On a typical wet and miserable Fife Sunday morning, Dooleys’ 41 year-old former duathlete Iain Grant made up for his one second defeat in the Scottish 10 Mile Championship with a sparkling 1:49:00 over the longer distance at the Scottish 50 Mile TT Championships, putting him 2:24 clear of Sean Childs (RNRMCA) and 2:55 up on defending champion Alan Thomson (Sandy Wallace).
It was cold and damp for the 08:00 am start, just south of New Inn roundabout.
Robert Milton of Dunfermline CC was first to head off into the murk to enjoy the fast first mile down Freuchie Brae.
The drizzle turned to rain as the morning wore on and VeloVeritas took to the car for our rider pictures – but our Nikons still needed dried off after every shot, so apologies if the pictures aren’t our best – but if you do see any snaps you’d like, drop us an email, they’re available for a small admin fee.
We couldn’t help but observe that despite the plethora of expensive wind tunnel tested hardware on display, some riders haven’t quite got this ‘aero thing’ straight in their minds.
Check out the ‘clean’ front end of the winner’s Giant Trinity, then have a look at your own front end set up.
Having snapped the whole field’s starting effort, we headed off to catch the action on the road.
The ‘gift’ Freuchie (or to give it’s Sunday name, ‘Station’) Brae start gives way to the ‘windy mile,’ the long straight which broke a thousand hearts when it was the finishing straight for Fife time trials in the ‘good old days.’
The course goes left at the ‘Fish Tail’ – I’m so old that I can remember when a house stood there and not a plantation of trees – then north through Edenstown and Charlottetown to Collessie where it picks up the A91 and heads west.
This road – before the re-alignments east of Auchtermuchty and advent of the Strathmiglo by-pass – was part of the old Fife ’25’ and ’50’ courses and where John McMillan took the Scottish ’25’ record in the 60’s.
His time, a ‘55’ if I remember rightly, stood for many years – until Dave Hannah changed everything.
We grabbed some shots of the ‘Bigs’ – as they say in Italy – from the car; Graham Watson? Who needs him?
The rain went off at ‘muchty – hometown to the Proclaimers and Doctor Finlay’s casebook – but was back on again by Strath.
The early starters were splashing back to meet us as we passed the old ’50’ turn at Burnside.
Silas Goldsworthy’s jaw was jutting and he was chewing up the minute men as we headed for Milnathort, the turn and breakfast.
Childs was going to catch Glasgow Wheelers’ Graeme Cockburn, his two minute man – and Carlos Riise (Shetland) looked to be going well.
Alan Thomson took the turn cleanly and accelerated out of it neatly on a small gear.
Baguette, cheese, ham and Tunnocks caramel wafers for brunch safely on the back seat, we ‘retraced’ towards ‘Muchty.
On ‘visual’ it was apparent that Thomson was up on Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) and that Steve Nutley (Sandy Wallace) was going well.
We decided that it would be sacrilege to pass through ‘Muchty twice without paying homage to accordion king, the late, great Jimmy Shand, and so we popped in to take a picture of his statue, via the Cycle Tavern.
We caught Arthur again on the wee drag out of ‘Muchty and it was apparent it wasn’t his day – his usual fluid style missing.
A lay-by on the Lindores road, just north of Collessie was our breakfast spot – Silas surprised us; and we unfortunately couldn’t meet with his request for a fresh rear wheel.
That puncture cost him dearly; he would finish the day in sixth spot on 1:52:42 including a wheel change and around 5 miles on the rim – Ken Whitson had him second to Grant just before the deflation.
It was a bitter/sweet weekend for Goldsworthy; Saturday afternoon saw him finish an excellent 7th in the British ’25’ championship with a 50:34 to winner Michael Hutchinson’s 47:01 and he must now go in to the Scottish ’25’ with Grant as one of the hot favourites.
Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) came through, we had Jim down as our favourite – he’s a man who goes well in wet conditions – but he was down on Goldsworthy and would succumb himself to a puncture, before the end.
Carlos was on his usual huge gear but not going as well as Childs, who was up everyone that we’d time checked, except Thomson; although we’d contrived to miss Grant – probably in the cluster of riders who came passed us all at once.
We stopped next at Edentown with around 2.5 miles to go, just catching up to and starting the watch on Riise; Cockburn, Gavin Shirley (Dooleys) and Philip Kelman (Deeside) were all out of it.
Childs was faster then Thomson – that black cat crossing the Sandy Wallace man’s path kept him on the podium but couldn’t help him retain the title.
We made Doyle third but had been just too late to catch Grant at this final check.
At the Alex Mackie memorial seat, which marks the finish, watch maestro Alistair Speed put us right on the winner, shaking his head at our amateur time-keeping.
But we had second, third and fourth in the correct order, so didn’t do too badly – that man Grant was just too fast for us.
We caught him up in the car park, though.
“On scale of one to 10, it’s an 11 for today – it’ll be a week before the smile comes off my face!
“It was obviously very wet and miserable but calm and mild, once you’ve started then you just get on with it, don’t you?
“My background is in triathlon and duathlon – whilst I’ve raced the bike seriously for a couple of years, this is the first year where I haven’t been running, too. I was Scottish duathlon champion last year and it’s something I’ll go back too.
“I rode on power today; I did a 60 minute watts test in training then took a percentage of that for today as my target output – I averaged 324 watts during my ride today.
“Rotor rings? I think they’re great, they really smooth my pedalling out – the ring is a 53 but equivalent to a 55 on the down stroke and a 51 on the upstroke.
“I was an 11 up cassette today but was probably on the 13 most of the time.
“The Trinity is a great bike but I tend to leave the set up to the shop (Dooleys). I’m not that mechanical and tend to over-tighten things and break them! Besides, I don’t think is a good thing to get too absorbed in the mechanical side of things.
“I do most of my training on the turbo, it’s smoother and safer – but it’s nice to get out if we get the weather.
“Today ticked one of my boxes for the season – it was a big disappointment to lose the ‘10’ by one second.”
What’s the other box that has to be ticked?
“That’s the ’25!”
We’ll definitely keep a closer eye on Mr. Grant at the ’25,’ – and he won’t have to worry about teammate Arthur – he’ll be on a family holiday in France.
Result - Scottish 50 Mile TT Championships
Iain Grant Dooleys Cycles RT V 1.49.00
Sean Childs RNRMCA V 1.51.24
Alan Thomson Sandy Wallace Cycles S 1.51.55
Arthur Doyle Dooleys Cycles RT S 1.52.23
Steve Nutley Sandy Wallace Cycles V 1.52.37
Silas GoldsworthySandy Wallace Cycles S 1.52.42
Carlos Riise Shetland Wheelers V 1.52.53
Steve Cairns Perth United S 1.53.53
Philip Kelman Deeside Thistle CC V 1.55.12
Keith Robertson Granite City RT V 1.55.55
Gavin Shirley Dooleys Cycles RT S 1.56.12
Gerry McGarrity Inverclyde Velo S 1.56.37
Mark Ewing West Lothian Clarion V 1.57.47
Graeme Cockburn Glasgow Wheelers CC V 1.57.50
Graeme Hay Stirling Bike Club V 1.58.23
David Gibson Dooleys Cycles RT V 1.58.40
Derek McMillan St Christopher’s CC V 1.59.39
Steve Davidson Perth United V 1.59.45
Nick Tryon RNRMCA V 2.00.27
Andrew Underwood Glasgow Wheelers CC S 2.01.45
Scott Newman Inverclyde Velo S 2.02.41
Greg Quinn Deeside Thistle CC V 2.03.12
Ian Wilson Deeside Thistle CC V 2.03.27
Keith Nettleton Deeside Thistle CC V 2.03.45
Jim Meek Leslie Bike Shop V 2.03.56
Kevin Lackie Moray Cycles RT V 2.04.44
Scott Patterson Sandy Wallace Cycles S 2.05.03
Sian Tovey Dooleys Cycles RT L 2.05.35
Steve Beech Sandy Wallace Cycles V 2.06.16
Paul McLafferty Glasgow Ivy CC S 2.06.27
Jim Trevor Hull Thursday RC S 2.07.04
Sadiq Mir West Lothian Clarion S 2.08.02
Bud Johnston Glasgow Couriers V 2.08.05
Christine McLean Shetland Wheelers LV 2.08.06
Mark Leadbetter Stirling Bike Club V 2.09.19
Graham Jones Edinburgh Road Club V 2.09.28
Sandy Wallace Sandy Wallace Cycles V 2.09.48
Shelley Farrar Deeside Thistle CC LV 2.10.06
Iain Taylor Dunfermline CC V 2.10.18
Alan Solway Kennoway RC V 2.12.42
Jay Burgess Sandy Wallace Cycles L 2.13.58
Tina Reid Sandy Wallace Cycles LV 2.15.23
Paul Hornby Glasgow Ivy CC V 2.15.44
Charles Gillies Stirling Bike Club V 2.16.24
Gillian Palmer Sandy Wallace Cycles L 2.21.29
Iain Binning Stirling Bike Club V 2.23.33
Andrew Wilson St Christopher’s CC V 2.26.25
Steve Foley Fife Century Road Club S 2.32.05
Robert Milton Dunfermline CC V 2.34.34
David Mitchell Perth United V 2.40.27
Tom Cummings Fife Century Road Club V 2.42.14
Angus McCulloch Kinross CC V DNF
Billy Bunyan Dunfermline CC V DNF
Allan Mill Sandy Wallace Cycles S DNF
Craig Cameron Aberdeen Wheelers V DNF
Norman Skene Granite City RT V DNF
Jim Cusick Glasgow Couriers V DNF
Katherine Wren Stirling Bike Club LV DNS
Stuart Easton Sandy Wallace Cycles V DNS
Raymond Johnston Glasgow Couriers V DNS
Tim Caine Berwick Wheelers CC V DNS
Stuart Moran Nevis Cycles RT S DNS
Sarah Gleave Vortex RT LV DNS
Elaine Lowden Glasgow Wheelers CC L DNS
Gold Medal – Iain Grant – Dooleys Cycles RT 1.49.00 (Course Record)
Silver Medal- Alan Thomson – Sandy Wallace Cycles 1.51.55
Bronze Medal – Arthur Doyle – Dooleys Cycles RT 1.52.23
(Second placed Sean Childs was not eligible for the Scottish Championship Medals)
Mens Team Championship
Sandy Wallace Cycles (Alan THomson/Steve Nutley/Silas Goldsworthy) 4.37.14
(Dooleys Cycles RT just lost out on taking the Team by 21 secs)
Gold Medal – Sian Tovey Dooleys Cycles RT 2.05.35
Silver Medal – Christine McLean Shetland Wheelers 2.08.06
Bronze Medal – Shelley Farrar Deeside Thistle 2.10.06
Lady’s Team Championship
Sandy Wallace Cycles (Jay Burgess/Tina Reid) 4.29.21