On a dour, grey morning by the banks of a brooding River Clyde Iain Grant (Fullarton Wheelers) reminded us why he’s Scotland’s short distance king with a stunning 19:38 in the Scottish National 10 Mile Time Trial Championship on a sodden, cold Westferry course.
Second in 20:13 was ‘new kid on the block’ Harry Bulstrode (VC Edinburgh) with Sandy Wallace Cycles ever consistent Alan Thomson third in 20:32; just one tick of the second hand ahead of Billy Bilsland’s Ben Peacock in 20:33.
The ladies race went to former world team pursuit champion, Katie Archibald in 22:17.
It has be to said that VeloVeritas only left the shelter of their vehicle with some reluctance on this nasty morning.
The story goes that a local seafearer was shipwrecked on a distant tropical island but met a mermaid there and she ‘helped’ with his loneliness.
Eventually he was rescued and returned to the Clyde – but his mermaid had borne his child and brought the baby to him.
The mermaid still visits the Clyde to sing to her child.
We listened carefully for her refrain but all we could hear wear the trains roaring over our heads as we sheltered below a railway bridge a mile or two into the race – that and the traffic slicing through the standing water.
There were no mermaids in the ladies field – unfortunately – but Emily Middleditch (Deeside) off number four looked best of the early starters, despite her lack of fins, which would have been handy on a day such as this.
Toni McIntosh (Ayr) was getting the gear round but was soon lost in the spray – on this dangerous day to be racing a bike on a dual carriageway.
European Individual and Team Pursuit Champion, Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi) was moving faster than anyone else and no stopwatch needed, hurtling through the gloom.
And jings ! we must be seeing things – a tandem !
But no mention of it on the start sheet …
First of the juniors was Gavin Laffoley (Fife Century) and you won’t catch us slagging his rear light on a morning like this.
Fraser Knox (Glasgow Cycle Team) hurtled past and there was a gap where Stuart Turvey should have the started; the Sandy Wallace rider sadly passed this week, all of us here at VeloVeritas extends our deepest sympathies to his friends and family.
Number 35, Andy Brown, (Glasgow Cycle Team) was ‘on it’ but the noise and spray was forcing us to re-think our race watching plans by now.
Katie rips by, homeward bound with three caught minute girls – or is it minute “ladies” or “persons”? – in her wake.
Time for the men and we’ve moved up the road a wee shade; still wet and cold but at least we can sit under the van tailgate and the noise isn’t nearly as bad.
It must be a grotty morning if Steve Beech (Sandy Wallace) doesn’t start.
Number 13, Hector Nicholson (Moray Firth) has his number on upside down to ward off the bad luck – the Weather Gods obviously don’t rate that symbolism.
Man in black, John Dunlop (Loudon) off 30 looks to be going well, but it’s too early for the watch, we’ll save that for the last starters.
Ewan Taylor off 50 is getting the job done – the start sheet says Velocity 44 but his shorts say, ‘Army’ ?
Veteran pursuiter, Peter Ettles (Sandy Wallace) is on gears today and on top of the ratio storming up this drag we’re stationed on.
There’s not much to say about this course; dual carriageway, it rolls gently out through a roundabout or two then retraces – testers heaven.
It’s just a pity it doesn’t go a little bit further along the coast before turning, that way we could include pictures of the Comet steam ship replica.
Peter Ettles strokes the big one home on the other side of the cariageway as I think fondly of my CAT boots – unfortunately nestling in my bedroom.
Scottish 100 mile champion, Callum Finlayson (Moray Firth) is looking strong – a walk in the park for a man used to ten times this distance.
And just when we were wondering what those Billy Bilsland colours would look like, his boy Barry Wilson wears what looks like a black Assos skinsuit – never mind …
Graham Cockburn (Nightingale) off 80 is moving well, sitting wide to catch that draft of the motors; not sure how safe that is on a morning like this – but we all used to do it in my testing days.
The right noises are coming off number 85, Mark Skilling’s (Icarus) disc.
Albert McLellan off 86 (Glasgow Couriers) was a Scottish hill climb champion before many of this field were born and is still a strong man on a bicycle. We wince as the passing car doesn’t bother even moving out the lane to pass.
Number 90, Dooley’s Gavin Shirley is smooth and stylish on the drag, looking like how a good time trial rider should.
Team mate Sean Gray is lower geared than usual but attacking the drag with gusto as we resign ourselves to the fact the rain; ‘is on for the day’ …