On a blustery, squally day on the dual carriageways of the A78 and A71 around Irvine and Kilmarnock on Sunday morning, Dooley’s Iain Grant added the Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial title to the “10” with a stunning 50:46 ride; a massive 1:39 clear of surprise second, Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo) with Murdoch’s team mate Chris Smart a further 25 seconds back in the bronze medal position.
VeloVeritas had eventual fourth placed Arthur Doyle in the bronze medal spot, late in the race.
But cramp hit Doyle in the closing miles and he had to freewheel across the line, two seconds down on Smart.
Sandy Wallace’s Silas Goldsworthy was fifth in 53:10 and team mate and former 50 champion, Alan Thomson sixth in 53:17.
The early miles make it hard to find a rhythm with roundabouts, single carriageways, lots of arrows, marshals – then the A78, always a scenic delight.
It’s wide, flat, fast but no’ bonnie and pretty technical with the race manual listing 15 turns all told on this course.
The parcours picks up the A78 “10” course – more tarmac, barriers, road signs, grass and trees which are stirring in a stiff breeze.
But the sun’s out, at least.
Next up is the A71, more dual carriageway, grass verges with the occasional race route sign board – the Tour of the Trossachs it isn’t.
But the sport of ‘testing’ is about speed – and you find it on the dual carriageways.
The changes of direction are no bad thing on a windy day like this; and jings, there are some scenic cows for us – but they soon disappear as we dive into another cutting.
The early miles were very well direction arrowed but the Kilmarnock turn could have done with a few more signs in our opinion.
Back along the 71 – it’s wide open, to a wee bit technical but nice, quiet and safe finish straight.
We chose to set up shop at around three miles to go on the A71 on a drag as the ladies dice with a southerly cross wind and a heavy traffic flow – we arrived too late to catch the half-dozen youths and juniors who were set off first.
Sian Tovey (Dooley’s) is our fastest off number 28 but smooth pedaling Toni McIntosh (Ayr) takes 10 seconds off that as the traffic dies a wee bit.
No Anda-Jay Burgess and no Lynsey Curran – time for the men.
Euan Pope (Glasgow RC) is first across the tar, looking good – if lonely.
Jock Johnstone (Icarus) looks little different to when he used to race against us in the 80’s and 90’s.
Johny May (Edinburgh Road Club) has the highest gear of the morning so far – but doesn’t strike us as being on top of it.
Ian King (Velocity) looks on top of the job as the sky gets greyer and the wind swings westward to make it an even tougher grind up the drag.
Bob Taylor (Dooley’s) ‘strokes a biggie’ as just behind, Steve Brennan (Pro-AM) caches Tony Nugent (East Kilbride) for two minutes.
Those tiny rear lights on some of the bikes may be an anathema to people like me who spent hours thinking of ways to shave weight off their TT bikes – but they’re very effective and sensible given the Sunday morning traffic on the A71.
It’s scary to sit and watch the cocktail of cyclists and heavy traffic.
And now it rains as Sadiq Mir (West Lothian) fights past – squally and stinging but it passes quickly and the sun’s out for a minute.
Neil Walker (Walker Cycles) is getting it round nicely, all his duathlon and running training not seeming to dent his souplesse as the tarmac begins to dry in the breeze.
Brian Muir (Pro-AM) must be a Floyd fan – he’s in a ‘preying mantis’ position. If there’s a UCI commissaire on the A71 he’ll be declassed for sure.
Gary Robson (Gala) looks his usual purposeful self – maybe it’s time we started a watch ?
‘Super vet’ Davie Millar (Glasgow Couriers) forces a big one past – how many ’25’ champs has that man ridden – it could be as many as 50 ?
The traffic count is high now as we decide to start the watch on Gavin Shirley (Dooley’s): 00:00 …
Former ‘100’ champion, tall Steve Nutley (Sandy Wallace) levers a big one past some four seconds up on Shirley.
Alan Holmes (Johnstone) passes and we have him 1:50 up on Nutley – we weren’t expecting that one.
Dooley’s fast man, Sean Gray is a no-show as another squall sweeps in.
We’d expected a flyer from Nick Tryon (Dooley’s) but not today – we do put team mate Tom Gordon in the lead by one second, however.
Time for the Big Guns – we’re still not used to Jim Cusick in Dooley’s colours as he grinds back into the wind; we have him down on Gordon.
Sandy Wallace’s Kyle Gordon gives us a salute – that was a second or two gone right there when you did that, fella!
Chris Smart (Paisley) has no time for such things as he charges past, rolled up in a ball of pain, a minute up on the field and looking every inch a man on a mission.
Former ’50’ champ Alan Thomson (Sandy Wallace) can’t match it – 30 seconds or so down by us.
Ben Peacock (Paisley) was second last year in the “25” – but not today, team mate Smart has a minute and more on him.
Dooley’s former champ Arthur Doyle is looking good, screaming over the tar and up two seconds on Smart.
Pursuiter Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace) came looking for a medal but he’s 10 seconds down on Arthur as Peter Murdoch (Paisley) drops a big bomb; the gear isn’t one for wimps but is turning nicely and the time is rapid – 17 seconds up on Arthur.
But we’ve hardly taken the pics and noted the time down when last man Ian Grant (Dooleys) whirls into view.
Lower-geared than most and not taking any risks by riding wide to catch the slipstream off the cars, he’s only 37 seconds behind Murdoch on the road.
It’s game over – and no stopwatch required for a winning margin of 1:39.
Can anyone stop him at the “50”? Unlikely.
And on the subject of “50’s” – the Fife Century “50” on June 22nd will be run as the “Ali Speed Memorial” in honour of our friend and fellow cyclist who died so tragically, last season after being hit from behind by a car.
VeloVeritas will make the pilgrimage, we hope to see you there.
Results - Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2014
2 Sean Noon Edinburgh RC 56:59
3 Thomas Deas Moray Firth Cycling Club 59:39
4 Craig Forsyth Gala Cycling Club 1:02:26
5 Gavin Laffoley Fife Century RC 1:07:13
6 Amanda Dundas Paisley Velo Race Team 1:12:25 (First Female Junior)
2 Toni McIntosh Ayr Roads Cycling Club 1:00:29
3 Sian Tovey www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 1:01:02
4 Lynne Wardrop Ayr Roads Cycling Club 1:01:59
5 Emily Middleditch Deeside Thistle CC 1:03:41
6 Jennie McColl Aberdeen Wheelers CC 1:04:35
7 Catherine Logan Walkers Cycling Club 1:05:45
8 Sandra Tulloch Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 1:06:10
9 Laura Nicolson Moray Firth Cycling Club 1:06:11
10 Valerie Martin www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 1:09:04
11 Debra Pollard West Lothian Clarion CC 1:11:42
12 Elizabeth Henry West Lothian Clarion CC 1:12:31
13 Isobel Fletcher Glasgow Whls 1:12:51
14 Fiona Walker Walkers Cycling Club 1:15:13
15 Jennifer Nicol Fullarton Wheelers 1:19:12
2 Peter Murdoch Paisley Velo Race Team 52:25
3 Chris Smart Paisley Velo Race Team 52:50
4 Arthur Doyle www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 52:52
5 Silas Goldsworthy Sandy Wallace Cycles 53:10
6 Alan Thomson Sandy Wallace Cycles 53:17
7 Benjamin Peacock Paisley Velo Race Team 53:48
8 Alan Holmes Johnstone Wheelers CC 53:52
9 Thomas Gordon www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 54:00
10 Steven Lawley The Rigmar Racers 54:08
11 James Cusick www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 54:19
12 Ewan Taylor Perth United Cycling Club 54:29
13 Kyle Gordon Sandy Wallace Cycles 54:35
14 Paul McLafferty Glasgow Ivy CC 54:46
15 Andrew Torrance www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 54:46
16 Peter Ettles Sandy Wallace Cycles 55:06
17 Nick Tryon www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 55:16
18 Harry Armstrong Berwick Wheelers CC 55:19
19 Ronnie Todd Loudoun RC 55:29
20 Harry Bulstrode Peter Hansford Racing 55:37
21 Kenneth Darling Hawick CC 55:42
22 John Dunlop Loudoun RC 55:44
23 Gerry McGarrity Paisley Velo Race Team 55:46
24 Steve Nutley Sandy Wallace Cycles 55:47
25 Gavin Shirley www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 55:48
26 Andy Cowie Highland Bikes Racing Team 55:52
27 Gary Robson Gala Cycling Club 55:53
28 Lauri Peil Edinburgh RC 56:00
29 Stephen Cairns Perth United Cycling Club 56:06
30 Mark Skilling Icarus Racing 56:22
31 Neil Walker Walkers Cycling Club 56:37
32 Michael Robb Ayr Roads Cycling Club 56:53
33 Derek McMillan St Christopher’s CC 56:53
34 Billy McFarlane www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 57:09
35 Chris Stewart Classic Racing Team 57:10
36 Graeme Cockburn Glasgow Nightingale CC 57:13
37 Iain Duguid TheBicycleWorks 57:17
38 David Millar Glasgow Couriers 57:19
39 Jason Barnes Glasgow Nightingale CC 57:22
40 James Tree www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 57:23
41 Ricky Sutherland Icarus Racing 57:24
42 Andrew Prenelle Icarus Racing 57:32
43 Callum Finlayson Moray Firth Cycling Club 57:35
44 Stephen Davidson Perth United Cycling Club 57:41
45 Ian King Velocity 44 Stirling 57:45
46 Scott Newman Glasgow Couriers 57:55
47 Euan Pope Glasgow Road Club 58:07
48 Allan Mill Sandy Wallace Cycles 58:10
49 Gordon Graham Fullarton Wheelers 58:15
50 Gordon Stead Fullarton Wheelers 58:16
51 Paul Gibson Ayr Roads Cycling Club 58:17
52 Tony Scott Loudoun RC 58:23
53 Sadiq Mir West Lothian Clarion CC 58:24
54 Jon Clarke Glasgow Whls 58:24
55 Brian O’Neill East Kilbride Road Club 58:27
56 Andrew Scott Musselburgh RCC 58:27
57 Lee Gardner Glasgow Green Cycle Club 58:28
58 Ross Dymock Glasgow Green Cycle Club 58:34
59 Gary Bratt Lomond Roads CC 58:37
60 Steve Macluskie VC Glasgow South 58:43
61 Steven Brennan Pro-AM Racing Club 58:44
62 David Baird Walkers Cycling Club 58:46
63 Brian Nicol Ayr Roads Cycling Club 58:54
64 Kevin Lackie Moray Cycle Racing Team 58:56
65 Marc Anderson Loudoun RC 59:00
66 David Caesar TheBicycleWorks 59:03
67 Graham Barclay Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 59:04
68 James Hall Rock And Road Cycles 59:15
69 Douglas Kirkham Musselburgh RCC 59:32
70 Stuart Whitelaw Lomond Roads CC 59:38
71 Norman Skene Velocity 44 Stirling 59:40
72 Jonny May Edinburgh RC 59:45
73 Nigel Levett Cromarty Firth CC 59:49
74 Ian Thomson Royal Albert CC 59:51
75 James Meek Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 59:56
76 Robert Kelly Ayr Roads Cycling Club 1:00:00
77 William Bunyan Dunfermline CC 1:00:07
78 Frank Anderson West Lothian Clarion CC 1:00:10
79 Wilson Kane East Kilbride Road Club 1:00:13
80 Mark Carroll East Kilbride Road Club 1:00:17
81 Paul Friel Glasgow Road Club 1:00:17
82 Andrew Isherwood Peebles CC 1:00:24
83 David Johnston Gala Cycling Club 1:00:27
84 Drew Sharkey TheBicycleWorks 1:00:30
85 John McCrory Glasgow United 1:00:48
86 Andrew Spruce Sandy Wallace Cycles 1:00:52
87 Hector Nicolson Moray Firth Cycling Club 1:00:58
88 Jay Groom Royal Albert CC 1:01:00
89 Allan Duncan Glasgow Road Club 1:01:02
90 Tony Nugent East Kilbride Road Club 1:01:06
91 Charles Adams VC Glasgow South 1:01:31
92 Brendan McCabe Aberdeen Wheelers CC 1:01:33
93 Christopher Adamson Gala Cycling Club 1:02:00
94 Cameron Scade Dumfries CC 1:02:01
95 Bud Johnston East Kilbride Road Club 1:02:08
96 Bryce Gillan Walkers Cycling Club 1:02:09
97 Hyland Hamilton Glasgow Couriers 1:02:15
98 John Johnstone Icarus Racing 1:02:20
99 Eric Davidson Moray Firth Cycling Club 1:02:31
100 Jody Gerrard Ayr Roads Cycling Club 1:02:40
101 Steven Smith Royal Albert CC 1:02:53
102 David Beattie Hawick CC 1:02:55
103 Ian Anderson Walkers Cycling Club 1:02:57
104 Craig McGowan Pedal Power RT 1:03:11
105 Graham Jones Edinburgh RC 1:03:58
106 Colin Sim Aberdeen Wheelers CC 1:04:01
107 Albert McLellan Glasgow Couriers 1:04:06
108 Mike Ferguson Johnstone Wheelers CC 1:04:45
109 Bob Taylor www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 1:05:19
110 Brian Thomson Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 1:05:58
111 Alan Solway Kenoway RC 1:07:17
112 Brian Muir Pro-AM Racing Club 1:08:23
113 Stephen Couper Glasgow United CC 1:13:45