On a raw morning of bitter north westerly winds, with a grey Firth of Tay and North Sea brooding to the south, Kyle Gordon (RT 23) produced a ride just nine seconds shy of 30 mph to win the Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships 2019 from Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes duo, second placed Jamie Davidson and bronze medallist, David Griffiths; seven and 18 seconds back, respectively.
Vicki Smith (AeroCoach) was fastest of the ladies with another ‘flyer’ – a rapid 21:47 – from Catriona MacGillivray (RT23) with 22:52 and Neah Evans (Team HUUB) on 23:11.
Our thoughts of a leisurely amble up to Freuchie to watch the championship were dashed by roadworks on the course at the Ladybank railway bridge; we couldn’t see anything wrong as we waited at the temporary light on our way to Monifieth – but then we’re not structural engineers.
Driving out the dual carriageway, east of Dundee we saw a chap with a red flag at a junction and decided to stop to ask for directions… none other than my old teammate and former World Masters Pursuit Champion, Ian Humphreys.
Our catching up was at the expense of the youth competitors who passed without a single shutter clicking, winner was Daniel Kain (Squadra Scozzesa) with a rapid 22:04 in what was not part of the official championship.
The first man to get ‘snapped’ was Stuart Maccallum of the Dundee Thistle complete with Tony Martin-esque ‘ribbed’ skinsuit; changed days from Lionel Wylie and his knitted Thistle jersey on ‘The Perthie’ back in the 70’s.
And another Thistle man caught our eye as looking the part as he cut through the icy headwind home on the other side of the carriageway, Alistair Merry.
Fraser Caldwell’s (Cromarty Firth CC) Felt TT frame intrigued us with those really low set seat stays – anything to save those precious watts.
David Blockley was the first of a host of RT23 riders; gulping in big mouthfuls of cold Tayside air.
We’d heard on the grapevine that GTR-Return To Life were ‘boycotting’ the race but Jamie Kennedy was certainly there and flying out with the tailwind.
Bright orange isn’t a bad colour choice for visual impact and safety – Nicholaas Weststeyn (Synergy Cycles) was making sure we didn’t miss him.
Remo Volpe (Peebles CC) would be wondering about all these wide open fields, being used to those Borders valleys.
Even further travelled than Remo was perennial Carlos Riise, all the way down from Shetland and still turning the ‘big ones.’
Due to too much gassing about watt bikes, thresholds and the merits of tubeless tyres with Mr. Humphreys I missed my old sparring partner, Jim Petrie (Dundee Wheelers) but just about snapped him on the way back – sorry Jim, next time…
We left Ian to head for the turn as he offered encouragement to Ken Thomson (Dunfermline).
The first man we caught at the flyover turn was Daniel Kirk (Edinburgh RC) gasping for Tayside oxygen on the steep ramp up to the bridge before the plunge back to the long grind west and the finish.
Good to see our old VeloVeritas regular, Silas Goldsworthy back in the saddle and looking the part in RT23 kit.
We’re not sure if Sandy Wallace (Fife Century) gears slipped or he just misjudged the steepness of the off-ramp – many did – but that was an awful wee sprocket you were in, sir.
Darren Lindsay (Musselburgh RCC) caught Colin Wallace (Deeside Thistle) for a minute at the top of the ramp to keep the marshals on their toes.