It’s not a competition any more, it’s a personal time trial,’ the words of Tour de Trossachs organiser, Janette Hazlett after she had to void the result, following a serious crash. David Clark of the Stowmarket & District CC was involved in what appeared to us to be a head on collision with a car on the Loch Venachar road and had to be helicoptered to hospital.

The ensuing traffic chaos meant that top seeds Ian Wilkins, Arthur Doyle and Ian Grant were all held up as the police closed the road.

Irrelevant though it is, best times were:

  1. Alistair Robinson (Leslie Bikes) 1:10:34
  2. Andy Whitehall (Velo Ecosse) 1:10:58
  3. Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) 1:11:30
  4. Steven Lawley (thebicycleworks) 1:11:37

It was a sad end to a morning which began with such promise…

* * *

The sun splits the skies, the air is fresh and there’s still frost hanging on the ferns – glorious.

Tour de Trossachs
Valerie Martin (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Ed Hood

The girls are first on the Dukes, wheezing a tad in somewhat unladylike fashion past the ‘bicycle gates.’

We have to take the predictable picture.

The ‘gallery’ on the Dukes is down to two individuals this year.

We remember when it was a couple of hundred. 

Martin recounts the story of when, as a wee Velo Sportiv schoolboy, Musselburgh’s Davie Urquhart kindly handed him up a ‘Club’ Orange biscuit on this very bend – ‘for energy.’

Tour de Trossachs
Valerie Martin (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Fraser Robinson (Keswickbikes.co.uk). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Andy Wilson (St. Christopher’s CC). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
David Gibson (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Martin Williamson

Further up the climb, at the McDonald Memorial seat there’s real heat in the sun as Davie Gibson (Dooleys) stomps up through the ‘S’ bends. Davie won this event on numerous occasions, ‘back in the day.’

Tour de Trossachs
David Gibson (Dooleys Cycles). Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
Ran Shenton (Team Swift). Photo©Ed Hood

At the top, Jim Leslie reminisced about the time he brought his breakfast up on the Dukes – cheers, Jim.

Tour de Trossachs
Jimmy and Martin swap food-related ‘tales from the Dukes Pass’. Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
Andrew Davies (theBicycleWorks.com). Photo©Ed Hood

We decide to try for some pics on the descent – it’s more difficult than catching the vets on the steep uphill bits, though.

Tour de Trossachs
Richard Pyatt (Richmond Cycling Club). Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
Robert Brown (Granite City RT). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
James Ryland (Fullarton Wheelers). Photo©Martin Williamson

The scenery is stunning, with big gaps in the field, there’s plenty of time to take it all in.

Tour de Trossachs
We had a full moon recently, so this fellow is making an appearance in the mornings. Photo©Ed Hood

Down at Venachar we have to snap the ‘fairy tale’ Trossachs Hotel – predictable but braw. There’s a breeze rising for the later starters as we head down to the Trossachs Kirk.

Tour de Trossachs
The Trossachs Church is tucked away between the road and Loch Achray. Photo©Ed Hood

Martin keeps the sports photography going as I get the sad ‘Tourist Board’ shots – well, it’s expected.

Tour de Trossachs
Paul Gareze (Lomond Roads). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Richard Provan (Glasgow Couriers). Photo©Martin Williamson

Out of the chill breeze, the sun is warm on the skin – and when the there’s a gap in the day tripper traffic, the stillness is lovely. Just the sound of the leaves dropping and the bird song.

Tour de Trossachs
James Davidson (Pedal Power RT). Photo©Martin Williamson

Some riders are over geared and bogged down on the rolling tar, others are on top of it as they capitalise on the tail wind.

Tour de Trossachs
David Clark (Stowmarket & District CC). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Gordon Watson (Glasgow Riderz). Photo©Martin Williamson

Off we go, but why are we being waved down on a bend?

Oh. A white Dolan is sticking out from underneath a car… is the answer.

The rider is laying in the road, but conscious and aware of his surroundings – not so good. Nothing we can do, our stopping would just add to the chaos. We make it #71, David Clark of the Stowmarket & District CC, let’s hope he’s alright.

Brig o’ Turk and the brae has John Paterson (Classic Racing Team) in the wee ring as we snap him through the windscreen.

Tour de Trossachs
John Paterson (Classic Racing Team). Photo©Ed Hood

It’s technical along here, sore if you’re toiling, but a good section to make time if you’re on top of the job.

The Inver Trossachs Road is dark through the trees with no good stopping places, so we head for the ‘Wee Braes.’

The top of the Wee Braes and there’s John Anderson of the theBicycleWorks.com. He gives us his tip for the day – number 81, his man Steven Lawley, who won the ‘Up The Kirk‘ hill climb last week.

Right on cue, the big chap wings past, looking strong.

Tour de Trossachs
Steven Lawley (theBicycleWorks). Photo©Martin Williamson

It’s a headwind over here as another rider grimaces past in Velo Ecosse colours, Andy Whitehall, son of 1980’s flyer, Davie.

Tour de Trossachs
Andrew Whitehall (Equipe VeloEcosse). Photo©Ed Hood
Tour de Trossachs
David Griffiths (Glasgow Wheelers). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Scott Newman (Inverclyde Velo). Photo©Ed Hood

Jim Cussick hammers past, but previous Trossachs winner Alistair Robinson is only 30 seconds behind on the road – off a two minute gap.

Tour de Trossachs
Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers). Photo©Martin Williamson
Tour de Trossachs
Alistair Robinson (Team Leslie Bike Shop – Right Move Windows). Photo©Martin Williamson

There’s a lot of time to take in the views as we await the arrival of Robin Wilkins…

…and wait…

…until Arthur Doyle ambles up the road towards us some eight minutes later than he should have.

Tour de Trossachs
Arthur was pragmatic about his race, but in light of what had happened, he couldn’t be anything else. Photo©Martin Williamson

The police closed the road after the accident, Arthur was held up – and then punctured, for good measure. But he needs to finish to claim the hill climb prize on the Dukes; if he’s fast enough, that is.

Anti-climax is what I think it’s called. Back at the finish, will the result stand and Robinson win, or will it be ‘null and void‘?

We’ll find out shortly. Arthur reckons he was a minute up on Alistair Robinson when he was stopped.

Back in Aberfoyle, the stream of cars leaving the car park confirms our fears that the race is indeed scratched.

A quick word with pre-race favourite, Ian Grant (Dooleys Cycles) confirmed that he wasn’t as keen as Arthur, taking a lift back to the start when confronted with the chaos; ‘they told me I could walk round the cars, but by that time your motivation has gone.’

A very sad end to a glorious day in the Trossachs – let’s just hope David Clark isn’t too badly hurt and makes a speedy recovery.

Tour de Trossachs
Our thoughts to go David, hope he’s not too badly injured and we wish him a speedy recovery. Photo©Martin Williamson

Result - Tour de Trossachs 2012

Official Result

Pos. Name Club Category Hill Climb Time Hill Climb Pos. Final Time
1 Alistair Robinson Team Leslie Bike Shop S 14.17 6 1.10.34
2 Andrew Whitehall Velo Ecosse S 14.12 4 1.10.58
3 Jim Cusick Glasgow Couriers V40 15.06 10 1.11.30
4 Steve Lawley Bicycleworks.com S 14.13 5 1.11.37
5 David Griffiths Glasgow Wheelers S 14.09 3 1.12.32
6 Andy Torrance Dooleys Cycles RT V50 14.49 8 1.12.58
7 Simon Dale Nottingham Clarion V40 15.13 11 1.13.02
8 Gerry McGarrity Inverclyde Velo S 15.50 16 1.13.10
9 David Gibson www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk V50 14.49 8 1.13.33
10 Robert Brown Granite City RT V40 16.31 27 1.14.55
11 Mark Ewing West Lothian Clarion V40 15.52 17 1.15.05
12 John Patterson Classic Racing Team S 15.45 14 1.15.37
13 Graeme Hay Stirling Bike Club V40 16.21 24 1.15.47
14 Scott Newman Inverclyde Velo S 15.24 12 1.16.03
15 Jason Barnes Glasgow Nightingale CC S 16.09 20 1.16.18
16 Graham Cockburn Glasgow Wheelers V40 15.48 15 1.16.41
17 Derek McMillan St Christopher's CC V50 16.18 22 1.16.47
18 Iain Elliot West Lothian Clarion S 15.37 13 1.16.47
19 Nick Tryon Royal Navy Royal Marines V40 16.24 25 1.16.50
20 Andrew Davies Bicycleworks.com V40 16.27 26 1.17.11
21 Tim Caine Berwick Wheelers CC V40 16.09 20 1.18.15
22 Richard Provan Glasgow Couriers S 16.34 28 1.18.47
23 Henry Blake Ross-shire Roads CC S 17.05 36 1.18.48
24 Paul Friel Glasgow Couriers V40 16.05 19 1.19.10
25 Duncan Warwick Deeside Thistle CC V40 17.37 42 1.19.15
26 Jonny May Edinburgh RC V N/A 1.19.37
27 Randle Shenton Team Swift V50 16.46 30 1.19.43
28 James Ryland Fullarton Wheelers V40 17.01 35 1.19.54
29 Dougie Kirkham Musselburgh Roads CC V40 16.34 28 1.20.01
30 Greg Quinn Deeside Thistle CC V40 16.00 18 1.20.05
31 Keith Morrison Edinburgh RC V40 16.54 32 1.21.06
32 Paul Gareze Lomond Roads CC S 17.15 38 1.21.31
33 Phillip Deveney Glasgow Nightingale CC S 16.54 32 1.21.52
34 Richard Pyatt Richmond Cycling Club V40 16.47 31 1.22.02
35 Norman Gillan Squadra Porcini V40 16.54 32 1.22.03
36 David Thomson Johnstone Wheelers CC S 18.14 52 1.22.29
37 David Robinson North Arygll CC V50 17.19 40 1.22.36
38 Fraser Robinson Keswickbikes.co.uk V50 18.44 57 1.23.17
39 David Cherry Border City Wheelers V60 17.49 44 1.23.17
40 Graham Jones Edinburgh RC V40 18.22 56 1.23.40
41 Jennifer Taylor West Lothian Clarion L 17.27 41 1.24.09
42 Jason Smith Glasgow Green Cycling Club V40 17.10 37 1.24.35
43 Brian McGhee Chryston Wheelers V40 17.15 38 1.25.38
44 Victoria Ware Velo Club Moulin L 18.18 54 1.26.13
45 Jocky Johnstone Icarus Racing V70 19.29 60 1.26.30
46 Mark Higgins Granite City RT V40 18.12 50 1.26.45
47 Iain Cowden Johnstone Wheelers CC V50 19.11 59 1.26.57
48 James Davidson Pedal Power S 17.54 46 1.27.26
49 Anthony Nugent East Kilbride RC V40 18.57 58 1.27.32
50 Grant Craven West Lothian Clarion V40 18.15 53 1.28.06
51 Richard McGhee Vortex Race Team S 17.42 43 1.28.40
52 Anne Plant L 17.57 48 1.28.52
53 Lynsey Curran Glasgow Couriers LV40 18.19 55 1.28.54
54 David Turner St Christopher's CC V50 17.52 45 1.29.09
55 James Gilmour Glasgow Couriers V40 18.12 50 1.29.14
56 Gabriella Nordin Sandy Wallace Cycles L 17.55 47 1.29.24
57 Stuart Somerville Lomond Roads CC V40 19.49 61 1.30.55
58 Valerie Martin www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk L 20.18 63 1.31.27
59 Fraser Grant Glasgow Couriers V50 20.42 65 1.32.59
60 Ian Loch City of Stirling Wheelers V50 20.52 66 1.37.35
61 Iain Binning Stirling Bike Club V60 20.39 64 1.42.15
62 Andy Wilson St Christopher's CC V60 23.41 67 1.43.02
63 David Martin Stirling Bike Club V50 20.10 62 1.44.38
64 George Adams SVTTA V60 26.21 68 2.02.12

Non-Finishers

Pos. Name Club Category Hill Climb Time Hill Climb Pos. Final Time
Thomas Gordon www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk V40 N/A DNF
Arthur Doyle www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk V40 13.56 1 DNF
Robin Wilkins Velo Ecosse S 14.27 7 DNF
Iain Grant www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk V40 14.04 2 DNF
David Clark Stowmarket & District CC S 16.20 23 DNF
Luke Johnstone Chryston Wheelers Jun 18.01 49 DNF

Non-Starters

Pos. Name Club Category Hill Climb Time Hill Climb Pos. Final Time
Bill Craig VC Glasgow South V40 DNS
Sean Childs Royal Navy Royal Marines V40 DNS
Lee Craigie Moray Firth CC L DNS
Laura Nicolson Moray Firth CC L DNS
Brian Muir Pro-Am RC V40 DNS
David Stephen Stirling Bike Club V40 DNS
David Johnston Gala Cycling Club V40 DNS
Iain Taylor Dunfermline CC V40 DNS
David McLellan www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk V40 DNS
Robert Kelly Ayr Roads CC V40 DNS
Alex McPhee www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk V40 DNS
John Gartland GJS Racing S DNS
Barry McGurk Glasgow Couriers S DNS
Michael Robb Ayr Roads CC S DNS
Gordon Watson Glasgow Riderz S DNS
Tom Fernie Velo Ecosse S DNS
Aidan Quinn Glasgow Ivy CC Jun DNS
Ben Peacock Paisley Velo S DNS
Bud Johnston Glasgow Couriers V DNS