europe, Tom replied “You have to be training in December and January anyway and there’s racing on back home so it’s good to be able to use those races to build up the training for the Nationals which for us are in January”.

“That sets you up for a good early season hitting the races with some Ks in the legs and it’s just a matter of getting used to the cold weather and avoiding illness.”

One noticeable thing about Raleigh’s race programme has been the number of UCI 1.1’s the riders have had to race. “They’ve been really good to do” Tom says. “We have a lot of experience in the team and a lot of Youth as well and in Paris-Camembert (UCI 1.1) our youngest rider got the best result (10th). At that level, our team rode very well that day and it’s a level we’re comfortable with.”

It has certainly been a varied programme of racing for Tom and there is much more to come with the likes of the Premier Calendar events, Tour Series and then at the end of the year, perhaps the Tour of Britain.

“That is a big end of season race for Team Raleigh” he admits “but looking ahead, to be consistent is important. If the legs come right and I get the opportunity to shine along the way, I’d love to do that for sure.”

“We have the Tour Series coming up so there will be a lot of racing for us and then the Elite crits and with the Premiers, it’s going to be a busy few months. The legs are good after the early season so it’s about trying to stay healthy.”


18 kilometres left to go and with the legs empty after being out front all day, and sick the day before, Tom spends the final section of the race chasing.

Tom is staying with a lot of Aussies in Derbyshire and says Britain has felt like two different places with the change in the weather. “It’s been cool having the sun out and last week we were able to get out for some nice rides around the rolling hills and Peak District. It’s a really nice place to ride when the sun is out.”

Lets hope the sun continues to shine for all the riders who’ve travelled a long way and watch out for the ‘Scud’ as he’s sure to be launched to a victory or two in the coming weeks and months.


 Tom  Scully in the break on the gravel of Owston.



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