On a benign morning amid the lush greenery of the Kingdom of Fife, Endura pro Evan Oliphant proved too fit for the specialist testers, taking the Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championships by 1:17 from far travelled Carlos Riise (Shetland) with defending champion Arthur Doyle (Dooleys RT) a further 19 seconds back in the bronze medal position.
Fife was looking at its best when we arrived at the start line as the first of the ladies rolled down the “gift” first mile of Station Brae (aka Freuchie Brae).
From Freuchie the course heads north to Melville Lodges roundabout and then north again to Parbroath crossroads, where it turns left and west towards Lindores Loch past Glenduckie and Dunbog.
We stopped to take some pictures of the girls; it was a wee bit disappointing that we could only count eight riders in the event. The ladies’ road race champs enjoyed a much bigger turn out and one wonders if there are enough ladies racing in Scotland to worry about roadie/tester/trackie distinctions?
As Evan demonstrated so able, “a race is a race!”.
We had Edinburgh Road Club’s Jessica Wilson-Young in pole position; and that’s how it finished; with 25 mile gold to go with her 10 championship win.
At Lindores the course heads south again to the bonnie hamlet of Collessie with its thatched cottages, and a left turn back to Melville Lodges.
We headed back to the strip at this point — to make sure Rob Wilkins number was properly pinned on; give Phil Brown his tri-spokes and a few last words of encouragement for Evan.
Brailsford stuff duly done, it was back to Collessie to have breakfast and watch the first of the fast men drop down from Lindores — Steve Nutley looked good for Sandy Wallace but I couldn’t put my Tunnocks caramel wafer down fast enough to get the shot.
Wilkins was up on Nutley; but smooth pedalling Alistair Robinson (Leslie Bikes) had 20 seconds on the ten mile bronze medallist who was disappointed with his short 55 at the finish.
We moved up to the Dundee road, just south of Letham crossroads, a good vantage point with the late riders heading north to Parbroath and the earlier starters heading south after their loop round by Bow of Fife.
Beautiful countryside but with the traffic flow heavier than one might expect for this time on a Sunday.
Evergreen Davie Gibson (Dooleys) and Joe Wilson (Sandy Wallace Cycles) were all square on their breenge north but Evan was already 30 seconds up and looking very good to us.
Gary Robson was a non-starter – a family illness keeping him away, and next up was Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace) who was ensuring the cadence was high and on the way to one of the rides of the day – fourth in 53:58.
Jim Cusick (Couriers) looked good but the watch didn’t agree – he was down on Davie Gibson.
Carlos Riise was super smooth on a mega gear and closest so far to the rampaging Oliphant.
Phil Kelman (Deeside) is a rider we don’t know much about but he looked the part, getting the ‘big one’ round smoothly.
It wasn’t happening for Peter Ettles (Forres) though and there was just Arthur to come — he didn’t look his usual aggressive, committed self and the watch backed that up; 25 seconds down on Oliphant and 5 down on Riise.