It was a very successful weekend for three Shetland Wheeler cyclists.
Carlos Riise lifted the Aberdeen District Ian Porter Trophy at the Furneux 100 mile time trial with both he and Christine McLean breaking the Scottish Veterans record for the distance while Colin Smith was in action in Caithness finishing an overall third in a series of events held during Saturday and Sunday.
The weather forecast had made the whole idea of competing very daunting so it was a pleasant surprise for the 30 riders who congregated at Cove on the outskirts of Aberdeen, where the predicted wet and windy conditions only arrived during the last 30 minutes, making conditions difficult.
The 100 mile course takes the riders from Aberdeen to Newtonhill then on the rolling north and south Deeside roads as far as Ballater before returning to the finish in Aberdeen.
Still suffering from injuries sustained in two recent road accidents, a nervous but determined McLean was off midfield shortly after 7am while Riise was last man off approximately 20 minutes later. In a time trial, riders start at one minute intervals with the faster riders generally towards the end of the field.
McLean gradually felt her confidence returning and soon settled into a comfortable rhythm. Christine’s finishing time of 4 hours, 21mins and 57secs sets a new Scottish Women’s veteran record and placed her within 44 seconds of breaking the Scottish Women’s Competition record set in 1998 by Andrea Pogson.
McLean was left wondering how different things could have been if she hadn’t had to stop for two sets of red traffic lights in Banchory on the return leg! She not only won the events prize for first lady, but also for first vet with a plus time of 1:9:21 for her age standard.
Carlos Riise completed the 100 mile course in 3:54:1sec with an average speed of almost 26mph. This fine performance produced a new Men’s Scottish Veteran’s record for the 100 mile distance and won Carlos the Aberdeen District’s Ian Porter Trophy. Riise’s achievements over the last week are astounding and enforce the popular view of him nationally as a talented and respected athlete. This was actually Riise’s second 100 mile time trial within a week and that in itself was ridden only 12 hours after finishing sixth in the very competitive Scottish 50 Mile Championship where only seconds separated the top few riders.
The Scottish 50 Championship was held in Invergordon and having completed the course in a very fast 1:52:43 Carlos drove overnight to Yorkshire and was back in action the following day to contest the British 100 mile Championship where despite the previous day’s exertion and the long drive he was placed 16th out of a hundred strong field in a time of 3:54:15.
Another impressive performance for the Shetland Wheelers was produced by Colin Smith who travelled to Thurso for a weekend of three different time trial events promoted by Caithness Cycling Club.
A 25 mile time trial on the Thurso-Wick road was the first event held on Saturday afternoon when luckily the forecast wet and windy weather had cleared through.
The road was gently rolling, but with a poor surface. Smith was very pleased to record a new PB time of 58:46, going under the magical hour for the first time over the distance, and ending up in fifth place.
The Sunday morning event was a 10 mile time trial on the same roads as the previous day, and again the weather was ideal. Colin was hoping to get close to another PB, but in the end had to settle for a time of 22:37 and second place.
The signature event came on Sunday afternoon, a time trial over 11 hilly miles along Loch Calder. The mixture of smaller, twisting roads and climbs made for a fun event and, despite having to stop and put his chain back on at one point, Colin finished in 27:24 and third place.
Placings were also awarded on the combined times over all three events, and in the overall Colin was again in third place.
Last Thursday eight riders took part in the Shetland Wheelers’ time trial in warm and very calm conditions. Lynsey Henderson and Bonar Barclay warmed up before their trip to the inter-county triathlon event by setting new personal bests at 10 miles, as did brothers Barrie and Jack Scobie who continue to push each other to improve almost every week, while Mike McGuire is clearly back up to full speed over the shorter distances too.
Bonar Barclay 28:00 PB; Tommy Dedman 28:14; Maurice Fraser 26:45; Lynsey Henderson 26:43 PB; Mike McGuire 25:13; Barrie Scobie 26:20s PB; Jack Scobie 31:17PB; Colin Smith 1:00:14 PB 25 miles.