Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Tour of the Meldons 2016 – Smart and Curran Retain Their Scottish Titles


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Chris Smart (GTR) put on another exemplary performance in the Tour of the Meldons hilly time trial in the Scottish Borders to retain his national title for the ‘Olympic Time Trial’ for the third time in a row, his 56:08 being 75 seconds faster than his time for the same course last year and 67 seconds faster than silver medallist Kyle Gordon (Sandy Wallace Cycles). Third was Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) a further 10 seconds back.

Tour of the Meldons
Chris Smart (GTR). Photo©Martin Williamson

In the womens’ championship Lynsey Curran (Dooleys Cycles) too retained her title from last year with a 90 second improvement from her 2015 time, with Catriona Gunn (Sandy Wallace Cycles) just 14 seconds adrift in second place.

Tour of the Meldons
Lynsey Curran (Dooleys Cycles), ladies’ champion again. Photo©Martin Williamson

The course is a classic test, a 22 mile loop around Eddleston, Lamancha, Blyth Bridge and Hallyne, before taking in the long drag to the top of the Meldons, dropping back down to Eddleston over farm debris-strewn pot-holed single track roads which the carbon frames and disc wheels wouldn’t appreciate, and then a short, sharp climb out the village to the finish at the Barony Hotel.

Our vantage point was halfway up the first climb of Shiplaw after just a few minutes of racing, and even then both Smart and Curran were up on their nearest challengers, with Smart already 20 seconds ahead of Gordon and Entwistle and looking composed and rock-steady.

The slight side/tailwind allowed the sound of the tyres and various pitches of laboured breathing from the riders to reach us well before we were able to focus our lenses on sunglasses and faces, and the sun was out too – quite a change from just a few hours earlier when snow was falling and, for a time, lying on the roads.

Tour of the Meldons
The Meldons course is very picturesque. Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour of the Meldons
Catriona Gunn (Sandy Wallace Cycles), second on the day. Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour of the Meldons
Third placed rider Mireille Captious (Edinburgh RC). Photo©Martin Williamson

Sarah Bradford (Team Jadan) pedalled very serenely by on the climb, showing a nice neat and smooth style and finishing sixth lady – whilst her 1:09:55 also secured the Junior Womens’ prize.

Tour of the Meldons
Sarah Bradford (Team Jadan). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour of the Meldons
The Meldons hills are a popular destination for rides and picnics. Photo©Martin Williamson

Kyle Gordon (Sandy Wallace Cycles), sixth last year improved two and a quarter minutes to 57:15 to secure second place this time around.

Tour of the Meldons
Kyle Gordon (Sandy Wallace Cycles), silver medallist. Photo©Martin Williamson

Third placed Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) was clearly giving it ‘the beans’, his fast cadence and full grimace showed commitment and resulted in a time of 57:25.

Tour of the Meldons
Jon Entwistle (Team JMC). Photo©Martin Williamson

Douglas Watson (Icarus Racing) rode past us out the saddle, his efficient style took him to an eventual fourth spot with 57:43, 18 seconds off the podium.

Tour of the Meldons
Douglas Watson (Icarus Racing). Photo©Martin Williamson

Andy Brown (Glasgow Cycle Team) was fifth in 57:44.

Tour of the Meldons
Andy Brown. Photo©Martin Williamson

Wilson Renwick (Parentini Test Team) took some time away from the professional paddock and used his tidy style to guide his Ridley to sixth place with 57:53.

Tour of the Meldons
Wilson Renwick (Parenting Test Team). Photo©Martin Williamson

Andrew Underwood (Sandy Wallace Cycles) twelfth last year in 1:01:24 was seventh this time around in 58:50, another rider improving over two and half minutes in 12 months.

Tour of the Meldons
Andrew Underwood (Sandy Wallace Cycles). Photo©Martin Williamson

Eleventh last year, Jamie Kennedy (GTR) also improved a good chunk (just under two minutes) to record 59:06.

Tour of the Meldons
Jamie Kennedy (GTR). Photo©Martin Williamson

Liam Beaty (Hawick CC) was ninth in 59:07.

Tour of the Meldons
Liam Beaty (Hawick CC). Photo©Martin Williamson

Instantly recognisable Jim Cusick (Dooleys Cycles) in 59:25 was just 14 seconds slower than last year but dropped three spots, to tenth this time around.

Tour of the Meldons
Jim Cusack (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Martin Williamson

We have to give a mention to David Lines (Wheelbase/Altura/MGD); road, ‘cross and time trialling, Davie does it all, and does it well. These hilly tests aren’t really his thing but he can use his climbing skills to counter some of the specliasts’ power output, and with limited time to train on the TT rig he acquitted himself well enough, his 59:28 slotting him just outside the top ten.

Tour of the Meldons
Davie Lines (Wheelbase/Altura/MGD). Photo©Martin Williamson

First Junior Man was Calum Kennedy (Edinburgh RC) who’s 1:02:44 saw him well up the finishing order in 26th place.

Tour of the Meldons
Calum Kennedy (Edinburgh RC). Photo©Martin Williamson

Next stop for the ‘testers’ is the National 10 Mile Championships at Monifieth in a couple of weeks’ time – will Lynsey Curran and Chris Smart maintain their form until then?

Tour of the Meldons
Chris Smart (GTR). Photo©Martin Williamson

Tour of the Meldons 2016 - Result

Overall Result

1 Chris Smart GTR 3rd 00:56:08
2 Kyle Gordon Sandy Wallace Cycles 3rd 00:57:15
3 Jon Entwistle Team JMC 4th 00:57:25
4 Douglas Watson Icarus Racing 3rd 00:57:43
5 Andy Brown Glasgow Cycle Team 2nd 00:57:44
6 Wilson Renwick Parentini Test Team 2nd 00:57:53
7 Andrew Underwood Sandy Wallace Cycles N/A 00:58:50
8 Jamie Kennedy GTR 2nd 00:59:06
9 Liam Beaty Hawick CC 3rd 00:59:07
10 James Cusick N/A 00:59:25
11 David Lines Wheelbase/Altura/MGD 1st 00:59:28
12 Alan Dean Edinburgh RC 2nd 00:59:40
13 Lewis Duff Glasgow Couriers 3rd 00:59:56
14 Tom Broadbent Elgin CC 4th 00:59:58
15 David Griffiths Pro Vision Cycle Clothing 2nd 00:59:59
16 Ruari Grant Pro Vision Cycle Clothing 1st 01:00:12
17 Jason Barnes Glasgow Nightingale CC 3rd 01:00:31
18 Chris Stewart Classic Racing Team 3rd 01:00:36
19 Craig Dale TheBicycleWorks 3rd 01:00:39
20 Ewen Macgillivray Sandy Wallace Cycles 4th 01:01:03
21 John Gartland GJS Cruise Racing 2nd 01:01:23
22 Buchanan Paterson Pedal Power RT 4th 01:01:27
23 Lewis Mulholland Glasgow Cycle Team 2nd 01:01:34
24 Jason Roberts Pro Vision Cycle Clothing 2nd 01:01:35
25 Andy Colman Gamma Racing Team 3rd 01:02:02
26 Kenneth Russell Edinburgh RC N/A 01:02:05
27 Gavin Shirley 2nd 01:02:30
28 David Gleave East Kilbride Road Club 2nd 01:02:40
29 Calum Kennedy Edinburgh RC 2nd 01:02:44
30 Stewart Burke 3rd 01:03:32
31 Lee Whitelaw Edinburg