Paisley Velo’s Chris Smart joined the likes of Ian Steel, Billy Bilsland, Graeme Obree and Jason MacIntyre on the Tour de Trossachs roll of honour with a fine 1:08:10 winning ride on a cool, grey morning which favoured the strong men.
Last year’s winner, Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) was second with 1:09:29 and fast pedalling David Griffiths (Glasgow Wheelers) third in 1:09:47.
VeloVeritas drove the whole course and snapped about every rider…
The top of ‘The Dukes’ 10:35 am and the early starters pech their way up on a cool, grey Trossachs morning past the ferns and heather.
Number 10, Alan Duncan and number 20 Barry Wilson look to be best ‘on it’ – no club names on the start sheet, sorry.
Ross Cunningham of the Glasgow Green CC revs past in a wee gear; he’s caught his anonymous minute man so must be going not too bad – and his three minute man Martin Kane.
It’s getting chilly up here, time to move, descent shots, just for a change …
There’s a wee bit of a head wind coming and going off the summit and the views north are amazing – but on wet tar the riders will be paying attention to the next bend, not the vistas.
The four girls in the race whistle past, we make Lynsey Curran fastest as the wind gets chillier.
‘Not in the race’ the man in black tells us – he’s actually descending faster, one handed, than most of the riders …
Loch Achray Hotel; there’s a hill path here to Kinlochard and Ben Venue, that’d be nice for the mountain bike.
There’s a bit of rain blowing through now as the traffic builds a little and the veterans and ladies in the field give way to seniors and the rumble of discs, competing with the splashing of the stream gurgling down to Loch Venachar and the ‘caw’ of the crows upset about their Sunday morning peace being broken.
Evergreen Andy Matheson (Musselburgh) looks the part off # 63 with # 67 Ruari Grant (thebicycleworks.com) breathing down the neck of # 66 Walter Hamilton (ERC).
Brig o’ Turk and the Tea Room looks tempting – but there’s a race to cover so no scones just yet.
The rain hasn’t come to anything but the roads are damp albeit the air isn’t as chill as it was on The Dukes.
‘It’s a weird place for a time trial!‘ says the one leisure cyclist to the other as they head into the tea room.
Those sportiv boys …
The sign as you enter Brig o’ Turk says ‘Failte‘ – Gaelic for ‘welcome’ which seems a wee contradicted by the fearsome wild boar’s head right beside the greeting.
Number 81 David Griffiths (Glasgow Wheelers) has good cadence as he spins up past the tea rooms; one of the first seeds to appear – his ride would be good enough for third spot on the podium.
The top of the ‘Wee Braes’ and it’s milder but there’s a stiff head breeze as the sun tries to break through.
It’s ‘big hitter’ time and Carlos Riise (Shetland Wheelers) has almost caught Gavin Shirley (Dooleys Cycles) for two minutes but Graeme Cockburn (Nightingale) is up on both of them and looking very tidy.
Eventual sixth with 1:11:22, Paisley’s Jamie Kennedy is next and on a par with Cockburn; then it’s Alan Thomson (Sandy Wallace) – who would finish fourth with 1:10:33 – followed by another Paisley man and eventual winner, Chris Smart.
It’s no surprise that Smart is fastest on our watch – he’s been going well all year in short distance time trials, including bronze in the ‘25’ champs.
There’s a big gap.
Steven Lawley (KTM) is next up, looking the part but way off the pace on our watch – 2:30 down on Smart and eventual fifth with 1:11:09.
Carl Donaldson is another man who looks like he’s ‘on it’ but the watch tells the story – three minutes back on Smart.