On as benign a morning as one can expect in Fife in early May, Pro Vision’s John Archibald delivered another stunning ride to win the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship in 19:29, just five seconds off his personal best.
Archibald put 43 seconds into Jon Entwistle (GTR) [20:12] and 55 seconds into Steven Lawley (Metaltek Kuota RT) [20:24].
Lawley had been dead level with defending champion, Chris Smart (GTR) [20:28] with less than two miles to ride but ex-hill climb champion Lawley had the stronger finish.
GB track rider, Neah Evans (Storey Racing) won the Ladies’ Championship in 22:18 from Cat McGillivray (RT 23) in 22:34 with Lynsey Curran (Dooleys) third in 22:53.
It was 07:30 am when we rolled through the start, just in time to see the boys in their hi-viz gear rattling the signs, cones and temporary lights up at the 30 mph signs at Freuchie – never a good sign.
But it wasn’t an all-day gig and an hour behind the programmed start time of 08:00 it was ‘wagons roll.’
With the Giro in full swing we can’t say ‘Freuchie course’ – let’s go for ‘percorso.’
The start is a little bit of a gift, half way up what we always called ‘Freuchie Brae’ but its Sunday name is actually ‘Station Brae’ – the old station is part of the farm now. That’s on the main Kirkcaldy to Dundee road.
Head north on what we called the ‘Windy Mile,’ pan flat but exposed, to the ‘Fish Tail’ where bear right and drag up through Ladybank Woods to Melville Lodges roundabout where left and west on the main Milnathort to Cupar road then left at Collessie road end, back south through the hamlets of Giffordtown, Charlottetown and Edenton and the woods there to turn right and west along the edge of the woods to ‘Shields Triangle’ – named after the farm there – then left and south to finish just short of Freuchie.
We holed up at the ‘Fish Tail’ to watch the ladies pass.
Conditions were nice, dry, sunny and the only disturbance to the still air when artics sent our start sheets and chocolate brownies flying.
It took me a minute or two to get to grips with this timekeeping lark – it’s been a while – so forgive me if I didn’t get proper checks on the first few starters.
Eventual fourth, Mireille Captieux (Dooleys Cycles RT) looked good on visual but according to our watch the first lady to be doing the biz was Aileen Clyde (Fullarton Wheelers) who was on a big gear but getting it round.
Jenny Holl (Team Jadan-Weldtite) was close to matching Ailen’s time and it was well down the sheet before Christine McLean (Shetland Wheelers) bested them by five seconds.
It’s hard for the smaller girls to get as aero as they’d like, getting the bars down low enough to get the back parallel to the road surface is the problem.
And some of the girls aren’t shy of the mega gears but have to learn to sit still – all that shoulder movement increases their aero signature and drains the watts away.
Cat McGillivray (RT 23) on visual and on the watch looked good, five seconds up on Christine – and whilst we know they save a couple of watts, we’re not sure about those long socks.
But we did like Lulu Bartlett (The Racers) hounds tooth skinsuit – very snazzy.
Lynsey Curran (Dooleys) was four seconds down on Cat, and Neah Evans (Storey Racing) was one second down.
But by the finish Evans had pulled back that errant second and added another 15 to take the title from Cat with Lynsey third and leading Mireille to the ladies’ team title.
Time to move – Melville Lodges and the juniors and youths, just seven of them.
On visual we made Alex McRae (Pro Vision) fastest on visual – on a good old fixed gear.
At the finish the prize did go to McRae with 22:11.
First of the men to look the part and have the right noises coming off his disc was number 10, Andy Underwood (COG Velo) [21:20] – albeit we didn’t have a watch on him.
Conditions had deteriorated at Melville from the balmy Fish Tail with the air cool and a breeze stirring the trees – the traffic flow was up too, not at drag strip levels but busy nonetheless.
Former top track man Jamie Henderson (Spokes RT) was first to catch our eye off number 31 on fixed and making it hurt out of the roundabout; he’d finish with an eventual 21:24.
Andrew Scott (Musselburgh) off 42 [21:44] had caught Iain Drummond (West Lothian Clarion) for a minute and was looking the part as was big Steve Nutley (RT 23) [22:21] still on his Quintanaroo.
Colin Stevenson (Kelso Wheelers) [22:47] got held up at the roundabout which meant that Peter Ettles (RT 23) [21:39] was even closer than he would have been.
Peter always looks the part, on gears today rather than fixed.
Douglas Watson (Icarus Racing) [20:53] was looking the part too, spinning it out, but maybe the gear could be a little bit higher?
Down to Collesie, the bends after the crossroads and everyone was zipping through here, sheltered from the wind and with the sun back on our skin.