Ayrshire was again the main attraction for hundreds of cyclists at the weekend, when the Marmotte Ecosse Gran Fondo was staged over the county’s roads.
The Marmotte is supported by the Braveheart Cycling Fund and comprises of three events, two of which qualify for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Gran Fondo World Championships to be held in France in August. Saturday’s time trial featured riders from Europe and one from Brazil. The winner of the Time Trial, a 12k circuit of Kilmarnock/Fenwick/Moscow was Ian Ryves representing Great Britain, with Scotland’s own multi champion Jon Entwistle taking 4th place and qualifying for the World Championships. Marc Anderson of Loudoun Road Club also qualified and finished in 8th position overall.
Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club’s sole competitor in the event, Michael Curran crashed and had to abandon the race.
However, Sunday’s Road Race featured Ayr Roads young rider, Martin Lindsay, which brought success to the youngster who finished ninth securing a place in the World Championship. Martin will be joined by Sean Barron of Fullarton Wheelers who finished in 8th place. A truly great day for the two young Ayrshire riders. Two other Roads riders, Jonathon Hilbourne and Mark Warters also took part in the Sportive event, the results of which are awaited.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Scottish National Championships of the CTT were held on the West Ferry course and promoted by Glasgow Nightingale CC. Competitors faced a strong face wind to the turn. The event was won by Jon Entwistle of the George Town Racing Team, in a time of 20 minute 27 seconds. Jon had competed in the Marmotte Time Trial the day before. Entwistle led the GTR to team victory along with Chris Smart and Lewis Duff. The best Ayrshire rider was Kenny Armstrong, Carrick CC, who recorded 21:29.
Michael Curran of the Roads club, despite the aches and pains of his crash recorded 22:47. Alastair McGibbon recorded 23:02 and Toni McIntosh 6th lady in 25:30. Catherine Logan of Fullarton Wheelers just missed a podium place and finished in 25:07. With Aileen Clyde, however, Fullarton, took the ladies team award.
Meanwhile, despite his disappointment on Saturday, Michael Curran is the toast of Ayrshire cyclists this week. Fullarton Wheelers and Ayr Roads submitted a joint application to host the British CTT National Championships in 2018. The joint bid was successful, with the two Ayrshire Clubs fighting off strong opposition from the Glasgow clubs. Over two days up to five hundred of the top UK riders will descend on Ayrshire, making it one of the biggest events on the British calendar. Michael was very much part of the joint effort.
At the end of May, Ayr Roads will promote the Straiton Struggle Road Race, over the Straiton/Kirkmichael/Crosshill circuit. A favourite of the riders and of the local communities of Carrick,who have given their support over the past few years. Michael is the race organiser, and confirms that the event will feature Scottish top roadmen. Further information will be published in due course.
On Sunday, not to be outdone his time trialling and road racing colleagues, John Gemmell took second place in Round 2 of the Scottish Mountain Bike series. John is now leading in his category and is looking forward to the next event, where he will be hoping to retain his position.
Overall a very successful week end for Ayrshire.