On a blustery, squally day on the dual carriageways of the A78 and A71 around Irvine and Kilmarnock on Sunday morning, Dooley’s Iain Grant added the Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial title to the “10” with a stunning 50:46 ride; a massive 1:39 clear of surprise second, Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo) with Murdoch’s team mate Chris Smart a further 25 seconds back in the bronze medal position.
VeloVeritas had eventual fourth placed Arthur Doyle in the bronze medal spot, late in the race.
But cramp hit Doyle in the closing miles and he had to freewheel across the line, two seconds down on Smart.
Sandy Wallace’s Silas Goldsworthy was fifth in 53:10 and team mate and former 50 champion, Alan Thomson sixth in 53:17.
The early miles make it hard to find a rhythm with roundabouts, single carriageways, lots of arrows, marshals – then the A78, always a scenic delight.
It’s wide, flat, fast but no’ bonnie and pretty technical with the race manual listing 15 turns all told on this course.
The parcours picks up the A78 “10” course – more tarmac, barriers, road signs, grass and trees which are stirring in a stiff breeze.
But the sun’s out, at least.
Next up is the A71, more dual carriageway, grass verges with the occasional race route sign board – the Tour of the Trossachs it isn’t.
But the sport of ‘testing’ is about speed – and you find it on the dual carriageways.
The changes of direction are no bad thing on a windy day like this; and jings, there are some scenic cows for us – but they soon disappear as we dive into another cutting.
The early miles were very well direction arrowed but the Kilmarnock turn could have done with a few more signs in our opinion.
Back along the 71 – it’s wide open, to a wee bit technical but nice, quiet and safe finish straight.
We chose to set up shop at around three miles to go on the A71 on a drag as the ladies dice with a southerly cross wind and a heavy traffic flow – we arrived too late to catch the half-dozen youths and juniors who were set off first.
Sian Tovey (Dooley’s) is our fastest off number 28 but smooth pedaling Toni McIntosh (Ayr) takes 10 seconds off that as the traffic dies a wee bit.
No Anda-Jay Burgess and no Lynsey Curran – time for the men.
Euan Pope (Glasgow RC) is first across the tar, looking good – if lonely.
Jock Johnstone (Icarus) looks little different to when he used to race against us in the 80’s and 90’s.
Johny May (Edinburgh Road Club) has the highest gear of the morning so far – but doesn’t strike us as being on top of it.
Ian King (Velocity) looks on top of the job as the sky gets greyer and the wind swings westward to make it an even tougher grind up the drag.
Bob Taylor (Dooley’s) ‘strokes a biggie’ as just behind, Steve Brennan (Pro-AM) caches Tony Nugent (East Kilbride) for two minutes.