We had a choice, The Borders and the Scottish Cycling ‘Olympic’ Time Trial Championship or the CTT promoted Tour of the Campsies?
We liked our jaunt to the latter last year and feel at home among the rolling countryside and green hills over there so we headed west rather than south and left the ‘Olympic’ test to VeloVeritas editor, Martin, who lives down in Walter Scott country and not too far from the race route.
Politics isn’t something we’re big into at VeloVeritas but we have to mention this issue again; isn’t it time that SC and CTT got together on the issue of race programmes, to avoid clashes such as this one?
And of course, the issue of ‘Scottish records?’
First up we paid our respects to the Robert Millar mural at the foot of the Crow Road; when you watch Roglič take the Lagos di Covadonga stage in the Vuelta it’s difficult to imagine a wee fella from Glasgow winning that stage – but win it he did.
We were a little late on the hill and the first rider we snapped was number four, junior, Callum Dickson [Kelso Wheelers].
Isn’t Hawick near Kelso?
Next up was Ronde man, Simon Titmus, none of that ‘tribar’ stuff for those Ronde roadmen types, eh?
Just a shame there are no cobbles on the race route – or frites vans…
Another ‘young un’ was next up, juvenile, Cameron Adam [Musselburgh RCC] fully Cervélo-ed and Kask-ed up; back when I was schoolboy it was a cast-off, home-sprayed Robertson with cottered cranks and a Gran Sport rear gear…
That was a chocolate bar.
Espoir, Logan MacLean from Craig Grieve’s excellent Spokes Race Team was the first to catch our eye as being ‘on it’ and at the finish the watch confirmed our suspicions – 58:54 and second to the old war horse winner, Chris Smart by 19 seconds.
Ryan Glasgow [Torvelo] was another ‘sans skis’ but big on pink – both frame and socks.
Liz Wisdish [Glasgow Wheelers] is fast woman Jo Patterson’s friend and work colleague and one of few to manage a smile on the tough old slopes of the Crow Road.
Christopher Mellor [VC Glasgow South] was headed for a top 20 finish on his Planet X with a 1:07 ride.
There was another Planet X in pursuit, ridden by Liam Scott Douglas [Dooleys RT] who would finish with a 1:04 on what was a benign day, mild and with little wind.
It was time for a change of scenery and we headed further up the climb where we caught a man from my era in full Cervélo effect, Steve Donaldson [Fullarton Wheelers] – yellow overshoes would be a cooler option though, Steve.
Paul Hornby [Ivy CC] was looking the part on the false flat as the climb eases.
We moved on again to the descent off the Crow Road where Dougie Muirhead [Coatbridge Clarion] had a nice line through the bends and where the view wasn’t as sharp as last year due to the mist but still beautiful on this calm morning.
Murray Lawson [Spokes Race Team] was a rider we thought would be ‘up there’ on the day but he whistled past us before we got a chance to take a pic.
It was on the wee detour caused by the road works when we caught him up and passed him, he was looking the part and would finish fourth on the day with a 1:1:15 as best junior.
Murray Ferguson [Torvelo] was a minute behind his namesake, on the road but wasn’t going to see him on this day.
Murray’s Torvelo team mate, Basel Razouk is a new name to us but checking back the CTT results this year we can see he’s a quick man and today he was too quick for us, albeit we did get a good view of his tail light.
Blanefield and the last corner of the race saw us park up for the rest of the day.
With it being a Sunday we thought a picture of the church with the Campsies rising above was in order?
Hamish Creber – a name we remember, along with his brother Ross, from a few years back and now with Ryan’s Bike Surgery was looking the part and would finish third on the day with a 1:00:21 ride.
There weren’t too many ladies on the start sheet but we did snap Alexandra Hayden [Vanelli-Project GO] – I really must ask someone about the name of that club?
My favourite though is, ‘Eat Plants Not Pics CC.’
Her club mate, Jason Roberts was en route a top 20 ride.
Nico Anelli [Dundee Thistle] has the ‘skid lid’ of the moment – by the Swedish company, POC – but we need to ask aero guru, Dan Bigham about the CD situation re. facial hair?
Breathing down his neck, was the lady who started one minute behind him – Scottish Road Race Champion, Becky Storey [Brother UK – Team OnForm] who was headed for a top 15 overall ride and best lady on the day.
But in hot pursuit of both of them was roadman, Alex MacRae.
We didn’t have to wait long for winner, Chris Smart [GTR Return To Life] to appear, snarling his way to a 58:35 with course record comparisons irrelevant because of the additional loop on the race route due to a road closure.
Things have moved on since 2020’s heavier ‘days of Covid’ – nice to see a result board and folks chatting around it.
But we need to get Martin up to the Campsies next year – his pictures are better than mine…