Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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John Archibald Smashes the Record in the Scottish 25 Mile TT Championship 2017

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My amigo, Dave Henderson rang me soon after Martin and I got home from the Scottish ‘25’ Championship at Forfar; “how did the race go?” he asked me. ‘John Archibald, Pro Vision Scotland won with a Scottish record 47:57; Jon Entwistle, GTR with 49:27 was second and David Griffiths, Pro Vision Scotland was third with 50:12.’ I replied.

There was silence then a low whistle down the line.

If, like Dave and I you grew up in an era where Glen Road Club’s Big Drew Brunton would win the ‘25’ Champs with a ‘58’ I could well understand his reaction – these times seem other-worldly, astonishing.

John Archibald eclipsed Graeme Obree’s 1994 record time of 48:43 and lead his team mates Griffiths and Kyle Johnston [54:14] to a new Scottish team record.

And please don’t think this was ‘float’ conditions; whilst the ladies enjoyed a lovely summer morning, by the time the top seeds were passing us a few miles from the line the hood was up on my sweatshirt as a cold head wind delivered stinging rain.

John Archibald
John Archibald. Photo©Martin Williamson

But let’s go back to 04:30 and the alarm; it’s like Robin Williams said in ‘Good Morning Vietnam.’

What does the ‘oh’ stand for in 04:30? Oh my God – it’s EARLY!

But the sun was splitting the sky and it was a nice drive up to Forfar where the Big Macs were already flying over the counter – we went for double sausage and egg McMuffin meals complete with hash browns and cappuccino.

Hideously bad for us but they hit the spot perfectly.

Photo©Martin Williamson
John Archibald
Photo©Martin Williamson

The course?

Not much to say; gently rolling A90 dual carriageway with a flyover turn – little scope for our usual wee history lessons save for a mention of the historic 17th century Finavon doocot. With space for 2,400 pigeons, it was the takeaway of its day and sits just before the Finavon ‘services.’

Ross Thomson. Photo©Martin Williamson

First over the Brechin flyover turn was junior off number two, Ross Thomson (Dunfermline CC) who’d eventually stop the clock with a highly creditable 56:24 – a shame to see just three youths/juniors on the sheet though.

John Archibald
Georgia Mansfield. Photo©Martin Williamson

The first lady to appear was Georgia Mansfield (RT 23) [eventual 1:04:00 and Scottish junior ladies’ record] with the sun still blessing us, albeit there was a nip in the breeze as the traffic count began to lift with the artics shifting huge amounts of air as they hurtled under the bridge.