British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion, Jason Macintyre (Edge RT) died this afternoon, after being involved in a collision at 13.34 GMT with a Highland Council truck which is believed to have turned left across his path as it entered the council yard on the northern outskirts of Jason’s home town of Fort William.
The 34 year-old multiple Scottish champion was returning from a training run in the Spean Bridge area when the tragedy occured at a spot known locally as Carr’s corner on the A82 road.
Despite being taken by ambulance to Belford Hospital in the town, he was subsequently pronounced dead from his injuries.
A late-bloomer, whilst giving indications of his quality as a rider over the last 15 years, it was only in the last two seasons that he realised the potential that many observers had long felt he harboured.
At the end of the 2005 season, Jason began to return to form after a spell of illness. After training right through the Highland winter and displaying fanatical attention to his diet, he emerged at the start of the 2006 season slimmer, more flexible and stronger than at any stage in his career.
Whilst Scots had long known of Jason’s potential, it was not until he beat former double World Track Champion Chris Newton, to win the British 25 Mile Time Trial Championship that the wider cycling public were alerted to his ability.
His pride pricked by what he felt was a lack of recognition of his 25 victory, he removed all doubts about the validity of his win by beating multiple Britiish Time Trial Champion Michael Hutchison, to take the British Cycling Circuit Time Trial Championship later that same season.
The 2007 season saw him in even more towering form: Jason won the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship by two minutes and beat Graeme Obree’s long-standing Scottish 10 mile record.
Hutchison narrowly beat him for the British 10 Mile title but in the 25 he was unstoppable, brushing-off the pressure of being defending champion to beat Hutchison convincingly.
Ironically, the race which perhaps gained him most recognition was one which he did not win; defending his British Cycling Circuit Championship, he punctured when on a ride which looked to have former Tour de France yellow jersey holder David Millar heading for the silver medal behind the flying Highlander.
With Bradley Wiggins not riding the road time trial at the Bejing Olympics, and David Millar barred from the same event due to his drug taking admissions, an Olympic slot for Jason was no pipe dream.
Sadly, the very best of Jason MacIntyre will never be seen.
He is survived by his wife Caroline, and twin daughters Chloe and Morgan, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.
Today I heard the tragic news of the death of Jason MacIntyre.
As many people in the cycling world know, he rode for my team for nearly his entire cycling career. In the near-twenty years together we went through a lot of great times, and a few not-so-great times too. Over that time he not only became a very good friend to me, but he also developed into a fantastic athlete.
As with most people at the top of their sport, his attention to detail and fastidious preparation was remarkable.
We first met when I took the National Team to the RÃS International Cycle Race in Ireland. Jason crashed and punctured at least once every day for the first five days, but got up and made it back to the bunch each time, only being unable to take the start when a sickness bug struck, and he was barely able to stand, let alone ride his bike.
His approach inspired me to start a team and build it around him, and a few years later we returned to Ireland for the Tour of the North where Jason won two stages, as well as the race overall and leading us to the team prize.
He went to France to try and pursue cycling as a career however the arrival of his twin girls, Chloe and Morgan, meant he was unable to return the following season. Indeed their premature birth halted his cycling for a couple of years.
On his return he was, to my amazement, even better and stronger than before, and he went on to win five Scottish Grand Prix events on the trot, as well as winning the Glasgow-Dunoon British Premier Calendar race, following that quickly with a win in the Wanlockhead race.
Since then he has won countless Scottish Time Trial, Road Race, and Track titles with apparent ease.
His selection for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games was certainly well earned, however he was overlooked for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Sydney, and this was proven to be a somewhat short-sighted decision when he went on to win the blue riband event of British cycling: the 25 Mile Time Trial Championship. Then, with even more aplomb Jason won the British Circuit Time Trial Championship.
His target then became the Beijing Olympics to be held later this year, which he had been shortlisted for.
Sadly he will now be unable to fulfil that chapter in his career.
My family and I, and all of Jason’s former team-mates, send our deepest condolences to his family.
The news about Jason Macintyre stunned me, his face flashed before my eyes and the tears just couldn’t be stopped.
There are only two people I’ve seen in Scottish racing who have really left their mark on me:
One was Graham Obree. I can still see him torturing himself over the Dukes Pace on one of those Heath Robinson creations he used to ride; complete with single chain ring, on his way to breaking Robert Millar’s Trossachs course record.
The other image is of Jason. His position perfect, back flat and parallel to the road surface, eating up the tar, flowing straight and true with that marvellous lightness of touch on the pedals.
You either love time testing or you hate it – I love it. For me, Jason MacIntyre was the time triallist’s time triallist: his style, his cadence, his lines through the bends, his attention to detail with clothing and equipment, his single-mindedness about training and diet. Everything was done properly.
I can remember the “old” Jason at the Scottish ‘Olympic’ time trial champs, north of Dundee a few years ago – he went off-course when victory looked in the bag.
The ‘new’ Jason was different. He would have driven and ridden that course beforehand, no-one would have known it better, and for him to go off-course would have been unthinkable.
Many business people, if you ask them about why it took them until such-and-such a time to gain success, will say; “I finally got serious.” The winter of 2005 was when Jason ‘got serious’.”
He became especially serious about his diet. He was never what you call ‘fat’ at the best of times, but as the pounds came off and the power-to-weight ratio improved, he just got faster and faster. I looked in awe at his legs back at the Scottish Circuit Time Trial Championship at Eglinton last autumn. Very few professionals have legs like that: cut, sculpted, brown, and always the long-johns to keep all of that hard fought muscle warm.
I’ve already written about his British title wins – dazzling rides, but I’m convinced that the best was yet to come. I felt there was an Olympic Time Trial Medal in those long legs.
We’ll never know if I’m right about that, but what I do know is that Scottish cycling has lost one of it’s greats, and I’ve lost a friend who meant so much to me.