Iain Grant (Dooleys Cycles) dominated the Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship on a windy and overcast morning, taking yet another national title and repeating his top position in last year’s championship event with a time of 1.46.53, a superb two and a half minutes clear over silver medallist Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles), and the Royal Navy’s Sean Childs – second last season – a further minute and a half back in third place.
Held over two laps of the fast ‘t’ shaped based on the A71 and A78 south or Irvine in Ayeshire, the field for the championship was almost full for the event, however 19 men didn’t take the start and nine didn’t finish.
Seven women completed the event, with Anda-Jay Burgess (Sandy Wallace Cycles) the fastest in 2.04 51, silver going to Christine McLean (Shetland Wheelers) 30 seconds down, these two well clear – over seven minutes – of bronze medal winner, local rider Toni McIntosh (Ayr Roads).
Visible fastest of all the riders, Grant rode a considered and carefully measured race, acknowledging our camera lens and time check with a nod on the first of his two laps and looking like he was in cruise-control mode as he swept passed us on his second, tailwind assisted hurtle towards the timekeeper.
We positioned ourselves with a few miles to the finish to be able to see the riders four times, as they headed for the southernmost turn at Papermill and on their return leg, or final section if on their their second lap.
The shape of the course meant that riders were constantly passing on either their first or second lap so there wasn’t a point where we had to wait long for the next photo, but it did make time-checking more challenging, so we decided just to put a watch on the last ten men, the win and podium places most likely going to these guys.
At each of the four opportunities we got to check the ‘bigs’, Grant was always in the lead; 10″ up on Alan Thomson on the first lap way out to the ‘far turn’.
Heading back passed us to complete their first lap, Grant was still fastest, this time 1’00” up on Thomson and Goldsworthy and 2’00” faster than Doyle.
By the last time we see Grant he’s only a few wind-assisted A-road miles from the finish and 2’20” ahead of Goldsworthy and 3’34” up on Childs.