On a raw morning of bitter north westerly winds, with a grey Firth of Tay and North Sea brooding to the south, Kyle Gordon (RT 23) produced a ride just nine seconds shy of 30 mph to win the Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships 2019 from Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes duo, second placed Jamie Davidson and bronze medallist, David Griffiths; seven and 18 seconds back, respectively.
Vicki Smith (AeroCoach) was fastest of the ladies with another ‘flyer’ – a rapid 21:47 – from Catriona MacGillivray (RT23) with 22:52 and Neah Evans (Team HUUB) on 23:11.
Our thoughts of a leisurely amble up to Freuchie to watch the championship were dashed by roadworks on the course at the Ladybank railway bridge; we couldn’t see anything wrong as we waited at the temporary light on our way to Monifieth – but then we’re not structural engineers.
Driving out the dual carriageway, east of Dundee we saw a chap with a red flag at a junction and decided to stop to ask for directions… none other than my old teammate and former World Masters Pursuit Champion, Ian Humphreys.
Our catching up was at the expense of the youth competitors who passed without a single shutter clicking, winner was Daniel Kain (Squadra Scozzesa) with a rapid 22:04 in what was not part of the official championship.
The first man to get ‘snapped’ was Stuart Maccallum of the Dundee Thistle complete with Tony Martin-esque ‘ribbed’ skinsuit; changed days from Lionel Wylie and his knitted Thistle jersey on ‘The Perthie’ back in the 70’s.
And another Thistle man caught our eye as looking the part as he cut through the icy headwind home on the other side of the carriageway, Alistair Merry.
Fraser Caldwell’s (Cromarty Firth CC) Felt TT frame intrigued us with those really low set seat stays – anything to save those precious watts.
David Blockley was the first of a host of RT23 riders; gulping in big mouthfuls of cold Tayside air.
We’d heard on the grapevine that GTR-Return To Life were ‘boycotting’ the race but Jamie Kennedy was certainly there and flying out with the tailwind.
Bright orange isn’t a bad colour choice for visual impact and safety – Nicholaas Weststeyn (Synergy Cycles) was making sure we didn’t miss him.
Remo Volpe (Peebles CC) would be wondering about all these wide open fields, being used to those Borders valleys.
Even further travelled than Remo was perennial Carlos Riise, all the way down from Shetland and still turning the ‘big ones.’
Due to too much gassing about watt bikes, thresholds and the merits of tubeless tyres with Mr. Humphreys I missed my old sparring partner, Jim Petrie (Dundee Wheelers) but just about snapped him on the way back – sorry Jim, next time…
We left Ian to head for the turn as he offered encouragement to Ken Thomson (Dunfermline).
The first man we caught at the flyover turn was Daniel Kirk (Edinburgh RC) gasping for Tayside oxygen on the steep ramp up to the bridge before the plunge back to the long grind west and the finish.
Good to see our old VeloVeritas regular, Silas Goldsworthy back in the saddle and looking the part in RT23 kit.
We’re not sure if Sandy Wallace (Fife Century) gears slipped or he just misjudged the steepness of the off-ramp – many did – but that was an awful wee sprocket you were in, sir.
Darren Lindsay (Musselburgh RCC) caught Colin Wallace (Deeside Thistle) for a minute at the top of the ramp to keep the marshals on their toes.
There were good ‘photo ops’ off the bridge as here RT23 winning team ‘third counter’, Thomas Gelati banks off the carriageway and on to the slip then picks up the west-bound battle on the other side.
The plunge down off the bridge came up quickly and was as steep as the off ramp but curving more sharply, here Ewen Macgillivray (RT23) banks in to it.
Andrew Underwood (COG Velo) was the first man we snapped on the drop back to the main road.
Eventual bronze medallist [20:27], former Scottish Hill Climb Champion, David Griffiths (Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes) proved he’s not bad at going down them either as he whistled round and down to meet the wind.
By the way, that Moriarty isn’t the one who used to give Sherlock Holmes all that jip, is it?
Former ‘50’ and ‘Olympic’ Scottish Time Trial Champion Alan Thomson was rapidly back in the tuck off the ramp – and aren’t those RT23 guys all so ‘aero’?
Kyle was next, tucked and starting the long fight into the cold airstream.
Former professional jockey and Scottish ‘Olympic’ Time Trial Champion, Wilson Renwick didn’t have a team against his name – last season he was with Java-Partizan Pro Cycling Team – but no one was going to miss him in that skinsuit.
Eventual silver [20:16], Jamie Davidson (Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes) confused us a wee bit to start with, we’re used to seeing him in Aberdeen Wheelers colours.
Last man and defending champion, Liam Beaty looked the part but no medals today.
The juniors were next and it was Spokes man Oscar Onley taking just 21:13 to get round on this tough day – a sterling ride.
We expected a lady but got a ‘tantrum’ next – we think it’s Laura Cluxton ‘stoking’ but don’t know who’s steering; heavy going with that long wheelbase on the ramp.
First solo lady was Michelle Esson (Forres CC) finding the drag up off the carriageway tough.
Sarah Williams (West Lothian Clarion) was shadowed by a rather nice BMW 8 series but I don’t think she noticed.
Katherine Wren (Stirling Bike Club) has to get that pony tail tucked away – a man lost a Tour de France because of one of those…
And we have to include a Janette Hazlett pic, we’d never hear the end of it.
And always good to see a bit of tartan, modelled here by Deirdre O’Reilly (Lanark Race Team).
Whilst Pamela Irving (Team Andrew Allan Architecture) was looking pretty in pink.
Silver medallist in 22:52, Catriona MacGillivray had the ‘dialled’ RT23 fully focused aero look as she stormed over the flyover.
Vicki Smith (AeroCoach) was flying towards an eventual 21:47 – wow!
And well ‘up’ on eventual bronze medallist Neah Evans (Team Huub) who would stop the clock with 23:11.
The light wasn’t the best for Vicki and Neah’s passing us on the flyover so we decided to see if we could catch them on the road home.
Vicki was well on top of the job.
Whilst Neah wasn’t enjoying that cold north westerly – neither were we – but she battled home for third.
And it would be remiss of us not to mention the effort of the race organisers in changing the venue and making sure ‘the show went on’ for the Scottish 10 Mile TT Championships 2019 at such short notice.
Maybe get us better weather next time though, folks?