Calum’s Alpine adventure

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Last week was an unforgettable one for Ayr Roads Cycling Club member, Calum MacDonald. The popular clubman spent six days in France, where he rode some of the most challenging routes of the Alps.

Calum recorded nearly 300 miles in the mountains, with a total ascent of 37,000 feet. His longest ride was 108 miles, when he competed in the La Marmotte Cyclosportive. Calum was awarded with a Gold Standard Medal in a time of 7 hours 21 minutes 37 seconds and was well to the fore in his age group. His finishing time would have been even better had he not crashed on the descent of the Col de Galibier, where he suffered road rash and bruising. Out of 6,700 competitors, Calum finished in 729th position. A truly magnificent effort and a credit to his club and Scottish Cycling.

Unlike the other famous French cyclosportive, the Etape de Tour, which has a different route each year, the Marmotte route is fixed. Covering a distance of 174.4 km (108.4 miles) and with 5,180 m (16,990 ft) of climbing, the route is considered to be one of the hardest of any cyclosportive and comparable to the most challenging high mountain stages of the Tour de France. Several famous Tour de France mountains feature; the Col du Glandon, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier, the highest at nearly 9,000 feet, and the final ascent of the legendary Alpe d’Huez. Le Bourg d’Oisans hosts the start of the event.

In recent years, Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn CC members have taken part in a number of European Sportives, with the Alps featuring regularly. Last month two clubmen rode the Mont Ventoux Sportive and others are due to head for the Alps later this summer.

This year the club’s Cyclosportive and tourist trophies competition is going to be interesting with a number of club members in contention.

Across the Alps, Dave Clifford was sporting Ayr Roads colours in the Dolomites, one of the most scenic parts of Italy. Dave’s report is awaited.

At home, the midweek run took in east Ayrshire roads by clocking up sixty miles by way of Mauchline, Sorn to Cronberry before heading homewards by Skares.

The Isle of Arran’s 56 mile circuit and variation of Highland and Coastal scenery has made it a popular destination for West of Scotland Clubs. Over the past two week ends two separate groups of Ayr Roads club members have enjoyed the island’s circuit.

On Sunday the main club run headed by way of the Girvan and Assel Valleys to Pinmore, before returning by the Byne Hill descent to Girvan and home via the middle road to Kilkerran. A distance of over 60 Miles.

Conditions last Thursday at the club evening 10 mile Time Trial were poor with a strong face wind on the return leg.

The fastest time was recorded by Alastair McGibbon with a time of 23:08. Other times were:

Alex McAllister 23:19

Brian Yates 24:23

Robert Kelly 24:50

Toni McIntosh 26:04

Harry Brawley 27:52

Ian Fisher 30:12

Both Harry and Ian suffered delays at the turn roundabout.

On Sunday in the Law Wheelers Scottish Veterans Time Trial Association, Alex McAllister returned a 1 hr 1 min finishing time for the 25 Mile Time Trial, promoted by the Law Wheelers at Cambusbarron. Conditions were less than favourable.