Scottish National Hill-Climb Championships
Location: Blairlogie, Stirling
Event: 19 October 2013
Report: Eddie Addis/Snowdon Sports
Dooleys Cycles veteran Arthur Doyle was crowned the Scottish national Hill-Climb Champion with an eight-second victory in the title race at Blairlogie, Stirling, on Saturday.
The multi-talented 41-year-old – who was crowned individual pursuit champion at the World Masters Track Championships a fortnight ago – clocked 4-45 for the climb to take gold by 12 seconds.
Second fastest was Prasad Prasad (Squadra Porcini) with 4-53, but he wasn’t eligible for the medals, so silver went to Euan Pope (Glasgow RC), 33 and from Tarbolton in Ayrshire, who clocked 4-57 and bronze to Ross Cunningham (Glasgow Green CC) with five minutes exactly.
As the seniors started to warm up and the tension grew the heavens opened and what can only be described as a torrent of rain lashed the already greasy course, making conditions anything but easy.
All those calculations over gear ratios and tyre pressures went straight out the window and last minute fumbling with track pumps became a common sight around the start area as tyre pressure were dropped to compensate for the steady flow of water that was now running down the hill.
Thankfully the rain soaked riders enthusiasm for the race didn’t seem to be dampened by the conditions and at 10.31 Trefor Baker or Glenmarnock Wheelers set the time by which all that followed would be judged.
With two of the favourites to take the title, last year’s King of the Kirk Steven Lawley and David Griffiths, being away on international duty the start sheet looked to indicate the title was there for the taking. The early benchmark time was set by Ross Cunningham from Glasgow Green Cycle Club who hit five minutes dead, this time then stood for almost an hour until local rider from Squadra Porcini, Prasad Prasad, who is normally seen setting the hill alight wearing trainers without a bike, smashed through the five minute barrier with a time of 4m53s.
As he was riding on a day licence he wasn’t eligible for the champs but still set a time to raise the eyebrows of the big hitters that were set to follow.
As the rain-soaked riders huddled round the results tent trying to maintain body heat with coffee and cake, watching as the times were relayed down from the top of the hill, rider after rider tried but failed to top the time of Prasad.
Finally, Arthur Doyle of Dooleys Cycles put to good use his huge power and years of experience to propel his bike to the top of the Kirk in an amazing time of 4m45s. With almost 20 riders still to go after Arthur, would anyone have the legs to deny him being crowned King of the Kirk?
The closest of all the challengers was Euan Pope of Glasgow Road club who was the only one of the remaining riders, and one of only three on the day, to go under the five minute barrier. King Arthur was crowned and took the title of Scottish Men’s Hill Climb Champion 2013. Euan Pope, Glasgow RC, scooped a well-deserved Silver and the Bronze went to Glasgow Greens Ross Cunningham.
The women’s race was contested by a smaller field but that didn’t make for any less drama, the second rider off and setting a blistering time was local rider Kerry McPhee riding for local shop based team, Rock and Road Cycles.
Being a triathlete might have been an advantage to Kerry as the rain continued to fall and swimming might have proved to be a better was to complete the course. Thankfully she didn’t need her wetsuit and finished in an impressive time of 5m41s.
Despite valiant efforts to beat her time the closest challenger was Granite City’s Julie Erskine who came within two seconds of Kerry but and had to settle for silver on this occasion. The bronze medal was lifted by Lynsey Curran who just missed on going under the 6 minute barrier.
Last year’s Ladies champion Jen Taylor of Equipe Velo Ecosse was last to go and the only rider capable of denying Kerry of her first Scottish ladies Hill Climb Champion title. Jen put up a brave defence of her title but in the end just fell short of getting on the podium after a long hard season and finished in fourth place.
An impressive debut by Kerry McPhee, Rock and Road Cycles saw her take her first Gold medal in this discipline and be crowned Queen of the Kirk 2013, not sure we’d bet against her adding to the medal collection in future years.
The team prize was scooped by Equipe Velo Ecosse, with Andrew Nicell, Rob Wilkins and Richard McDonald the three riders whose combined times gave them the victory.
With the youth race starting proceedings the first rider off at 9.01am was Perth United’s Jake Swan, as the youngest rider in the race, having just turned eight years old, did himself and his club proud to set the initial time to beat.
The times continued to get faster and faster, and more impressive as minutes ticked by with the quickest times more than rivalling and putting to shame many of the times set by the seniors later in the day.
The fastest overall time for both male and female riders were unsurprisingly set by the Youth A riders with Mark McGuire, Perth United setting the fastest overall time with a blistering 3m02s, the fastest female on the day was Keira Johnston from Glasgow Riderz, setting an equally impressive benchmark of 4m08s.
Thankfully the threatening grey skies kept hold of their wet payload until the youth had finished showing why they are the future of our sport and impressing those who had made the effort to come along and show support.
1 Gold Arthur Doyle www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 04:45
2 Prasad Prasad Squadra Porcini 04:53
3 Silver Euan Pope Glasgow Road Club 04:57
4 Bronze Ross Cunningham Glasgow Green Cycle Club 05:00
5 Craig Hardie www.Hardie-Bikes.com 05:01
6 Robin Wilkins Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers 05:05
7 Johnny Graham Team Right Move Windows 05:05
8 Jack King Cormorant RT 05:05
9 Jack Taylor Dumfries CC 05:05
10 Alan Dean Edinburgh RC 05:08
1 Gold Kerry MacPhee Rock And Road Cycles 05:41
2 Silver Julie Erskine Granite City RT 05:43
3 Bronze Lynsey Curran Glasgow Couriers 06:01
1 Lewis Grieve Spokes Racing Team 05:08
2 Brandon Somerville RNRMCA 06:31
1 Keira Johnston Glasgow Riderz 04:08.0
2 Erika Allen Team Thomsons Cycles 04:38.0
3 Philippa Samphier Stirling Bike Club 05:12.0
1 Mark McGuire Perth United Cycling Club 03:02.0
2 Harry Johnston Team Thomsons Cycles 03:08.0
3 Jordan Stronach Ythan CC 03:20.0
1 Jenny Holl Stirling Bike Club 04:15.0
2 Katie Allen Team Thomsons Cycles 05:11.0
3 Rhona Callander Wallace Warriors 05:11.0
1 Danny Mulholland Johnstone Wheelers CC 00:00.0
2 Stephen Dent Nevis Cycles Racing Team 03:25.0
3 Sean Flynn Edinburgh RC 03:37.0
1 Anna Shackley Glasgow Riderz 04:49.0
2 Abby Stewart Glasgow Riderz 05:18.0
3 Rhona Samphier Stirling Bike Club 05:52.0
1 Jamie Johnston Team Thomsons Cycles 03:50.0
2 Alfred George Discovery Junior Cycling Club 03:54.0
3 Rory McGuire Perth United Cycling Club 04:03.0
1 Callum Reid Stirling Bike Club 04:29.0
2 Murray Lawson Edinburgh RC 05:27.0
3 Rory Thiel Discovery Junior Cycling Club 06:44.0
1 Jake Swan Perth United Cycling Club 10:28.0
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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.