Mid Argyll peloton expands Kintyre time trial

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Racing cyclists competed against the clock at the Machrihanish airbase monthly time trial.

Numbers once again ballooned to 30 from the original 14, partly by an echelon from Mid Argyll and also by holiday makers staying in the area, who fancied their chances on MACC’s virtually pan flat closed road circuit.

There were many new faces but also a number, such as the Kintyre Wheelers Cycling Club July winner, Dom Sharkey, missing while competing at other events.

After gentle protests and to satisfy those who pace themselves against the phone app Strava, the race distance was lowered slightly to exactly 10 miles.

Mechanic and time keeper, Ian Brodie, said: ‘Three cyclists rode the lap and a mean of their GPS recorded mileage was taken to decide on the start and finish point.’

A funding bid is to be made by Kintyre Wheeters together with other Argyll cycling clubs for a chip timing kit. Until it is obtained it has been decided to report just the top three times at this event.

In line with previous Kintyre Wheelers Cycling Club time trials there was a sighting lap with competitors split into two groups.

This gives the riders a chance to learn the three lap route and spot any potential hazards such as corners and lines in the mainly concrete surfaces.

Once the event started, to speed up starts slightly riders were gridded up using the standard system of the slowest starting first either in pairs or in threes.

The fastest go last as the aim is to bring everyone to the finish at about the same time.

The wind had been increasing slightly and riders had strong crosswinds during the trial.

Craig Armour took the top spot finishing in 26 minutes dead. Visitor David Steel was two minutes behind on 28 minutes and there were eight riders in third place at about 29 minutes.

One rider from Somerset, Frank Taylor, said: ‘I was born in Campbeltown but we moved away when I was seven.

‘I have been back every year since first with my parents and continued as an adult.

‘It is great to see the sporting opportunities available in Kintyre.’

Mr Taylor said that he had ridden in many cycling club events but had never been to one so well organised.