Ayr Roads take to the hills

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Despite the disappointment of losing the Scottish National 25 Mile Championships through cancellation, Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club enjoyed a full list of events last week; ranging from Cyclo Sportives, at home and abroad to the popular weekly runs. The club League Championship also featured in the activities.

In the club’s championship league fourteen members tackled various climbs of the South Carrick hills. The youngest competitor was ten year old Ollie Kelly. This popular competition has forty club members vying for points and allows members to take part in a range of cycling activities of nine events over the season.

Last week’s was event number four and was based on individual times over various segments in the hills of South Ayrshire. The route featured the climb of Glenalla from the north before the descent to North Balloch and then by Glengennet to the summit of Hadyard Hill. Ed Clifton and Calum MacDonald tied on the occasion with equal times for the three segments.

The current standings have Scott Knox leading with Ed Clifton second and Andrew Kent lying third. The next event will take place on 5th July.

On the sportive front, two members competed in the 103km Mediofondo in France, where the mighty “Giant of Provence” was climbed by Calum Hume and Alex McAllister.

Alex has climbed the Ventoux several times, but Calum was overawed by its height and barrenness.

They took the climb from Bedoin, which is the hardest side, up through the trees with a relentless gradient of over 20 kms, before tackling the last 6 kms of moonscape from Chalet Reynard. Ventoux towers well over 6,000 feet and is a favoured Tour de France stage.

In Northern Ireland, Kathryn Thomson finished seventh in the 60 km women’s event of the Gran Fondo d’Italia. An improvement by three places from last year. At an average speed of 17 mph Kathryn was well placed overall amongst the 1250 competitors.

Husband Alan rode with her before tackling the Sally Gap climb in the Wicklow Mountains later in the week.

The club runs featured a solo century ride by Neil Campbell, who rode the five ferries route of the Arran and the Argyll Lochs. Whilst the mid week run covered some new ground, with six members clocking up 90 miles by way of New Cumnock, Penpont, Moniave and Carsphairn onto home roads.

On Saturday another group chose the figure of eight loop of the Island of Arran, and on Sunday the main club run enjoyed a 60 mile route which took in Prestwick, Corraith , Symington, Craigie village, Mauchline, and Barskimming before heading homewards via Stair.

Two new members took part in the club’s evening 10 Mile Time Trial; Rory Webster and Lee Cuthbertson, who rode their first time trial. Warm conditions with little wind allowed good times, with four personal bests.

The winner of the event was Michael Curran with a time of 22 minutes 28 seconds with Alastair McGibbon second in 22:45.

Other times were:

Jody Gerrard 22:53

Calum MacDonald 22:55 pb

Tom Gooding-Hill 23:42 pb

Toni McIntosh 23:48

Janet Erskine 24:22

Andy Kent 25:56 pb

Rory Webster 26:10

Jim Smith 26:28

Lee Cuthbertson 26:59

Ian Fisher 29:04 pb

The club’s youth and junior members are geared up for action next week, with Miren Basabe Kerr and Ollie Kelly competing at Bellahouston Park on Tuesday night and again in the Scottish National Criterium races on Sunday 19th June at Stirling. On this occasion, the young guns will be accompanied by Janet Erskine and Robert Kelly who are competing in the seniors events.

Young Beth McCrae saw action in the Leeds Triathlon at the weekend under Ayrodynamic Triathlon Club and her results are awaited.