Riders compete in top-class field

Ally McGibbon

On Saturday, Ayr Roads CC/Harry Fairbairn BMW duo Gary Maher and Davie Torrance rode in a very high quality field in the Gifford Road Race in East Lothian.

In 65 miles of high-speed racing, featuring constant attacks by the professional riders, Maher survived all the selections to finish in the main bunch while Torrance’s race ended when he failed to make the cut on the third of the eight laps of the circuit. The race was won by visiting English rider Andrew Hawdon of Team Herbalife.

In the preceding support event, which was conducted over 40 miles, Robert Kelly, Adam Stevens, Toni McIntosh and Alex McAllister started in the 80-rider field. The race was notable for attrition rather than out-and-out attacking and, on the final lap, the bunch had shrunk to about 50 riders.

Kelly and McAllister were still there on the final approach to the finish line but both chose not to contest the sprint, given the hectic riding which came close to causing a high-speed crash a number of times.

All was not lost, however, as Ayrshire Post columnist Toni was second woman to cross the line, in only her second mass start road race. The race was won by Edinburgh Road Club junior rider Alex Kinsley with his fellow ERC junior Keir Greatorex in second place.

Meanwhile, with the clocks going forward, Tuesday night saw the first “summer”Ayr Roads CC race training session take place on the traditional Ayr–Turnberry–Kirkoswald– Covenanter Road–Ayr circuit with a fantastic 20 riders turning out. The training is undertaken in an APR format with riders setting off in groups at specified time intervals operating a through and off system to maintain speed while also allowing for recovery.