On a typical four seasons in one day Scottish spring morning on the fast dual carriageways of the Irvine by-pass, Dooleys’ Iain Grant reminded us all why he’s Scotland’s short distance king with a stunning 19 minutes and 40 seconds ride to relegate his team mate and former ’10’ champion, Arthur Doyle into the silver medal position, 15 seconds back and reigning champion Ben Peacock (Paisley Velo) into bronze with 19:59.
It ain’t scenic down on the Irvine by-pass, especially in the drizzle of a grey Sunday morning parked up in a lay-by adjacent to the local cowp.
But fixed distance time trials aren’t meant to be bonnie – they’re meant to be fast.
And the Irvine by-pass is all of that; a quiet start, drop off the roundabout ramp on to the dual carriageway, south to the roundabout turn at the paper mill then back to finish just before the start interchange.
The ladies were first off – and that lady from Aberdeen must have been reading about testers back in the 70’s when all the top boys ‘white lined’ to get the best drag off the traffic.
It does help – if you survive.
On purely visual Lyne Wardrop of Ayr Roads was fastest early on; neat and tidy with the power going down as it should – but Lucy Coldwell (Pasta Montegrappa) was moving quicker in our book, and indeed ended up fastest with 22:30.
By the time last lady and race favourite Anda-Jay Burgess (Rock & Road Cycles) whistled south in her black skinsuit the breeze was lifting and it was ‘no warm’ as we say in Fife.
But favourite or not, we had her 27 seconds down on Lynsey Curran (Dooleys).
Of the Youths, Sandy Wallace’s Stuart Turvey looked and was the quickest, with 23’59”.
In the Junior competition, Angus Claxton (Moray Firth CC) took gold with a 22’06”.
First senior to pass was Alastair McGibbon (Ayr Roads) off number two and looking not too shabby having caught and dropped first man off, vet and former Scottish Hill Climb and 12 hour Champion Albert McLennan (Glasgow Couriers) – his shoulders as square as ever.
We put the watch on Dooley’s Sean Gray off five, rolled up in a ball and getting a big one round.
Right behind him was Kenny Armstrong (Ayr Roads) – we had our eye off the watch but he may have been a wee bit up on Gray – quite possible with a personal of 20:24.
A fine drizzle arrived to brighten things up even more as Paul McLafferty off 20 (Glasgow Ivy) zoomed south.
But where’s the famous Ivy maglia rosa? – we made him 10 seconds up on Gray.
Ayr’s Mick Robb off 35 was close to Gray’s mark and riding a BiG gear north; the cold drift having died to give still but far from warm conditions.
Davie Millar (Glasgow Couriers) what can you say?
He was a vet when I raced in the late 70’s and here he is, within 30 seconds of a strongman like Sean Gray, six miles into the race – respect.
Nick Tryon (Dooleys) was our next bench mark – he didn’t disappoint, flat back, big geared and with the disc and tyres making the right noises – 50 seconds up on Gray with a new race beginning.
Tryon would finish sixth on 20:20, one of the best rides of the day when the course was at it’s coldest and dourest with a chilly run home in contrast to the mild drift taking the top seeds home.
Gavin Shirley was looking good for Dooleys, but down on Tryon.
Dooleys were already looking solid for the team as no. 70 Thomas Gordon shaved Gray’s time for them but he was also down on the flying Tryon.
Johnstone’s Alan Holmes looked good to us although we didn’t get a watch on him – 20:44 at the finish for eighth spot.
Gerry McGarrity (Paisley Velo) looked the part off 80 was around the Gray mark but not in the Tryon park.
Peter Ettles (Sandy Wallace) was on gears today, but not a bad course at all for a fixed wheel.
The sun began to shine for Mr. Ettles as he took 12 seconds off Gray’s time and the drift began to come from the south to blow him home.
Norman Skene (Velocity) was another forsaking fixed for gears as the traffic flow and breeze began to rise.
Gary Robson (Gala) is a man who’s won medals in this race; but despite being up on Gray’s time was well down on Tryon – but that Castelli speedsuit looks