Wrapping up the cycling season with one last medal winning ride, Shetland Wheeler Christine McLean took silver at the Tour de Trossachs, a classic Scottish cycling event involving a scenic and challenging 28 mile route centred around Aberfoyle and Callender.
This year the event not only incorporated the Scottish Olympic Time Trial championship but was a round in the British Rudy Project Series of events and therefore attracted entrants from across the country bringing the number of competitors up to 140.
The technical nature of the course with its twists, turns, lumps and bumps is very demanding especially as within two miles of the start riders have to tackle a lengthy hill climb up the Dukes Pass. Christine took gold in 2008, breaking the women’s hill climb record which both she and Mari Todd broke again in 2009. The weekend forecast for heavy rain unfortunately proved correct and with water streaming down the roads conditions became treacherous.
McLean attempted to get a feel for the course in these conditions prior to the race but came off on the hazardous descent. However despite cuts and bruises she decided to go ahead and take part and was therefore very surprised to finish second out of the women even though her extremely cautious ride of 1:23:35 was well off what she usually achieves on the same course.
For the second year running former Shetland resident and rider Mari Todd (Sandy Wallace Cycles) retained the championship title, setting new course and hill climb records.
The Tour de Trossachs marks the end of an excellent competitive season for Christine. Out of 28 races she has achieved 16 firsts including three Scottish Gold Medals and one British Championship title, four British age category golds and seven second places including two Scottish silver medals.