Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club have supported the Loudoun Road Club’s hilly time trial for some years and were again out in force last Saturday with nine competing in this popular early season event.
Run over an undulating course of 14 miles, the event favours those with hill climbing abilities.
A field of eighty riders entered with a mixed category of juniors, seniors and veterans and four ladies.
This year’s race proved to be a fast one, with 4 riders beating the previous record of 35 minutes 3 seconds set by Barry Wilson in 2015. The new record holder is Robert Friel of Pro Vision Cycle Clothing, with a winning time of 33:26. Second was Ross Clark in 34:00 and in third with a time of 34:09 was David Griffiths.
Ayr Roads riders turned in some excellent performances with Ed Clifton finishing 16th with a time of 36:57. He was followed by Alistair McGibbon in 18th, 58 seconds slower and Michael Curran another 15 seconds behind in 20th. Jonathon Hillbourne finished first junior with a superb time of 41:44 and Janet Erskine claimed second place in the ladies category. Teammates Alex McAllister, Graham MacLeod, Martin Lindsay and Harry Brawley all finished in the top half of the field.
On home roads the promoting club fielded some excellent riders, including John Dunlop, who was second to the course record holder in 2015. With club mate Marc Anderson in support it was expected that the Loudoun club would be amongst the top finishers. They didn’t disappoint, finishing 7th and 8th respectively.
On Sunday Ayr Roads ladies team of Janet Erskine and Toni McIntosh made the trip to Stirling to compete in the Corrieri’s Classic 10 Mile Time Trial, promoted by Stirling Bike Club. This event has long been known as one of the classic season openers. Sunday’s race attracted the elite amongst Scottish Time Triallists, where Janet and Toni were up against the finest women time triallists in the country.
The event took part on the outskirts of Stirling on the exposed out-and-back ‘Cambusbarron 10’ Course and it’s riders faced a prevailing westerly, before a tailwind finish towards Stirling Castle. The event was won by John Archibald of Pro Vision Cycle Clothing, with a time of 19 minutes 25 seconds a phenomenal time so early in the season. Second was David Griffiths who trailed his teammate by 58 seconds and Dylan Hughes of Spokes Racing Team was 3rd at 20 minutes 49 seconds. Catriona MacGillivray won the ladies section with a personal best of 23 minutes 7 seconds. Toni McIntosh claimed second in the section with a time of 24 minutes 27 seconds whilst Janet Erskine won the women’s veterans class in a time of 25 minutes 53 seconds.
In South Shields Iain Fisher competed in the second of the local clubs cyclocross series. After a good start and looking like getting a top three placing, he suffered a puncture and was out of the running.
Meanwhile, closer to home club members enjoyed their regular mid-week and Sunday runs
with spring like weather, the mid-week brigade ramped up their weekly mileage by heading on southern byways via the Assel Valley to Pinmore. Here they took to the crossing of the hanging valley of the Lendal Water, before meeting the Stranraer to Ayr road at Lendalfoot. A tail wind took them homewards along the coast road via Girvan, recording a nice seventy miles. On Sunday a hardy group braved the rain with a 40 mile route which took them from Ayr towards Maybole via Dalrymple then heading east over Guildtreehill to Patna thence to Drongan and home.