Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsLoch Ken Time Trial - Kyle Gordon Keeps his Form

Loch Ken Time Trial – Kyle Gordon Keeps his Form

Kyle Gordon kept his run of wins intact in the fourth round of the CTT Sigma Sports Classic Series around Loch Ken, Castle Douglas.


On a day which was a total contrast to last Sunday’s Monifieth polar conditions; with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze, that man Kyle Gordon (RT23) showed us that perishing or pleasant, he’s the man to beat on the Scottish time trial scene. Averaging 28.796 mph around the rolling, scenic 26.3 mile Loch Ken Time Trial course in the fourth round of six in the CTT Sigma Sports Classic Series his 54.48 saw him 13 seconds clear of Adam Wild (GS Metro) in second spot with 55.01 and 1 min 17 clear of former Scottish Olympic TT Champion, Chris Smart (GTR – Return To Life). 

Loch Ken Time Trial
Kyle Gordon, Mens Winner of the Loch Ken Time Trial. Photo©Martin Williamson
Loch Ken Time Trial
Adam Wild. Photo©Martin Williamson
Loch Ken Time Trial
Chris Smart. Photo©Martin Williamson

We must mention however that actual second fastest on the road was veteran and recent winner of the CTT Scottish District ‘10’ Championship, Douglas Watson (GTR – Return to Life) who clocked 54.52, just four seconds shy of Gordon’s time but due to the CTT system doesn’t qualify for the men’s race, only the veteran’s.

Loch Ken Time Trial
Douglas Watson. Photo©Martin Williamson

Last Sunday Monifieth was colder but much closer to home; it took three hours to get down to Castle Douglas but with the sky blue and the Borders scenery, it wasn’t too much of a chore.

Breakfast was in a lay-by on the course; Martin’s chum, Chris Godfree stopped by for a chat on his warm-up, the Edinburgh Road Club veteran would stop the clock at 1:05:34 later in the morning.

Chris Godfree blethers for a while, before his warm up. Photo©Ed Hood

I’ve never seen a red kite in my life until this morning – when I saw four of them in five minutes, circling the Bellymack Hill feeding centre near the race finish – beautiful creatures.

Red kites circling and swooping – amazing to see. Photo©Martin Williamson

We decided to drive ‘against’ the race and do a full lap but the sunshine and lochside views north-bound proved too much for us and we stopped there for the duration but moved along the road to avoid the dreaded; ‘all the photies look the same,’ syndrome.

Our chosen spot for the morning. Photo©Martin Williamson

First rider to appear was number six, junior Fabien Large of Marcin Bialoblocki’s NOPINZ team – the big Pole has been quiet so far this year but we heard he clocked an 18 minute ‘10’ the other week in a club event.

Fabien Large. Photo©Ed Hood

Sophie Heighton (Stockton Wheelers) off number four was sole juvenile female rider in the field.

Sophie Heighton. Photo©Martin Williamson

And we have to tell you that if Martin and I ever do ‘comeback’ for sure we’ll be looking to save watts – BUT there will be NO ‘leg fairings.’

We weren’t running watches but just on ‘visual’ number 28, Gregor Sharp (Hawick CC) was looking the part.

He would finish an eventual 13th of 57 finishers in the veterans’ event; the senior men’s race saw just 19 finishers.

Gregor Sharp. Photo©Martin Williamson

Number 49 had us confused, Johnstone Wheelers on the start sheet but John Archibald-style ‘Ribble’ skinsuit?

Then it dawned; ‘Ian Archibald’ – Katie and John’s father and no mean runner in his day with two Scottish 1500 metre titles to his name in the 80’s; now we know where they got the good genes from: 12th in 1.04.08.

Ian Archibald. Photo©Ed Hood

Perennial Jim Cussick (Dooleys RT) off 54 is never far away in a time trial and would take fourth on the day in 1.00.34.

Jim Cusick. Photo©Martin Williamson

Ben Lane 57 (GS Metro) was second veteran in 1.00.08 – looking the part and riding strongly.

Ben Lane. Photo©Martin Williamson

Douglas Watson was riding visibly faster than the rest though, aero and strong, coming home some five minutes and more ahead of Ben Lane in 54.52.

Douglas Watson. Photo©Ed Hood
Katie Archibald, Loch Ken Time Trial Ladies Winner, 2019. Photo©Martin Williamson

Best of the ladies was British, Commonwealth, European and Olympic Champion Katie Archibald (Team HUUB).

We’ll have to wait for her column in Cycling Weekly to see if she enjoyed her day, ‘alone and unpaced.’

Number 83, big Jamie Little (Classic Racing Team) looked to be going well – but we’ll hear more of him later…

Jamie Little. Photo©Martin Williamson

Joe Hands (GTR – Return To Life) #87 had caught Darren Carruthers (Glasgow Green Cycling Club) #86 for a minute and the two were battling it out lochside.

The next man to look ‘on it’ was Solihull CC man, David Fellows, he’d finish an eventual fourth with 57.19.

David Fellows. Photo©Martin Williamson

We’d expected Adam Wild (GS Metro) to do a ride and whilst we didn’t have watches on anyone, it was clear he was flying, the result board confirmed that with 55:01 and second spot.

Adam Wild. Photo©Ed Hood

But Gordon was up on him and moving very nicely, turning the gear at a higher cadence than most of his rivals – an average 102 rpm – just off hour record cadence – he’d tell us at the finish.

Chris Smart was last man and turning his usual enormous ratio – and whilst it looks sluggish the speed he was reeling in minute men at suggested anything-but.

Chris Smart. Photo©Martin Williamson

Hop in the car and see if we can pass the last few starters before the line – we managed to snap Messrs. Smart, Shirley, Bonar, Griffiths, Glasgow and Gordon before pulling in on the last long drag to take a few more shots.

Neil Griffiths. Photo©Ed Hood

Far-travelled Alison Vessey (Didcot Phoenix CC) was looking forward to getting over the last obstacle between her and the finish line.

Gordon meanwhile was still revving the gear whilst Smart continued to torture himself on the ‘big one.’

Kyle Gordon. Photo©Martin Williamson

Gavin Shirley (Dooleys RT) was hurting too, en route fifth and a 59.33 ride.

Gavin Shirley. Photo©Martin Williamson
Cameron Oliver. Photo©Martin Williamson

As we headed for the finish we were treated to the sad sight of a man walking barefoot whilst pushing his Canyon; both of us having been ‘that soldier’ at one time or another we did the right thing and stopped to give him a lift.

It was number 83, Jamie Little, he told us that last year he was DNS and this year with his rear tub puncturing, a DNF – next year will be fine, Jamie…

We give Jamie a lift back to the HQ. Photo©Ed Hood

Past the finish Harry Tweed was on the case with Gavin Shirley, Kyle and RT23 club-mate Cameron Oliver; we joined the gathering and quizzed Kyle about his ride and his slippery Giant.

Harry Tweed, Cameron, Gavin and Kyle share the morning’s stories. Photo©Martin Williamson

Harry Walker’s carbon wheels front and rear, tubeless rubber – as he explained in his recent interview with us, 1x transmission which today gave him a problem today with a derailed chain, despite having a moulded plastic chain guide (he’s looking into getting a metal one made), Shimano Di2 gearing with over-size Ceramic Speed jockey wheels, Speedplay pedals with low profile aero cleats (the ‘walkable’ ones) and custom-made short axles, ‘dimpled’ bottle cage to ‘fill in’ behind the single chainring (“a front changer costs you five watts“) and of course, that ‘praying mantis’ aggressive position.

And in pursuit of those last few precious watts; rubber, full-fingered, slightly-webbed gloves.

Kyle Gordon’s attention to detail: custom-made short pedal axles. Photo©Martin Williamson

Kyle is ‘training through’ all of his races right now, with no rest days or taper coming into events – he rode the British Eagle road race at Humbie in East Lothian, on Saturday.

That fact makes his ride around Loch Ken all the more commendable.

Beautiful weather, a splendid course [them pot holes apart], excellent organisation and prize list – not much more you can ask for in a time trial…

* * *

Official Results

Ed Hood and Martin Williamson
Ed and Martin, our top team! They try to do the local Time Trials, the Grand Tours and the Classics together to get the great stories written, the quality photos taken, the driving done and the wifi wrestled with.

Related Articles

Gordon Arms Hilly Time Trial 2014 Goes to Oliphant

Raleigh professional Evan Oliphant handled the age old dilemma of the pro racing against amateurs – if they don’t win they’re criticised, but if they do then it’s ‘expected’ – by taking the best option and winning the Gala CC’s Gordon Arms Hilly Time Trial over 20.5 cold and cloudy Borders miles in 50:06; some ways short of Mark Atkinson’s (Velo Ecosse) 1999 course record of 48:47 but enough to give him the result by 41 seconds over Carl Donaldson (GS Metro).

Merlin Cycles Classic TT Series – Round 3, Loch Ken

Perhaps I shouldn’t have had that last Strega on top of the Erdinger, Malbec and Grappa last night? But when we got an invite to the Loch Ken Round of the Merlin Cycles Classic TT Series from the organiser and he takes the trouble to send you the start sheet and rider information sheet, hangovers must be ignored.

Tour de Trossachs 2021 goes to Robbie Friel

We missed you last year Tour de Trossachs, so let’s begin with a large ‘thank you’ to Jason Roberts and his team for reviving this great race and organising it so well. Men of the day: Messrs. Friel, Maclean and Creber; Woman of the day: Lynsey Curran.

Ian Black – New Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion

VeloVeritas missed the 100 Champs again-we're not men enough to disappear to the Tour for two weekends then vanish to Invergordon at 04:00 the first Sunday we're back.

Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship 2014 – Silas Golsdworthy Excels

Silas Golsdworthy put the disappointment of not being part of the Scottish Commonwealth Games team firmly behind him by taking victory in the country's 50 Mile Time Trial Championship today with a stunning 1:43:48, the second fastest 50 miles ever ridden in Scotland and only 45 seconds off Graeme Obree's 21 year old record.

Kyle Gordon – Hurtling to Rapid ’10’ Times!

Kyle Gordon doesn’t seem to have been phased by the disappointment of the HUUB team’s Bolivian record attempts falling victim to the Covid crisis. The versatile man from Alness has recently been knocking out some super-fast 10 mile times as part of his build-up to the CTT ‘25’ and ‘50’ Championships later in the year.

At Random

Andy Smallwood & Jamie Burrow talk Ribble’s New “Ultra Road”

The Ribble ‘Ultra Aero’ is a beautiful piece of machinery and in the manner of the best British speed machines – Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus, Norton – pulls off that trick of looking very quick even when it’s standing still. We caught up with Ribble CEO, Andy Smallwood and ex-pro and DS, Jamie Burrow, Ribble’s head of product development; here’s what they had to say.

The VeloVeritas Style Guide

The bike cost more than the car did and 300 dollars/euros/pounds shoes don’t faze you. But you still don’t feel you’re cutting it in the Sunday run posing stakes? Perhaps it’s time you had a style make over... But we warn you, some of what you’re about to read in our Style Guide might hurt.

Ron Webb

It was with sadness that we learned of the death of Mr. Ron Webb, professional bike rider, father of the modern Six Day format and track builder of renown.

Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 16, Pinzolo – Aprica; the Mortirolo!

You forget how gruesome the climbs are here in Italy; I'd never been over the Mortirolo before but it was an eye opener - 11.9 kilometres (that's more than seven miles) with an AVERAGE gradient of just under 12% and a maximum of 18%. Lance reckoned it was the toughest climb he ever raced and 'Bert' was on 34 x 30; 'nuff said !' On most of the big climbs there are sections where it eases a little; not on this swine, it's unrelenting and unforgiving - ask Fabio Aru ...

Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor announce sponsorship deal with Edinburgh Road Club

The Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor has announced that they will sponsor Edinburgh RC/The Bicycleworks, one of the UK's biggest cycling clubs. The sponsorship deal will see the hotel's logo appear on the club's kit, website and race support vehicle.

E.V. Ernie Mitchell – R.I.P.

We learnt recently that Ernie Mitchell, or 'E.V.' as he was known, Scottish star of the 1950's has passed away. As a tribute to him we thought we would re-run the interview he gave us last year where he told us about being the first man in the country to break the two-hour mark for 50 miles, virtually owning the pursuit crown and motor pacing behind his brother's bus ...