On a typical wet and miserable Fife Sunday morning, Dooleys’ 41 year-old former duathlete Iain Grant made up for his one second defeat in the Scottish 10 Mile Championship with a sparkling 1:49:00 over the longer distance at the Scottish 50 Mile TT Championships, putting him 2:24 clear of Sean Childs (RNRMCA) and 2:55 up on defending champion Alan Thomson (Sandy Wallace).
It was cold and damp for the 08:00 am start, just south of New Inn roundabout.
Robert Milton of Dunfermline CC was first to head off into the murk to enjoy the fast first mile down Freuchie Brae.
The drizzle turned to rain as the morning wore on and VeloVeritas took to the car for our rider pictures – but our Nikons still needed dried off after every shot, so apologies if the pictures aren’t our best – but if you do see any snaps you’d like, drop us an email, they’re available for a small admin fee.
We couldn’t help but observe that despite the plethora of expensive wind tunnel tested hardware on display, some riders haven’t quite got this ‘aero thing’ straight in their minds.
Check out the ‘clean’ front end of the winner’s Giant Trinity, then have a look at your own front end set up.
Having snapped the whole field’s starting effort, we headed off to catch the action on the road.
The ‘gift’ Freuchie (or to give it’s Sunday name, ‘Station’) Brae start gives way to the ‘windy mile,’ the long straight which broke a thousand hearts when it was the finishing straight for Fife time trials in the ‘good old days.’
The course goes left at the ‘Fish Tail’ – I’m so old that I can remember when a house stood there and not a plantation of trees – then north through Edenstown and Charlottetown to Collessie where it picks up the A91 and heads west.
This road – before the re-alignments east of Auchtermuchty and advent of the Strathmiglo by-pass – was part of the old Fife ’25’ and ’50’ courses and where John McMillan took the Scottish ’25’ record in the 60’s.
His time, a ‘55’ if I remember rightly, stood for many years – until Dave Hannah changed everything.
We grabbed some shots of the ‘Bigs’ – as they say in Italy – from the car; Graham Watson? Who needs him?
The rain went off at ‘muchty – hometown to the Proclaimers and Doctor Finlay’s casebook – but was back on again by Strath.
The early starters were splashing back to meet us as we passed the old ’50’ turn at Burnside.
Silas Goldsworthy’s jaw was jutting and he was chewing up the minute men as we headed for Milnathort, the turn and breakfast.
Childs was going to catch Glasgow Wheelers’ Graeme Cockburn, his two minute man – and Carlos Riise (Shetland) looked to be going well.
Alan Thomson took the turn cleanly and accelerated out of it neatly on a small gear.
Baguette, cheese, ham and Tunnocks caramel wafers for brunch safely on the back seat, we ‘retraced’ towards ‘Muchty.
On ‘visual’ it was apparent that Thomson was up on Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) and that Steve Nutley (Sandy Wallace) was going well.
We decided that it would be sacrilege to pass through ‘Muchty twice without paying homage to accordion king, the late, great Jimmy Shand, and so we popped in to take a picture of his statue, via the Cycle Tavern.
We caught Arthur again on the wee drag out of ‘Muchty and it was apparent it wasn’t his day – his usual fluid style missing.
A lay-by on the Lindores road, just north of Collessie was our breakfast spot – Silas surprised us; and we unfortunately couldn’t meet with his request for a fresh rear wheel.
That puncture cost him dearly; he would finish the day in sixth spot on 1:52:42 including a wheel change and around 5 miles on the rim – Ken Whitson had him second to Grant just before the deflation.
It was a bitter/sweet weekend for Goldsworthy; Saturday afternoon saw him finish an excellent 7th in the British ’25’ championship with a 50:34 to winner Michael Hutchinson’s 47:01 and he must now go in to the Scottish ’25’ with Grant as one of the hot favourites.
Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) came through, we had Jim down as our favourite – he’s a man who goes well in wet conditions – but he was down on Goldsworthy and would succumb himself to a puncture, before the end.
Carlos was on his usual huge gear but not going as well as Childs, who was up everyone that we’d time checked, except Thomson; although we’d contrived to miss Grant – probably in the cluster of riders who came passed us all at once.
We stopped next at Edentown with around 2.5 miles to go, just catching up to and starting the watch on Riise; Cockburn, Gavin Shirley (Dooleys) and Philip Kelman (Deeside) were all out of it.
Childs was faster then Thomson – that black cat crossing the Sandy Wallace man’s path kept him on the podium but couldn’t help him retain the title.
We made Doyle third but had been just too late to catch Grant at this final check.
At the Alex Mackie memorial seat, which marks the finish, watch maestro Alistair Speed put us right on the winner, shaking his head at our amateur time-keeping.
But we had second, third and fourth in the correct order, so didn’t do too badly – that man Grant was just too fast for us.
We caught him up in the car park, though.
“On scale of one to 10, it’s an 11 for today – it’ll be a week before the smile comes off my face!
“It was obviously very wet and miserable but calm and mild, once you’ve started then you just get on with it, don’t you?
“My background is in triathlon and duathlon – whilst I’ve raced the bike seriously for a couple of years, this is the first year where I haven’t been running, too. I was Scottish duathlon champion last year an