On a day which was a total contrast to last Sunday’s Monifieth polar conditions; with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze, that man Kyle Gordon (RT23) showed us that perishing or pleasant, he’s the man to beat on the Scottish time trial scene. Averaging 28.796 mph around the rolling, scenic 26.3 mile Loch Ken Time Trial course in the fourth round of six in the CTT Sigma Sports Classic Series his 54.48 saw him 13 seconds clear of Adam Wild (GS Metro) in second spot with 55.01 and 1 min 17 clear of former Scottish Olympic TT Champion, Chris Smart (GTR – Return To Life).
We must mention however that actual second fastest on the road was veteran and recent winner of the CTT Scottish District ‘10’ Championship, Douglas Watson (GTR – Return to Life) who clocked 54.52, just four seconds shy of Gordon’s time but due to the CTT system doesn’t qualify for the men’s race, only the veteran’s.
Last Sunday Monifieth was colder but much closer to home; it took three hours to get down to Castle Douglas but with the sky blue and the Borders scenery, it wasn’t too much of a chore.
Breakfast was in a lay-by on the course; Martin’s chum, Chris Godfree stopped by for a chat on his warm-up, the Edinburgh Road Club veteran would stop the clock at 1:05:34 later in the morning.
I’ve never seen a red kite in my life until this morning – when I saw four of them in five minutes, circling the Bellymack Hill feeding centre near the race finish – beautiful creatures.
We decided to drive ‘against’ the race and do a full lap but the sunshine and lochside views north-bound proved too much for us and we stopped there for the duration but moved along the road to avoid the dreaded; ‘all the photies look the same,’ syndrome.
First rider to appear was number six, junior Fabien Large of Marcin Bialoblocki’s NOPINZ team – the big Pole has been quiet so far this year but we heard he clocked an 18 minute ‘10’ the other week in a club event.
Sophie Heighton (Stockton Wheelers) off number four was sole juvenile female rider in the field.
And we have to tell you that if Martin and I ever do ‘comeback’ for sure we’ll be looking to save watts – BUT there will be NO ‘leg fairings.’
We weren’t running watches but just on ‘visual’ number 28, Gregor Sharp (Hawick CC) was looking the part.
He would finish an eventual 13th of 57 finishers in the veterans’ event; the senior men’s race saw just 19 finishers.
Number 49 had us confused, Johnstone Wheelers on the start sheet but John Archibald-style ‘Ribble’ skinsuit?
Then it dawned; ‘Ian Archibald’ – Katie and John’s father and no mean runner in his day with two Scottish 1500 metre titles to his name in the 80’s; now we know where they got the good genes from: 12th in 1.04.08.
Perennial Jim Cussick (Dooleys RT) off 54 is never far away in a time trial and would take fourth on the day in 1.00.34.
Ben Lane 57 (GS Metro) was second veteran in 1.00.08 – looking the part and riding strongly.
Douglas Watson was riding visibly faster than the rest though, aero and strong, coming home some five minutes and more ahead of Ben Lane in 54.52.
Best of the ladies was British, Commonwealth, European and Olympic Champion Katie Archibald (Team HUUB).
We’ll have to wait for her column in Cycling Weekly to see if she enjoyed her day, ‘alone and unpaced.’
Number 83, big Jamie Little (Classic Racing Team) looked to be going well – but we’ll hear more of him later…