Another weekend of long distance adventure

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The Ythan CC narrative for the past week has to be “personal best” after a number of riders and members hit new heights across the North of Scotland, England and as far afield as Lisbon.

And it was another weekend of long distance adventure for a number of club members riding the 3 Pistes Sportive which took in climbs over Glenshee and the Lecht before finishing at the Cairngorm car park near Aviemore.

Lisbon was to be the scene for John Souter, an Ythan CC member who competes in triathlon for Tri Ythan, to become an age group European Champion. With the club having previous representation at Olympic and Commonwealth level through multiple champion Neil Fachie MBE and Fiona Duncan who rode at the London 2012 Paralympics and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games the news that filtered through the social media feeds last Friday morning was that John Souter joined those ranks as he claimed the 30-34 age group title at the European Sprint Championships.

Still with triathlon, David Horne, who has also been taking part in some road races this year, travelled to the Shropshire Triathlon where he qualified to represent Team GB at the European Standard Distance Triathlon Championships which will be held in Kitzbuhel in Austria in 2017.

Last Thursday saw Ythan CC promote Round 3 of the Grampian Evening Road Race Series with the 30 mile race starting near Haddo before heading to Kinnacharie, Ythanbank and Methlick before completing a further lap. The field began to lose riders soon after the start with the usual high pace taking its toll and it took until the last approach to Ythanbank before the winning break became established as Veli Raikkonen (Granite City RT), Matthew Cockerell (Aberdeen Wheelers) and former Ythan rider Jordan Stronach (Spokes Racing) forged a 20 second lead over the chasing bunch.

As the race headed up the climb out of Methlick the trio’s advantage started to decrease but as they took the turn at Formartines they gained a vital few seconds that would see them stay away to the finish where Raikkonen launched his winning move on the short climb just outside Tarves leaving Cockerell to take second ahead of Stronach. Ythan’s Alan Smith was 13th, Chris Main 17th ,Thomas Gelati 30th, Robbie Brown 38th as all finished in the chasing bunch with Andy Scouller finishing solo in 45th after a strong performance saw him hold the bunch until the final climb out of Methlick.

Last weekend saw time trialling come to the fore with races in Forres and Fordoun. Saturday saw Colin Duncan take fourth place in the Alan Bell Memorial 10TT on the Kinloss/Roseisle course where recorded another superb sub 23 minute time of 22m 24s. Sunday saw the Allan Bell 25mTT on the A96 course that also features a finishing loop on the Burghead road and again Duncan was to the fore with a sub hour time of 58m 08s but he was to be joined by Alan Smith who rode to a personal best time of 58m 53s. The Forres weekend always concludes with the Dyke APR on the roads to the north of Forres towards Brodie and Ythan had Robbie Brown and Thomas Gelati riding in a field of 55. The win would be taken by Aberdeen Wheeler rider Darren Stewart who outsprinted Chris Williamson and Gareth Hunt (both Deeside Thistle) and Gary Ballantyne (Pedal Power RT) with Brown finishing 16th and Gelati in 19th. Former Ythan rider Tony French (Deeside Thistle) rode all three events and claimed the overall prize as the fastest over the weekend.

At Fordoun, Granite City RT were promoting the Glegg Trophy 25TT on the A90 course and it was to be a clash of the giants of North and North East time trialling as Callum Finlayson (Moray Firth RT) and Phil Kelman (Deeside Thistle) couldn’t be separated after 25 miles of racing with both recording stunning times of 53m 29s. Ythan CC sole representative was Malcolm Grant who recorded a time of 1hr 1m 27s to finish 22nd.