Tour of the Meldons 2016 – Smart and Curran Retain Their Scottish Titles
Chris Smart (GTR) put on another exemplary performance in the Tour of the Meldons hilly time trial in the Scottish Borders to retain his national title for the 'Olympic Time Trial' for the third time in a row, his 56:08 being 75 seconds faster than his time for the same course last year and 67 seconds faster than silver medallist Kyle Gordon (Sandy Wallace Cycles). Third was Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) a further 10 seconds back.
In the womens' championship Lynsey Curran (Dooleys Cycles) too retained her title from last year with a 90 second improvement from her 2015 time, with Catriona Gunn (Sandy Wallace Cycles) just 14 seconds adrift in second place.
The course is a classic test, a 22 mile loop around Eddleston, Lamancha, Blyth Bridge and Hallyne, before taking in the long drag to the top of the Meldons, dropping back down to Eddleston over farm debris-strewn pot-holed single track roads which the carbon frames and disc wheels wouldn't appreciate, and then a short, sharp climb out the village to the finish at the Barony Hotel.
Our vantage point was halfway up the first climb of Shiplaw after just a few minutes of racing, and even then both Smart and Curran were up on their nearest challengers, with Smart already 20 seconds ahead of Gordon and Entwistle and looking composed and rock-steady.
The slight side/tailwind allowed the sound of the tyres and various pitches of laboured breathing from the riders to reach us well before we were able to focus our lenses on sunglasses and faces, and the sun was out too - quite a change from just a few hours earlier when snow was falling and, for a time, lying on the roads.
Sarah Bradford (Team Jadan) pedalled very serenely by on the climb, showing a nice neat and smooth style and finishing sixth lady - whilst her 1:09:55 also secured the Junior Womens' prize.
Kyle Gordon (Sandy Wallace Cycles), sixth last year improved two and a quarter minutes to 57:15 to secure second place this time around.
Third placed Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) was clearly giving it 'the beans', his fast cadence and full grimace showed commitment and resulted in a time of 57:25.
Douglas Watson (Icarus Racing) rode past us out the saddle, his efficient style took him to an eventual fourth spot with 57:43, 18 seconds off the podium.
Andy Brown (Glasgow Cycle Team) was fifth in 57:44.
Wilson Renwick (Parentini Test Team) took some time away from the professional paddock and used his tidy style to guide his Ridley to sixth place with 57:53.
Andrew Underwood (Sandy Wallace Cycles) twelfth last year in 1:01:24 was seventh this time around in 58:50, another rider improving over two and half minutes in 12 months.
Eleventh last year, Jamie Kennedy (GTR) also improved a good chunk (just under two minutes) to record 59:06.
Liam Beaty (Hawick CC) was ninth in 59:07.
Instantly recogniseable Jim Cusick (Dooleys Cycles) in 59:25 was just 14 seconds slower than last year but dropped three spots, to tenth this time around.
We have to give a mention to David Lines (Wheelbase/Altura/MGD); road, 'cross and time trialling, Davie does it all, and does it well. These hilly tests aren't really his thing but he can use his climbing skills to counter some of the specliasts' power output, and with limited time to train on the TT rig he acquitted himself well enough, his 59:28 slotting him just outside the top ten.
First Junior Man was Calum Kennedy (Edinburgh RC) who's 1:02:44 saw him well up the finishing order in 26th place.
Next stop for the 'testers' is the National 10 Mile Championships at Monifieth in a couple of weeks' time - will Lynsey Curran and Chris Smart maintain their form until then?
Tour of the Meldons 2016 - Result
1 Chris Smart GTR 3rd 00:56:08
2 Kyle Gordon Sandy Wallace Cycles 3rd 00:57:15
3 Jon Entwistle Team JMC 4th 00:57:25
4 Douglas Watson Icarus Racing 3rd 00:57:43
5 Andy Brown Glasgow Cycle Team 2nd 00:57:44
6 Wilson Renwick Parentini Test Team 2nd 00:57:53
7 Andrew Underwood Sandy Wallace Cycles N/A 00:58:50
8 Jamie Kennedy GTR 2nd 00:59:06
9 Liam Beaty Hawick CC 3rd 00:59:07
10 James Cusick www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk N/A 00:59:25
11 David Lines Wheelbase/Altura/MGD 1st 00:59:28
12 Alan Dean Edinburgh RC 2nd 00:59:40
13 Lewis Duff Glasgow Couriers 3rd 00:59:56
14 Tom Broadbent Elgin CC 4th 00:59:58
15 David Griffiths Pro Vision Cycle Clothing 2nd 00:59:59
16 Ruari Grant Pro Vision Cycle Clothing 1st 01:00:12
17 Jason Barnes Glasgow Nightingale CC 3rd 01:00:31
18 Chris Stewart Classic Racing Team 3rd 01:00:36
19 Craig Dale TheBicycleWorks 3rd 01:00:39
20 Ewen Macgillivray Sandy Wallace Cycles 4th 01:01:03
21 John Gartland GJS Cruise Racing 2nd 01:01:23
22 Buchanan Paterson Pedal Power RT 4th 01:01:27
23 Lewis Mulholland Glasgow Cycle Team 2nd 01:01:34
24 Jason Roberts Pro Vision Cycle Clothing 2nd 01:01:35
25 Andy Colman Gamma Racing Team 3rd 01:02:02
26 Kenneth Russell Edinburgh RC N/A 01:02:05
27 Gavin Shirley www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 2nd 01:02:30
28 David Gleave East Kilbride Road Club 2nd 01:02:40
29 Calum Kennedy Edinburgh RC 2nd 01:02:44
30 Stewart Burke www.Hardie-Bikes.com 3rd 01:03:32
31 Lee Whitelaw Edinburgh RC 4th 01:03:37
32 Tony Scott Loudoun RC 4th 01:03:40
33 Innes Johnston Glasgow Cycle Team 3rd 01:04:07
34 Andrew Isherwood Peebles CC 4th 01:04:14
35 Matthew Devlin Edinburgh RC 3rd 01:04:15
36 Paul Davis Musselburgh RCC N/A 01:04:26
37 Alexander MacRae Speedflex Race Team 3rd 01:04:32
38 Brian Taylor Team Right Move Windows N/A 01:05:04
39 Paul Friel Glasgow Road Club 4th 01:05:24
40 Chris Godfree Edinburgh RC N/A 01:05:28
41 Lynsey Curran www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 2nd 01:05:31
42 Alistair Meikle Gala Cycling Club N/A 01:05:31
43 Gordon Murdoch Icarus Racing 3rd 01:05:35
44 Catriona Gunn Sandy Wallace Cycles 4th 01:05:45
45 Alan Dobbie Edinburgh RC 01:05:55
46 Nick Williamson 4th 01:06:08
47 Warren Crombie Edinburgh RC N/A 01:06:32
48 Mireille Captieux Edinburgh RC N/A 01:06:48
49 Paul McInally Evans Cycles Race Team 3rd 01:07:01
50 Keith Morrison Edinburgh RC N/A 01:07:04
51 John Anderson Glasgow Road Club 3rd 01:07:04
52 Scott Logan Hart's Cyclery 3rd 01:07:17
53 Andrew Davies Peebles CC 3rd 01:07:21
54 Graham Barclay Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 3rd 01:07:30
55 Neil Graham Edinburgh RC 4th 01:07:45
56 Robert Marshall www.Hardie-Bikes.com 4th 01:07:50
57 Toni McIntosh Ayr Roads Cycling Club 3rd 01:07:52
58 Stephen Malaney Glasgow Couriers N/A 01:08:12
59 Ingrid Kidd Angus Bike Chain 2nd 01:08:17
60 Joseph Agnew Edinburgh RC 3rd 01:08:20
61 Jonny May Edinburgh RC N/A 01:08:26
62 Amanda Tweedie Velocity 44 Stirling 2nd 01:08:28
63 Dave Moran 3rd 01:08:28
64 Allan Crosbie Pedal Power RT 4th 01:08:50
65 Graeme Scott Edinburgh RC 3rd 01:09:07
66 Graham Jones Edinburgh RC N/A 01:09:29
67 Chris Allen Edinburgh RC N/A 01:09:32
68 Sarah Bradford Team Jadan 2nd 01:09:55
69 Douglas Kirkham Musselburgh RCC N/A 01:10:03
70 Christina Murray Glasgow Green Cycle Club 3rd 01:10:04
71 Laura Nicolson Moray Firth Cycling Club 3rd 01:11:02
72 Patrick Hutton Edinburgh RC N/A 01:11:05
73 Claire Martin Team 22 2nd 01:11:16
74 Steve Dauncey Edinburgh RC 4th 01:12:13
75 Hannah Rhodes-Patterson 3rd 01:12:59
76 Colin Russell Edinburgh RC 3rd 01:13:20
77 Louise Borthwick Edinburgh RC 2nd 01:14:05
78 Sonya Drummond Dundee Thistle RC N/A 01:14:34
79 Robert Brown Edinburgh RC N/A 01:14:49
80 Helen Wyld Edinburgh RC 4th 01:14:54
81 Anthony Ward Team Right Move Windows N/A 01:15:16
82 Jane Emslie Edinburgh RC N/A 01:15:30
83 Raymond Reidy Team Right Move Windows 3rd 01:28:46