TWO Shetland cyclists followed the Olympic example by scooping gold medals last weekend.
Carlos Riise and Christine McLean were taking part in the Scottish 12-hour time trial championship.
Riise won his race in style, covering an impressive 268 miles in the allotted time, and McLean made it a double for Shetland Wheelers when she took the women’s title at her first attempt with an impressive total distance of 226 miles.
Forty riders had entered this gruelling event, based mainly on the A9 north of Inverness. Although mainly dry and bright, a brutally relentless 20 knots crosswind made it tough going for the hardy cyclists as they set off from Dalmore at 6am on a reasonably warm Sunday morning.
The route had the competitors riding as far north as Bonar Bridge and on past to Invershin, before retracing and heading east to Portmahomack. They then cycled south to Dingwall before completing several laps of a circuit between Nigg and Invergordon. The strong wind persisted all day, occasionally appearing as a ferocious headwind but unfortunately seldom seen as a helping tailwind.
Riise equalled the distance which took him to silver in 2007. This year he moved up to top spot, winning gold by a staggering 20 miles.
McLean had more of a battle on her hands. After 12 hours of racing she won by the closest of margins, beating second-placed Louisa Edmonston of Edinburgh Road Club by less than half a mile.
During an event of this length each rider will burn around 10,000 calories. It is understandable that they couldn’t compete without the assistance of a dedicated team of helpers. The Shetland Wheelers team would like to thank Rosy Mclean and her partner Finley Ross for all their encouragement throughout the event.