Monday, July 15, 2024

Tour de Trossachs 2012 – “It’s not a competition anymore…”


HomeRaceRace ReviewsTour de Trossachs 2012 - "It's not a competition anymore..."

It’s not a competition any more, it’s a personal time trial,’ the words of Tour de Trossachs organiser, Janette Hazlett after she had to void the result, following a serious crash. David Clark of the Stowmarket & District CC was involved in what appeared to us to be a head on collision with a car on the Loch Venachar road and had to be helicoptered to hospital.

The ensuing traffic chaos meant that top seeds Ian Wilkins, Arthur Doyle and Ian Grant were all held up as the police closed the road.

Irrelevant though it is, best times were:

  1. Alistair Robinson (Leslie Bikes) 1:10:34
  2. Andy Whitehall (Velo Ecosse) 1:10:58
  3. Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) 1:11:30
  4. Steven Lawley (thebicycleworks) 1:11:37

It was a sad end to a morning which began with such promise…

* * *

The sun splits the skies, the air is fresh and there’s still frost hanging on the ferns – glorious.

Tour de Trossachs
Valerie Martin (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Ed Hood

The girls are first on the Dukes in the Tour de Trossachs, wheezing a tad in somewhat unladylike fashion past the ‘bicycle gates.’

We have to take the predictable picture.

The ‘gallery’ on the Dukes is down to two individuals this year.

We remember when it was a couple of hundred. 

Martin recounts the story of when, as a wee Velo Sportiv schoolboy, Musselburgh’s Davie Urquhart kindly handed him up a ‘Club’ Orange biscuit on this very bend – ‘for energy.’

Tour de Trossachs
Valerie Martin (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Fraser Robinson ( Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Andy Wilson (St. Christopher’s CC). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
David Gibson (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Martin Williamson

Further up the climb, at the McDonald Memorial seat there’s real heat in the sun as Davie Gibson (Dooleys) stomps up through the ‘S’ bends. Davie won this event on numerous occasions, ‘back in the day.’

Tour de Trossachs
David Gibson (Dooleys Cycles) in the Tour de Trossachs. Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
Ran Shenton (Team Swift). Photo©Ed Hood

At the top, Jim Leslie reminisced about the time he brought his breakfast up on the Dukes – cheers, Jim.

Tour de Trossachs
Jimmy and Martin swap food-related ‘tales from the Dukes Pass’. Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
Andrew Davies ( Photo©Ed Hood

We decide to try for some pics on the descent – it’s more difficult than catching the vets on the steep uphill bits, though.

Tour de Trossachs
Richard Pyatt (Richmond Cycling Club). Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
Robert Brown (Granite City RT). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
James Ryland (Fullarton Wheelers). Photo©Martin Williamson

The scenery is stunning, with big gaps in the field, there’s plenty of time to take it all in.

Tour de Trossachs
We had a full moon recently, so this fellow is making an appearance in the mornings. Photo©Ed Hood

Down at Venachar we have to snap the ‘fairy tale’ Trossachs Hotel – predictable but braw. There’s a breeze rising for the later starters as we head down to the Trossachs Kirk.

Tour de Trossachs
The Trossachs Church is tucked away between the road and Loch Achray. Photo©Ed Hood

Martin keeps the sports photography going as I get the sad ‘Tourist Board’ shots – well, it’s expected.

Tour de Trossachs
Paul Gareze (Lomond Roads). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Richard Provan (Glasgow Couriers). Photo©Martin Williamson

Out of the chill breeze, the sun is warm on the skin – and when the there’s a gap in the day tripper traffic, the stillness is lovely. Just the sound of the leaves dropping and the bird song.

Tour de Trossachs
James Davidson (Pedal Power RT). Photo©Martin Williamson

Some riders are over geared and bogged down on the rolling tar, others are on top of it as they capitalise on the tail wind.

Tour de Trossachs
David Clark (Stowmarket & District CC). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Gordon Watson (Glasgow Riderz). Photo©Martin Williamson

Off we go, but why are we being waved down on a bend?

Oh. A white Dolan is sticking out from underneath a car… is the answer.

The rider is laying in the road, but conscious and aware of his surroundings – not so good. Nothing we can do, our stopping would just add to the chaos. We make it #71, David Clark of the Stowmarket & District CC, let’s hope he’s alright.

Brig o’ Turk and the brae has John Paterson (Classic Racing Team) in the wee ring as we snap him through the windscreen.

Tour de Trossachs
John Paterson (Classic Racing Team). Photo©Ed Hood

It’s technical along here, sore if you’re toiling, but a good section to make time if you’re on top of the job.

The Inver Trossachs Road is dark through the trees with no good stopping places, so we head for the ‘Wee Braes.’

The top of the Wee Braes and there’s John Anderson of the He gives us his tip for the day – number 81, his man Steven Lawley, who won the ‘Up The Kirk‘ hill climb last week.

Right on cue, the big chap wings past, looking strong.

Tour de Trossachs
Steven Lawley (theBicycleWorks). Photo©Martin Williamson

It’s a headwind over here as another rider grimaces past in Velo Ecosse colours, Andy Whitehall, son of 1980’s flyer, Davie.

Tour de Trossachs
Andrew Whitehall (Equipe VeloEcosse). Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
David Griffiths (Glasgow Wheelers). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Scott Newman (Inverclyde Velo). Photo©Ed Hood

Jim Cussick hammers past, but previous Trossachs winner Alistair Robinson is only 30 seconds behind on the road – off a two minute gap.