Thursday, July 25, 2024

Tour de Trossachs 2022 – Chris Smart Victorious Again


HomeRaceRace ReviewsTour de Trossachs 2022 - Chris Smart Victorious Again

Blue skies, mild with not too much of a breeze – a perfect day for VeloVeritas’ favourite race, the 2022 Tour de Trossachs, ably promoted by Vanelli Project Go.

Joel Gillan. Photo©Ed Hood
Joel Gillan. Photo©Martin Williamson

We thought we might be able to start this piece with a ‘spoiler,’ we’d heard that starting off number one, Joel Gillan may be the youngest ever starter in the event?

But our editor, Martin Williamson, a man who won this event in 1989, thought he may lay claim to this, having ridden it back in the mists of time at 14 years-of-age.

Martin Williamson (Velo Sportiv) tackling the first hairpins on the Dukes Pass. Photo©Danny McLure

However, game set and match to Joel at 12 years-of-age who completed the course in a commendable 1:37:ll.

Norman Gillan. Photo©Martin Williamson

And Dad, Norman Gillan made it a ‘family affair. 

On the one hand we thought the ‘no front light, no start’ policy a tad hard – but then when one sees the current standard of driving, it makes sense.

We headed off to the Dukes, past the corner at the bottom where once was the Bailie Nicol Jarvie hotel; the Bailie was a fictional character in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Rob Roy; ‘a canny merchant and couthy, cautious urbanite who gets caught up in shenanigans in the Highlands.’ 

‘Back in the day,’ those Glasgow boys whose hangover was too bad to attempt The Dukes would stand outside with their, ‘hairs of the dog,’ and offer encouragement – or abuse…

The gallery on the famous hairpin?

One man, no dog.

Rhys Edwards. Photo©Martin Wiliamson

The first man to catch our eye was Edinburgh Road Club’s Rhys Edwards – or rather his socks did; a big Suisse Franc fine if the UCI commissaire sees those fellas…

But we did like that nice Argon 18.

George Skinner. Photo©Martin Williamson

It could have been Les West or Keith Lambert – but it was actually George Skinner [Royal Albert], his ‘kingfisher’ and orange Holdsworth had Dave and I nostalgic for those simpler days of the 70’s…

James Smith. Photo©Martin Williamson

And whilst many clubs seek ever more hard on the optic nerves colour ways for their jerseys, the Nightingale stick with that classic and lovely Belgian national jersey – modelled here by James Smith.

Bruce Irvine. Photo©Martin Williamson

The first man to catch our eye as going well and on his road bike was #22, Bruce Irvine [Team Andrew Allan Architecture] who would finish 13th with 1:15:41.

Steve Wallace. Photo©Martin Williamson

He’d caught #21, Steve Wallace [Dunfermline CC] but Steve gets the award for best chainrings of the day.