Rob Mcel­nea: Boost or bur­den?

Classic Racer - - CLASSIC RACER PEOPLE -

Rob Mcel­nea could see the po­ten­tial in Hislop as soon as he ap­peared on the scene: “If his tim­ing had been dif­fer­ent, I mean if I’d been a man­ager when he first came through rather than some­one he raced against, I think we could have gone a long, long way, as I could see that he was re­ally spe­cial. “Steve was ca­pa­ble of go­ing be­yond what Foggy achieved but he was his own worst en­emy. When it was right he was un­be­liev­able but if it wasn’t right he was use­less. His dark days held him back and he didn’t com­pro­mise.the guys who go all the way are the ones who can deal with the bad days.” It was this two-edged el­e­ment to his per­son­al­ity that caused Mcel­nea to re­fer to him as a flawed ge­nius. “His rid­ing was inch-per­fect, I mean he was a bril­liant role model on how to ride a bike,” ex­plained Mcel­nea. “He was either 100% per­fect or he was crap. Same bike, same tyres, same set­tings and he’d either be in 15th or he’d be out there break­ing the lap record. But he was bril­liant with the team and a plea­sure to have around. Af­ter he died, we still used Hizzy laps on our com­puter to show how it should be done and that was 10 years on and it was still rel­e­vant.” Sadly, for Mcel­nea things didn’t end par­tic­u­larly well be­tween the pair and it is still some­thing that he re­grets. “I had a lot of re­spect for him and a lot of time for him too. He rode for me and it didn’t work out so I let him go.then there was the he­li­copter crash and I’m sad it ended that way, as we never ggot to have a beer and say ‘no hard feel­ings’. It’s a shame it didn’’ t work – I feel a bit hol­low about that still.”

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