Girvan at the centre of the cycling world

Some of the juniors line up at the start of a race at Victory Park.
Some of the juniors line up at the start of a race at Victory Park.

A fantastic weekend of cycling in Carrick included the Ayr Roads CC Audax race, the second Highwayman challenge and a popular juniors race.

The action began on Saturday with the Ayr Roads CC/Harry Fairbairn BMW organised Audax, with two different distances available for riders to choose between – 100km and 200km.

Conditions were wet and windy but this didn’t put off the hardy bunch that arrived bright and breezy in numbers to Girvan for the start at 8am.

The 200km route took the riders up the Byne climb on departing Girvan before continuing to head south to Newton Stewart passing through Knowe on the way down where a control point was in place, with the rain lashing down at this juncture making even the most water resistant clothing permeable.

The next control point was at Stroan Loch, which involved a 10 mile off road stretch for the riders to undertake to arrive at, with rattling bones and very dirty kit as a result!

Moniaive was next on the agenda before rolling out over the hills and heading up the A713 taking the left turn to Loch Doon, where another control point was in place.

The heavens once again opened at this time but luckily much welcomed shelter could be taken in the café.

The second off road part of the route took the riders from the beauty of Loch Doon along Carrick Forest Drive to the Tairlaw, where the sight of tarmac once again was welcomed by all.

From Straiton, the riders then headed back to the finish in Girvan where the superb catering organised by Catherine and Niamh Fulton was gratefully appreciated by all who undertook the hefty 129 mile ride in pretty poor conditions.

The second Highwayman challenge was enjoyed by all and thanks go to the organising team of Chris Johnson, Blair Wyllie and Dave Clifford.

The Ayr Roads CC confined 10 continued on Thursday evening amid atrocious weather conditions. Posting the quickest time of the night was Mark Skilling in 22:45.

See pages 13, 14, 15 and 26 for more on the cycling events in Carrick.