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Let’s face it: 100 miles is a huge distance! Sure, most of the people reading this will at some time or another have cycled that distance in one go. Maybe even at a decent pace…15/16 mph if you don’t count stopping for a coffee and a sticky bun or two, or taking a rest at the top of a hill and the obligatory photo-opportunity.

But 100 miles at race-pace: that’s a whole different kettle of fish! To have been flat out for 50 miles and then to have to go round again…that’s going to hurt! And hurt it did! We saw tired, broken bodies at the finish, with some riders struggling to reach down and pick up their kit from the roadside. But we also saw some excellent times on what is a true killer of a course.

Sure, it’s based mainly on the A90 so already we can hear some people saying ‘drag-strip’ course. But this is no ordinary dual carriageway, and the route takes a big diversion along a country road for about five miles before a dead-turn with the riders heading back over a distinctly lumpy profile. The A90 itself lies in the middle of the valley with Lewis Grassic Gibbon country to the east and the influence of the Cairngorms to the west. It never lets up, rising and falling in great swooping curves where the rider never gets a chance to recover.

But the crucial factor, just as in the recent 50 Championship on the same course, was the wind: strong, gusting and in the opposite direction to last time out. This meant that riders set off into the headwind and then almost immediately turned to run towards Fettercairn with the wind at their back. Dead-turn, and they then had to fight back to the main carriageway before heading north to Stonehaven with the gusts coming on their right shoulder. A convoluted cross to the southbound carriageway and some riders reported the wind catching their rear disc wheels and flipping them away from the edge into traffic.

However, it was just after the turn at the southern end at Strathcathro that all hell let loose…a full-on block headwind for the next 12 miles with speeds dropping to 10mph at times as the riders ground up the slopes. At then they were back at Fordoun, and just had to do it all again.

Of course, we’ll talk about the winners but first of all special mention to the riders who turn up every time and put on a show, even if it’s just for personal satisfaction. One such rider was Mike Ferguson of Johnstone Wheelers…Mike’s chain jammed at 17 miles and he had to stop and turn the bike upside down to get it going. Chain fixed and he was on his way only to discover a few miles further on that all his gels had fallen out during the repair, “not to worry, I stopped at 67 miles and picked up the little pile which was still there.” Mike then flatted his front tub 10 miles from home but determined to finish, he rode those 10 miles on the rim. And finish he did!

Regular fast lady, Lynne Wardrop (Ayr Roads CC) was suffering from cramp as she approached the finish but you wouldn’t have known it to look at her. The only indication was when, 50 metres beyond the line, she fell over and lay in the road unable to get out of her pedals. There were other riders and helpers near by and they quickly warned drivers to move to the outside lane until Lynne was moved to safety. Back at the hall she was as right as rain and really pleased to take 3rd spot in the women’s event.

Paul McInally (Evans Cycles RT) was also back in action having fully recovered from the shoulder that he broke during the National road race while in the leading break…or at least that’s what he’d hoped but after 100 miles he was having real difficulty getting his left arm onto the extensions… a winter of ‘cross riding beckons so that should soon put him right.

Lots of personal stories but one more came from Jon Entwistle of the organising club Deeside Thistle. Jon crossed the line and stopped to chat and then idly asked if there had been many fast finishers. He was completely taken aback when we told him he was absolutely the first rider to cross the finish line although he started 35th. This meant a windfall day for Jon as he was on the podium over and over again back at the hall…2nd spot overall, part of the winning team, the Furneaux Trophy and a whole host of regional prizes. He ended up with a lot of white envelopes!

And so, onto the winners. And on a day made brutal by the course and the wind, one rider surprised everyone (well all except Callum Finlayson who had raced against him at the British Champs) and came home in under four hours, 3:56:14 to be exact. Stephen Williamson (a3crg) was flying the whole way round and appeared to finish as strongly as he’d started…a superbly judged effort to average more that 25 mph for the 100 mile event.

And what of the defending champion, Callum Finlayson (Moray Firth CC)? He was looking good for most of the ride, resplendent in a new skinsuit made specially by Impsport with a saltire on the left leg, but to quote the rider, “I totally burst with 30 miles to go. I had sparks coming out of all the wrong places and how I got to the finish I will never know…very happy with third!”

And in the women’s race, we usually think of endurance events suiting riders as they get a little older and lose some of the fast-twitch fibres but we’ve seen the women’s winner taking part at every distance this year. From the horrendous conditions at West Ferry for the National 10 to the National 25 at Irvine, and from the National 50 here at Fordoun last time out, Emily Middleditch (Deeside Thistle) fired around this course, looking consistently strong all the way. She has a very intense look which is great for photographs and this must be down to the level of concentration she gives to all her events. She’s now a National Champion with a medal to show for all her hard work this season.

Back at the hall and some riders were a little slow making their way over to collect prizes, sore bodies and stiff muscles taking their toll. Everyone agreed that it had been a superbly organized event by Kenny and his helpers and it was a bonus that they’d even arranged for it to be sunny after all the overnight rain. Next time though, they need to do something about the wind!

Final Results:


Stephen Williamson (a3crg)



Jon Entwistle (Deeside Thistle CC)



Callum Finlayson Moray Firth CC)



Mark Skilling (Icarus)          



P Kelman (Deeside Thistle CC)



J Cusick (



G Shirley (



C Riise (Shetland Wheelers)           



S Davidson (Sandy Wallace Cycles)           



A Wilson (Dundee Thistle CC)



E Taylor (Velocity44)          



D McMillan (St. Christopher’s CC)



A Simpson (Edinburgh Road Club)



I Archibald (Team Thomson Cycles)



G Cockburn (Glasgow Nightingale CC)



B Muir (Royal Albert CC)    



C Adams (Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique)



M Young (Deeside Thistle CC)



P McInally (Evans Cycles RT)



N Crookson (Elgin RC)



G Jones (Edinburgh Road Club)



N Anderson (Deeside Thistle CC)



J Shaw (Falkirk BC)



Emily Middleditch (Deeside Thistle CC)

4:47:34           1st W


M Gilles (Ythan CC)



Christine McLean (Shetland Wheelers)

4:52:01            2nd W


S Glasgow (Glasgow Nightingale CC)



A Ross (Komondor Roads) 



Lynne Wardrop (Ayr Roads CC)

4:52:21           3rd W


D Kirkham (Musselburgh Road Club)



L Vernett (Glasgow Nightingale CC)



M Ferguson (Johnstone Wheelers)           



D Mitchell (Perth United)