Celebratory mode for cycling club

National 50 mile TT ladies podium, Toni McIntosh on right.
National 50 mile TT ladies podium, Toni McIntosh on right.

Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club is in celebratory mode this week, following the success of Toni McIntosh in the Scottish National 50 Mile Time Trial Championships.

Toni took silver in the event, promoted by the Granite City CC held over the Kincardineshire course on Sunday.

Competitors faced a strong head wind for a twenty mile section of the course and times reflected this.

Nonetheless, Toni’s time of 2 hrs 8 mins 6 secs was nearly two minutes faster than her time last year, when she took bronze.

The club’s multi National medallist has already taken a team Gold in the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship held in May, along with colleague Janet Erskine.

Unfortunately, the Ayr Club was unable to field a ladies team this year, which just might have repeated their success last year, when they took Gold.

Alex McAllister of the Roads club recorded a fine time of 2 hrs 1 min and Michael Curran, who suffered severe cramp recorded 2:08:06 for his first 50 mile TT.

The Ladies race was won by Catriona Gunn in a time of 2 hrs 06 mins and the new National Champion at the distance is John Entwistle in a time of 1 hr 44 mins.

Not to be outdone by her senior colleague, young junior Beth Macrae, took second place in her first criterium race at Bellahouston Park on Thursday night. Beth follows on the success of Miren Basabe Kerr a few weeks ago. Beth was in the ‘A’ Race which included boys; all having much more experience than her. In damp conditions she finished just under a lap down on Sarah Bradford, who has just finished the Pearl Izumi Tour series.

Always a daunting prospect for an athlete in their first competitive race, but in Beth’s case she was competing in a completely new discipline of her sport. Criterium racing is fast, requires good bike handling skills, confidence and strength when riding in a bunch, particularly in a mixed category race.

Janet Erskine, of the Roads club, who accompanied Beth was delighted with the youngster’s performance. Janet, who has been assisting Scott Maclean in the coaching of the club juniors, is looking forward to seeing Beth, Miren and Ian Fisher compete in the next crit races at Kilmarnock and Muirkirk. Miren has returned home to Spain for a month and was unable to compete in the Bellahouston race and Ian is also on holiday.

On Tuesday night the fifth round of the club’s league championship took place at Monkton. This was a sprint event that was held over a 1km circuit and entailed 10 laps of the circuit. Just short of seven miles in total.

The short and tight circuit with its numerous corners offered great entertainment to the supporters and needed good bike handling skills by the riders.

The winner of the event was Ed Clifton in a time of 15 minutes 21 seconds, closely followed by Alastair McGibbon in 15:27.

Other times were:

Alex McAllister 15:42

Scot Knox 16:10

Andrew Kent 16:25

Bobby McGhee 16:40

Ed leads the league table by 4 points, closely followed by Scot Knox and Andy Kent. With over forty club members enlisted in the competition it has been hailed a huge success by all.

There are still another four league events to go and there are opportunities for club members to catch up.

The next league event will be the Turnberry Circuit Time Trial, followed by two hill climbs. The competition closes with a cyclo cross event at the end of the season.

On Thursday, the club’s evening 10 mile time trial was won by Alex McAllister, with a time of 23:58, followed by Toni McIntosh 24:27, Duncan McArthur 24:48 and newcomer Jason McCulloch 29:10.

Due to the British Open Golf Championship, next week’s evening 10 Mile Time Trial has been cancelled. It has been replaced with a two-up Team Time Trial over the sporting Pennyglen circuit.

The Sunday and mid week runs throughout the year are well supported when club members can enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow sportsmen and women. Last week, three club members took part in the mid week run.

On the occasion, the use of ScotRail with a stop off at Barrhill station allowed a longer run than usual. From Barrhill the threesome rode to Newton Stewart by way of the Knowe hamlet, before taking the A712 route by way of Murray’s Monument and its Grey Mare’s Tail into the Galloway Forest park and then to New Galloway.

After a short break, it was then by way of the scenic Glenkens, and Earlston and Carsfad Lochs to Carsphairn. From here the trio faced a head wind home and were forced to do “bit and bit” against the strong westerly. A great day out though, with a fine mileage of 85 in their legs.

On the same day, Duncan McArthur rode solo to the Isle of Whithorn, returning with 125 miles. Like his fellow club mates, Duncan suffered a face wind on the return journey, but in his case he did not have the comfort of fellow clubmen as a wind break!

Sunday’s run saw fewer than normal out, and in very wet conditions only recorded 50 miles by way of the the high Maybole Road to Culzean and then over the Turnberry Hills to Dailly and onto the coast road home.