Pennyglen hosts latest leg of Ayr Roads championship

Jonathon Hilbourne wins at Culroy
Jonathon Hilbourne wins at Culroy

Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club members were amongst hundreds of cyclists who headed for Ayrshire at the weekend with the club represented in no less than five events. Six club members joined over three hundred others from throughout Scotland in the Pedal the Park Sportive, promoted by Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and Ride 63 Community Cycling Club.

Organised by David Hill of Ayr Roads, the event is staged over a 100 km course that starts at Lochwinnoch and takes in a route through Renfrewshire before turning down the coast through Inverclyde, and then inland into the hills above Greenock, Loch Thom and then homewards with the ‘sting in the tail’ climb of Fairlie Moor. The event was well supported with the proceeds going to the deserving cause of CLIC Sargent in Scotland.

Ayr Roads riders also featured in the 3 Castles Duathlon, promoted by Ayrodynamic Triathlon Club on Sunday. The event featured a 5 km distance run, followed by a 27 km bike race run over the Pennyglen Circuit, ending with another 5 km run. The main event was won by Roads member, Calum MacDonald with Toni McIntosh of the Roads club taking third in the ladies race.

Elsewhere, Roads members joined a field of one hundred time triallists in the Fullarton Wheelers Spring 10-Mile Time Trial at Irvine. The winner of the event was Douglas Watson of Icarus Racing in a time of 20:33. Carrick Cycling Club, of Armstrong, Robb and Skilling took the team prize.

Ayr Roads members also took part in the Cronberry Classic Time Trial on Saturday. The event doubles up for the South West Scotland Championship. The Roads fielded three riders, with Marcus Shields returning the best performance, followed by John Gemmell and Iain Fisher. The winner of the event was David Griffiths of Pro Vision Scotland who recorded a time of 40 minutes 59 seconds, over the seventeen mile course and a new course record. Kenny Armstrong of Carrick CC took the South West title with Catherine Logan of Fullarton Wheelers taking the ladies title. The best team was Loudoun Road Club who had Marc Anderson third and another two riders in the top ten.

Hilbourne on a high!

Last Tuesday evening was the most exciting of the Roads league championship events to date. Only the second of the nine club events, it was one not to be missed by riders and spectators alike, including the good folk of Carrick. The event an Australian Pursuit Race was staged over a thirteen mile route of the Pennyglen coastal circuit, the event attracted eighteen roads riders. All looking forward to the short road race and testing their abilities against each other, that an APR allows.

Three groups were formed on a handicapped basis, with the first group given a three minute allowance over the strongest scratch group. It turned out to be a just allowance.

From the start at Burton, the race headed by Fisherton, taking in the short Lagg climb, the first to test ‘the legs’. Earlier in the week, Ayr Roads members had been on the Lagg climb roaring encouragement to Scotland’s own Mark Beaumont who was in training for his round-the-world record breaking attempt.

Sooner than anticipated the scratch group, comprising of the club’s strongest riders had caught group two, just above Fisherton. The larger group now worked hard together, before making contact with group one on the Castlehill climb. Here a few were dropped, but worked hard again on the descent to Pennyglen. The homeward leg was the fastest, along the Covenanter’s road, once the famous ‘measured mile’ of the old Maybole Cycling clubs, where it was ‘hell for leather’ with no quarter given. Touching over thirty miles per hour, the scratch group were surprised to find the club’s two youngsters youngsters Jonathon Hilbourne and Rory Webster still with them. Just before Helen’s Well, Graham McLeod made a break, but was pulled back, by the effort of Calum MacDonald. Immediately thereafter and to the surprise of their seniors Hilbourne and Webster took off on the descent into Culroy. An unsuspecting tactic that paid off. Up past the old smiddy both had forged a short lead which could not be bridged. Young Jonathon took the victory from Rory with third place going to Ed Clifton. The youngsters were heartily congratulated by their club mates and riders and spectators alike

Jonathon, now leads the club’s league championship table, but with seven more events to follow, the youngster, who has already represented Scotland on the track, knows he is going to have to work hard to keep the lead.