On a lovely sunny afternoon, Arthur Doyle (Dooleys Cycles) rocketed around the Scottish Championship 10 mile course at Corpach outside Fort William to take the gold medal for the third year in a row.

Second, 33 seconds back, was Shetland Wheeler Carlos Riise, and Alistair Robinson (Leslie Bike Shop) only three seconds further adrift in the bronze medal position.

The three riders were all in the last four to be sent off by the timekeeper, and proving the organiser’s seeding was pretty accurate, the fourth rider in the race, Gary Robson (Peebles CC) was also in the last four away, winning fastest Vet for his efforts. Gary actually tied with Evan Oliphant but felt he should get allocated fourth on account of being a vet!

Arthur also won the fabulous Jason MacIntyre Trophy, awarded in memory of Jason who was tragically killed just over two years ago and who was the winner of ‘the 10’ himself four years back.

The trophy, designed by Jason’s wife Caroline features a black granite tear-drop, representing Jason’s aero-helmet, with the marble base infused on the sides with stone chips like the roads Jason won on, and on the top with twinkling stars – as Caroline said when she was presenting the trophy and looking at her two wee girls, “where we know he is now“.

Caroline and Arthur with the trophy.

I’d set off straight from work yesterday, to get up to Fort William and the digs before dinner time, but like Rab said, “the best laid plans…

I got delayed in the office, Gillian was laid low with a stomach virus and was better off staying in bed, and so it was later than planned when I met up with Caroline, Gary, Shona and Nik for a bite to eat in a hotel in the highland town.

I always love driving through Glen Coe.
I always love driving through Glen Coe. (click for the full image)

I was all for being good, and carbo-loading, until Caroline and Gary insisted that Jason would have had the fish and chips here the night before a race, and as they were, so I did too – and it was too nice to care about saturated whatnots!

Too late for a course recce by now, it was back to the digs and, thanks to the 12:30pm start today, a lie-in – magic!

I was still up in enough time this morning to have a great breakfast and ride into Fort William and out the other side, to suss out the course conditions and try to plan my race. Meeting up with: Gary later, we got all our kit sorted in final prep: discs and deep rims polished, tyres cleaned with vinegar, etc., and then we were off.

Gary was off second last, and had a bit of time to kill, which he did chewing the fat with Endura Racing’s Davy Lines, discussing their van conversions and the next aspect they could pimp-up. Hope it wasn’t those deep discussions which made Davy miss his start!

Youngest chap in the race, 12 year old Stuart Balfour (Peebles CC) didn't take any chances with the rain for his warm up, on the rollers in his dad's van.

I warmed up on the turbo and pottered off to the start. The race was superbly well organised, great marshalls, and naturally, there was a marked level of safety-consciousness, although the course didn’t have many vehicles on it and was pretty straightforward : along the north shore of Loch Eil to the turn in the road, and back past the start for half a mile to finish.

Main factors were the rising temperature – which was pleasant to stand around chatting in, but meant that the wind also got up for the second half of the field, and the undulating profile of the road. It certainly isn’t a flat motorway of a course, with several pretty sticky rises to contend with in each direction.

Once finished, I got changed and to unwind the legs a little, rode back out on the course to watch the fastmen on the way back.

Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing).

Evan Oliphant finished fourth equal, but would almost certainly been faster had he done without a trip onto the verge, courtesy of a badly driven car trying to overtake in an impossible place. Evan took the car’s nearside wing mirror out with his arm, and wrecked his new Endura oversock on the bushes at the roadside. Mind and put that into your team logbook mate.

Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers).

Shona was taking time checks for Gary, and used Jim Cusick as the benchmark. Jim didn’t look like he was on his best day to me, and confirmed that after the finish;

“It’s difficult just now, I work away so much that it’s hard to get consistent training in. I’m off to Ireland next week for example, without a bike. I used to swim and I’m going to get back into that a bit – at least I’ll get my heart rate up and lungs working in the hotel pool when I’m away”.

David Lines (Endura Racing).
David Lines (Endura Racing). (click for the full image)

Davy Lines hammered past, looking great – focused and determined. No doubt kicking himself for turning up late at the start (wheel trouble I understand), but he’s only using the time trials for extra training;

“Unless you’re Chris Hoy, you never try as hard in training as you do in a race. With a number on your back, you put in a much higher quality session, and these tests will help me in my road racing; closing gaps, sitting tempo for a teammate, or maybe even defending a jersey in a stage race time trial, like Alex had to do at Murcia”.

Carlos Riise (Shetland Wheelers).

Carlos Riise was the next rider we were expecting, and just on cue he appeared in the distance, sweeping past us in his familar low tuck, shoulders still and pedalling a big gear. 10 miles or 100 miles, always consistent and always fast.

Alistair Robinson (Leslie Bike Shop).

Alistair Robinson came into view, moving smoothly with quite a high cadence. Shona thought she’d made a mistake; “he’s exactly the same time as Carlos“.

Gary Robson (Peebles CC).
Gary Robson (Peebles CC). (click for the full image)

Just two riders to go.

Gary Robson has been having problems recently with nerves in his back and hamstring, “it’s like my leg has a mind of it’s own!“, and was not exactly comfortable having the reigning champion starting directly behind him – albeit, at two minute intervals for the last dozen riders, a catch by Arthur was never on.

“I’m not really on for this today, I’ve missed too much quality training in the lead-up, but I’ve bought all this new kit and I’m really looking forward to using it”.

Gary fired past us with a determined look on his face, riding on heart as much as fitness, and ended up 20 seconds off the podium steps.

Only Arthur Doyle to see now. there was a gasp as he appeared a minute sooner than we thought he would – absolutely flying.

Arthur Doyle (Dooleys Cycles).
Arthur Doyle (Dooleys Cycles). (click for the full image)

Churning a massive gear, but as steady as a rock, Arturo resembled an industrial machine, those long thin legs somehow able to keep the pressure up onto the 56t chainring and the power ‘at the back wheel’, as those MotoGP guys say. Very impressive.

I rode back with him from the finish to the strip, as he told me his season objective;

“To get under 20 minutes, I’ve never done a 19′ and that’s my motivation. No, I’m not riding a huge commute these days, it’s down to about 40 miles over some great roads, and if I leave early enough and miss the traffic, it’s lovely.

“Yeah, I think I’ve done a 20:36 or 37, which will be a course record, so I’m very pleased with that.”

Back at Race HQ, a great spread was enjoyed by all. Caroline directed me to the best fairy cakes (her mum’s), and presented all the prizes to the winners.

We thought a nice way to finish our day would be to pop up the hill near the HQ, and say hello to Jason. His stone is wonderful, perfect in every aspect, with a beautifully etched drawing of Jason climbing a local hill in his British Champion’s jersey. Imposing, large and powerful, just like the man himself.

Jason's headstone has the best view down Loch Linnhe towards Ben Nevis.
Jason's headstone has the best view down Loch Linnhe towards Ben Nevis. (click for the full image)

We reckon Jason would be pleased with the day’s racing, and happy that the trophy went to a very deserving winner.

Result

1 Arthur Doyle – Dooleys Cycles RT S 20:37
2 Carlos Riise – Shetland Wh. V40 21:10
3 Alistair Robinson – Leslie Bike Shop S 21:13
4 Evan Oliphant – Endura Racing S 21:32
5 Gary Robson – Peebles CC V40 21:32
6 Michael Nicolson – Dooleys Cycles RT S 21:34
7 Philip Kelman – Deeside Thistle CC V40 21:39
8 Silas Goldsworthy – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 21:46
9 Steve Nutley – Fife Cycling 2000 V50 21:49
10 Chris Smart – G B Fire Service S 21:50
11 Iain Grant – Dooleys Cycles RT S 21:50
12 James Cusick – Glasgow Couriers V40 21:57
13 Barry McGurk – Glasgow Couriers S 21:59
14 Richard Hunter – Perth United CC V40 22:01
15 David Gibson – Dooleys Cycles RT V40 22:04
16 Michael Pooley – Musselburgh RCC V40 22:05
17 Thomas Gordon – Dooleys Cycles RT V40 22:08
18 Peter Alexander – Moray Firth CC S 22:14
19 Gavin Shirley – Nevis Cycles RT S 22:15
20 Kyle Gordon – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 22:19
21 Wim Chalmet – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 22:19
22 Mathew Hamilton – Leslie Bike Shop J 22:19
23 Alan Thomson – Glasgow Couriers S 22:29
24 Joe Wilson – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 22:30
25 Graeme Cockburn – Glasgow Nightingale V40 22:31
26 Martin Williamson – Peebles CC V40 22:32
27 Andy Torrance – Dooleys Cycles RT V40 22:33
28 Colin MacTavish – West Highland Wh. V50 25:28
29 Sean Monaghan – Granite City RT V40 22:36
30 David Caesar – thebicycleworks.com S 22:40
31 Robert Hassan – Glasgow Wheelers S 22:41
32 R G McLean – Angus Bike Chain V50 22:45
33 Ian Humphreys – Deeside Thistle CC V50 22:50
34 Matthew Powell – Forres CC S 22:35
35 Steve Davidson – Perth United CC V40 22:51
36 Andy Cowie – Moray Firth CC V50 22:55
37 Gordon Graham – Fullarton Wheelers V40 22:56
38 Jamie Drever – Glasgow Wheelers S 22:58
39 Kenneth Darling – Kelso Wheelers V40 23:07
40 Paul Black – Elgin CC V40 23:10
41 James MacDonald – Johnstone Wh. S 23:11
42 Alan Robertson – East Kilbride RC V40 23:12
43 Paul Friel – Unattached V40 23:12
44 Finlay Young – Equipe Velo Ecosse J 23:13
45 David Harter – Forres CC V40 23:14
46 Christopher Adamson – Musselburgh RCC V40 23:14
47 Andrew Rowat – Musselburgh RCC V40 23:15
48 Brendan McCabe – Aberdeen Wheelers V40 23:15
49 Nik Gowrie – Peebles CC S 23:16
50 Iain McMullen – Dooleys Cycles RT V40 23:18
51 Kevin Lackie – Elgin CC V40 23:18
52 Norman Skene – Granite City RT V50 23:26
53 David Walker – Kelso Wheelers V40 23:28
54 Allan Mill – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 23:30
55 Craig Dick – Glasgow Wheelers S 23:31
56 Graham Jones – Edinburgh RC V40 23:41
57 Colin MacKenzie – Edinburgh RC V40 23:48
58 Greg Brown – Dooleys Cycles RT J 23:50
59 John McDowall – Edinburgh RC S 23:51
60 Steve Beech – Sandy Wallace Cycles V60 23:56
61 John Paterson – Dumfries C C S 23:59
62 Barry Duncan – Pedal Power RT V40 24:01
63 Sandy Wallace – Sandy Wallace Cycles V60 24:02
64 Ross Laidlaw – Kelso Wheelers S 24:03
65 Gerry McGarrity – InverClyde Velo S 24:10
66 Jonny May – Edinburgh RC V40 24:11
67 Bill Aiton – East Kilbride RC V50 24:20
68 David Thomson – Johnstone Wh. S 24:30
69 D N Robinson – North Argyll CC V40 24:30
70 Martin Pearson – RAF Cycling Club S 24:33
71 Charles Fletcher – Cairngorm C C J 24:36
72 William Bunyan – Dunfermline C C V5 24:39
73 Andy Duncan – Ythan CC S 24:41
74 Michael Martin – East Kilbride RC V40 24:43
75 Grahame Hay – Perth United CC V40 24:44
76 Paul Anderson – Musselburgh RCC V40 24:44
77 Kyle Yates – Leslie Bike Shop Y 24:45
78 Hector Nicolson – Moray Firth CC V50 24:51
79 Steven Martin – Nevis Cycles RT V50 24:51
80 Bob Taylor – Dooleys Cycles RT V60 25:07
81 Dale McCallum – Edinburgh RC Y 25:14
82 David Gunn – Nevis Cycles RT V50 25:17
83 Greg Balden – Johnstone Wh. S 25:19
84 Robert McCall – Glasgow Nightingale S 25:20
85 Andy Laing – Musselburgh RCC V50 25:22
86 John Shirley – West Highland Wh. V50 25:23
87 James Montgomery – Johnstone Wh. V60 25:28
88 Peter Berrie Nevis Cycles RT V50 25:51
89 Peter Robertson- Forres CC V60 25:29
90 Bill Dallas – Ythan CC V40 22:51
91 Kevin Moir- Ross-Shire Rds CC S 26:03
92 Stuart Balfour – Peebles CC Y 26:03
93 Sean Noon – Edinburgh RC Y 27:34
94 Ian Sargent – Moray Firth CC S 26:05
95 Graeme Wylie – Edinburgh RC V40 26:19
96 Scott McCallum – Edinburgh RC S 26:20
97 Allan McCrimmon – West Lothian Clarion S 26:22
98 Astie Cameron – Nevis Cycles RT S 26:25
99 Gavin Clark – Ross-Shire Rds CC S 26:32
100 Mike Gordon – Cromarty Firth C C V50 26:41
101 John Hunter – Ythan CC S 27:08
102 Lewis Lyall – Forres CC Y 27:11
103 Robin Morton – North Argyll CC V40 27:20
104 George Grant – Forres CC V60 27:26
105 Andrew Strathdee – Nevis Cycles RT V40 23:21
106 Andrew Wilson – St Christophers CC V6027:58
107 Trefor Baker – Glenmarnock Wh. S28:16
108 Grant Thomson – Unattached S 28:26
109 Brian Reffin – North Argyll CC S 28:28
110 Chris Britton – Unattached S 28:32
111 Alastair MacQuarrie – Team Merrick S 30:11
112 Liam Monaghan – Ythan CC Y 31:43
113 David Lines – Endura Racing S 35:19

Team

Dooleys Cycles RT (Arthur Doyle 20:37, Michael Nicolson 21:34, Iain Grant 21:50)

Top three in the men's championship.

Women’s Championship

1 Mari Todd – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 23:12
2 Christine McLean – Shetland Wheelers V40 23:38
3 Sian Tovey – G3R S 24:40
4 Victoria Hunter – Sandy Wallace Cycles V40 24:43
5 Fiona Duncan – Ythan CC S 24:44
6 Anda-Jay Burgess – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 25:11
7 Sarah Gleave – Sandy Wallace Cycles V40 25:12
8 Liz Chillingsworth – Deeside Thistle CC S 25:20
9 Shelley Farrar – Deeside Thistle CC V40 25:30
10 Sharon Doyle – Sandy Wallace Cycles S 25:49
11 Jenni Nicholson – Deeside Thistle CC V50 27:33
12 Anna Harris – Angus Bike Chain S 27:35
13 Carol Middleton – Ythan CC V50 27:48
14 Mary Eagleson – Ross-Shire Roads CC V50 27:51
15 Chantel Clark – Deeside Thistle CC S 28:15
16 Laura Gunn – Forres C C Y 30:22
17 Kate Finlayson – Forres C C Y 30:58
18 Nicky Martin – Unattached V40 32:45

Team

Sandy Wallace Cycles (Mari Todd 23:12, Victoria Hunter 24:43)

The women's podium.