Alistair Robinson (Team Leslie Bike Shop) was the winner of a damp edition of the Tour de Trossachs on Sunday with a rapid 1:06:01, putting him two minutes clear of roadman turned clock basher for the day Robin Wilkins (Stirling BC); with evergreen Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) rounding off the podium a further minute back.
The late starters had the best of the day as the cold rain which tormented the early starters cleared, leaving damp roads but fast, mild conditions.
Pre-race favourite and defending Trossachs champion, Arthur Doyle (Dooleys RT) punctured near the top of the Dukes Pass having caught twice Trossachs winner, Phil Brown for two minutes — Brown finished with a ‘12’ leaving speculation about what Doyle would have done, had he not punctured.
But as lots of riders discovered in Geelong over the last few days, bike races don’t always go to plan.
VeloVeritas’ plan was to take pictures all the way round the course, starting with a picture of number one on the start line and ending with Arthur’s winning sprint for the line — we got it half right.
First to brave the rain at 10:00 am on the button was Helen Marie Stuart — and if there’s any doubt about the technical nature of this race then the first few kilometres soon dispel them; twists, turns, lumps and bumps all before the Rob Roy roundabout at around one mile.
There were some really strange looking fans out in Aberfoyle, but having been to a lot of Belgian kermises, I was cool with them.
The Dukes Pass was miserable and I wasn’t envious of Pete Robertson (Forres CC) or Frazer Grant (Dales RT) as they tackled the lower slopes; the cloud clinging to the hillside.
A total of 12 brave souls made up the gallery on the Dukes with Jocky Johnstone of Team Icarus not having to worry about the sun melting the wax on his wings on this day.
Ran Shenton (Team Swift) breasted the Dukes to not so much as a ‘dig in son!’, with just VeloVeritas in attendance; not surprising given the weather and the delights available from Geelong on TV.
And it wouldn’t be a proper report without pictures of Loch Drunkie and the Trossachs Kirk.
Down at Loch Katrine road end a very polite Paul Friel thanked the marshal for guiding him round the corner — but Ian King (Stirling BC) and Andrew Davies (thebicycleworks.com) didn’t have the breath to spare.
The advertising blurb for the Trossachs Hotel says that in 1838 there stood on the site ‘Stewart’s Inn’. A certain Lord Cockburn who spent the night there reckoned that they whilst they had 60 guests, there was only room for 12 and the ‘pigs were as comfortably accommodated.’
Kelso Wheeler, David Walker flashed me a puzzled look as he saw me reading notice boards with the rain dripping off me.
Andrew Rowat (Musselburgh RCC) gets two pictures, one riding along a wet and miserable Venachar and the other shutting his eyes and hoping for the best at the Inver Trossachs bridge.
The floods coming into the bridge were a bit tricky but good for ‘arty’ pics, we hope you like them.
The marshal on duty told me it was the first time in many years of marshalling the spot that he’d ever heard the river — it was well in speight.
I took a couple more pics and was off to the ‘wee’ Braes of Greenock, as I believe the new climb over to Thornhill is now known.
Gavin Shirley (Nevis Cycles RT) was looking good but not as good as Barry McGurk (Glasgow Couriers) who was handling the gradient well.
One of the toughest parts of the course is the run from Thornhill to the finish through Ruskie and Port of Menteith, drag follows drag and the gas tank is starting to run low — Euan Pope (Glasgow Couriers) was anxious to inform me about how he was feeling; I nodded in sympathy and cut the top of his helmet off in the picture — keep quiet next time, Euan.
Eventual second, Wilkins looked very much on top of the job on this section.
The mile ‘countdown’ boards can be an aid to ‘getting it all out’ or torture, depending on how your legs feel — Jon Clarke (Glasgow Wheelers) didn’t seem to be put off by the two miles to go board; but fast man Chris Smart (GB Fire Service) wasn’t enjoying them.
The rain had stopped at last and ‘Scotland’s only lake’ — Menteith looked almost mellow in the afternoon light.
Ian Cooke (Team Swift) and Peter Ettles (Sandy Wallace Cycles) were looking the part at one mile to go; but it was Robinson showing how much it pain it takes to win a great race.
Up at the finish line we waited in vain for Arthur but snapped Robinson’s team mate James Meek and Phil Brown ‘break the timing beam.’
Phil has won the Trossachs twice in the past and is just back from a broken hip, so it was good to see him in action — the sun even shone on him.
All that remained was to hear what the winner had to say:
“This one means a lot to me, I’ve wanted to win here for a few years, now.
“I’ve not been road racing that much due to three collar bone breakages in twelve months but I hope to be back on the road next year — I’ve not ridden a stage race for a long time and I’d like to get back into that side of racing.
“It would be great to ride the Ras, maybe we could get a Leslie Bikes team in to it — Andy who runs the team has been great with me, very helpful after what wasn’t a great season last year with Endura.
“I’ll still ride time trials, though — I’m quite good at them.”
‘Quite good’ indeed, as his name joins that of Steel, Bilsland, Millar, Obree and Macintyre on the roll of honour.
See you next year?
One for the Ladies
By Janette Hazlett, Race Organiser
‘I remember when’ … a cyclist favourite line — everything was better attended, better weather, and just better so they say … but I remember when … if you were a girl you were the odd one out on a local club run and I challenge any boy now man to deny that their first priority was to set off as fast as they could to get rid of me !!! then the ride settled down !! I remember the delight of turning up at bike race and discovering that actually there are a few more girls that ride the bike too !! the numbers were always small but it was kinda nice to be in that small group where you all knew each other . The number of Ladies racing (i never liked it when the changed us to women !!) was always low !!
Sundays, Tour de Trossachs had 18 Ladies entered .. 18 !! and with 8 Ladies reaching the required standard to be able to compete in various events at the Commonwealth games you’ve got to admit that WOMENS Cycling in Scotland is on the UP !!!
Not only has the numbers improved but the standards in terms of time trial times and road racing results have improved — all the Ladies should be proud of what has been achieved they have all worked hard and the commitment shown by everyone is pure hardcore !! I thought I trained hard when I did race a long time ago but compared to what these girls do now I was messing around !!!
Many of them combine training with family life and / or demanding careers — a concept I once thought would be impossible. The winner of Sundays event Mari Todd is once such rider — Mari always was a class act and has no doubt put the same commitment into home live and her career as she does in training. The training that produced a spectacular performance on Sunday !!!
On a wet but calm Sunday morning Mari shattered her own hill and course records by knocking 27 second of the hill record now 16:13 and an amazing 1 minute and 11 seconds off the course record now 1:15:29 !! Which not only gave her the Gold medal for the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial Champsionship but was good enough to give her 31st place overall in one of the most competitive fields the Trossachs has had for a long time !!
Second place was Christine McLean, Shetland Wheelers in 1:23:35 which was way off what Christine usually achieves at the Trossachs but she did admit to falling off the day before while checking the course out and that experience led her to take things a bit more carefully. This would explain her hill time of 17:58 compared with 16:47 in 2009 when she and Mari broke Christine’s previous record !!!
Third place went to Jay Burgess with 17:56 for the hill prime and 1:24:39 — which meant that Mari and Jay took the Team Gold Medal for the Scottish Olympic Time Trial Champsionship. Jay should publish her training and racing diary for this year – my guess is that it would give a few top riders a shock !! this girl is determined to improve !! and I’m sure she will — no pressure Jay !!
These three W have one thing in common — they have the right attitude to their racing — train hard, race hard — it’s a formula that works !!! and they are all just so nice too !!!! but Mari makes the best Apple Pies !!!
Hopefully Scottish Cycling will provide the Ladies,Women, Girls a full calendar for next year and we continue to see the numbers improve !! standalone womens Tour de Trossachs — now there is an idea !!! or a VeloVeritas sponsored Womens Stage race in Scotland … Ed phone me !!!
Tour de Trossachs 2010 – Result
1. Alistair Robinson Team Team Leslie Bike Shop 1:07:28 Snr 1
2. Robin Wilkins Stirling Bike Club 1:08:12 Snr 1
3. James Cusick Glasgow Couriers 1:09:38 V40
4. Joe Wilson Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:10:19 Snr
5. Peter Ettles Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:10:25 V40
6. Alan Thomson Glasgow Couriers 1:10:34 Snr 2
7. Ian Cooke Team Swift 1:10:45 V40
8. Barry McGurk Glasgow Couriers 1:10:47 Snr 3
9. Robert Hassan Glasgow Wheelers 1:11:00 Snr 1 U23
10. Jamie Kennedy Glasgow Couriers 1:11:48 Snr 3
11. Ken Russell Edinburgh Road Club 1:12:18 V40
12. Kristoff Aksnes Glasgow Wheelers 1:12:20 Snr 3 U23
13. Philip Brown Velo Ecosse 1:12:29 Snr
14. Andrew Underwood Glasgow Wheelers 1:12:42 Snr 4
15. Steve Nutley Fife Century 2000 1:12:47 V50
16. Gavin Shirley Nevis Cycles Racing Team 1:12:53 Snr 3
17. Philip Kelman Deeside Thistle CC 1:13:16 V40
18. Jon Clarke Glasgow Wheelers 1:13:27 Snr 3
19. Matthew Hamilton Team Leslie Bike Shop 1:13:33 Jnr
20. Rich Semple East Kilbride Road Club 1:14:02 Snr 3
21. Jason Roberts Glasgow Wheelers 1:14:23 Snr 2
22. Ian Brown Deeside Thistle CC 1:14:27 V40
23. Matthew Ball West Lothian Clarion CC 1:14:32 V40
24. Euan Pope Glasgow Couriers 1:14:46 Snr 2
25. Paul Friel Unattached 1:14:51 V40
26. Carlos Riise Shetland Wheelers 1:15:01 V40
27. Kenny Kentley Velo Ecosse 1:15:04 V40
27. Grant Ferguson Dooleys R.T. 1:15:05 Jnr
28. Andrew Davies thebicycleworks.com 1:15:12 V40
29. Scott Newman Inverclyde Velo 1:15:22 Snr 3
30. Mari Todd Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:15:29 Lady
31. Duncan Warwick Deeside Thistle CC 1:16:13 V40
32. James Meek Team Leslie Bike Shop 1:16:30 Snr 4
33. Graeme Hay Stirling Bike Club 1:16:39 V40
34. Gianfranco Bianchini Glasgow Couriers 1:16:42 Snr
35. Andrew Rowat Musselburgh RCC 1:17:00 V40
36. Stephen Macintyre Unattached 1:17:02 V40
37. Gerry McGarrity Inverclyde Velo 1:17:06 Snr 4
38. Jack Green VS St. Raphael 1:17:13 Jnr
39. Raymond Reidy Team Leslie Bike Shop 1:17:17 V40
40. Randle Shenton Team Swift 1:17:19 V50
41. Steven Rowley Berwick Wheelers 1:17:19 Snr 4
42. David Walker Kelso Wheelers 1:17:22 V40
43. Jonny May Edinburgh Road Club 1:17:37 V40
44. David Griffiths Glasgow Wheelers 1:18:01 Snr 3
45. Chris Smart GB Fire Service (Scot Q) 1:18:24 Snr 3
46. Graham Jones Edinburgh Road Club 1:18:36 V40
47. Andrew McCaffery Ivy CC 1:18:43 V40
48. Georges Avraam Edinburgh Road Club 1:18:55 V50
49. David Macintyre Cairngorm CC 1:19:17 V40
50. John Anderson Glasgow Couriers 1:19:25 V50
51. Will Davenhill Pedal Power RT 1:19:25 V40
52. Sadiq Mir West Lothian Clarion CC 1:20:01 Snr 4
53. Alan Solway Kennoway RC 1:20:37 V60
54. Gavin Rowley Unattached 1:21:10 V40
55. Alex McPhee Dales RT 1:21:14 V40
56. Grahame Hay Perth Utd CC 1:21:46 V40
57. Derek McMillan St. Christophers CC 1:23:16 V50
58. Christine McLean Shetland Wheelers 1:23:35 Lady V
59. Jocky Johnstone Team Icarus 1:23:42 V60
60. David Hamill Pedal Power RT 1:24:09 Snr 4
61. Anda-Jay Burgess Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:24:29 Lady
62. David Francis Sid. Valley CC 1:24:39 V60
63. Craig Napier Glasgow Triathlon Club 1:24:44 V40
64. Paul Hornby Ivy CC 1:25:19 V40
65. Anne Plant Wheelbase 1:25:52 Lady V
66. Jack Savage Ivy CC 1:26:03 V50
67. Vicky Begg Johnstone Wheelers 1:26:17 Lady
68. William McMillan Dales RT 1:26:19 V60
69. Grant Thomson Stirling Bike Club 1:26:22 Snr 4
70. Victoria Ware VC Moulin 1:26:26 Lady
71. Sharon Doyle Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:26:29 Lady
72. Alan Miller Caesarean CC 1:26:45 V60
73. Ross Trainer Glasgow Wheelers 1:27:01 Snr 4
74. Fraser Robinson Keswick Bikes.co.uk 1:27:42 V50
75. James Davidson G.S. Metro 1:28:14 Snr
76. Ewan McKerracher Glasgow Triathlon Club 1:28:24 Snr
77. Graham Huck Doncaster Wheelers 1:28:29 V60
78. Stewart Barron Kennoway RC 1:28:35 V40
79. Peter Robertson Forress CC 1:29:50 V60
80. Martin Kane Pedal Power RT 1:30:29 V40
81. Ruaridh Shuttleworth City of Stirling Wheelers 1:31:00 V40
82. Ellie Schmidt Squadra Procini 1:32:46 Lady
83. Richard Hooper Unattached 1:33:11 Snr
84. Hamish Battye Unattached 1:33:34 V50
85. George Grant Forress CC 1:33:40 V60
86. Frazer Grant Dales RT 1:34:00 V50
87. Steven Fraser West Lothian Clarion CC 1:34:18 V40
88. John McComisky Edinburgh Road Club 1:34:54 V40
89. Alison Kerr Berwick Wheelers 1:36:19 Lady V
90. Fiona Crawford Kinross CC 1:36:26 Lady V
91. John Dobbie Kennoway RC 1:39:30 V70
92. James McAneny St. Christophers CC 1:40:24 V50
93. Isobel Fletcher Glasgow Wheelers 1:40:37 Lady V
94. Helen Marie Stuart Unattached 1:41:54 Lady
95. Norman Gillan Squadra Procini 1:42:14 Snr 4
96. Andrew Wilson St. Christophers CC 1:42:33 V60
97. David Barry Sport Fagley 1:46:36 V60
98. Ian Binning Stirling Bike Club 1:51:06 V60
99. George Adam SVTTA 1:58:30 V50
Mari Todd (Sandy Wallace Cycles) 1-15-29
James Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) 1-09-38
Steve Nutley (Fife Cycling 2000) 1-12-47
Matthew Hamilton (Leslie Bike Shop) 1-13-33