SCCL Youth Criterium Results

Brilliant.  In the build up to promoting an event its easy to get caught up in the stress and details.  However, moments like watching National Champion Ben Forsyth have to work very very very hard to deliver that awesome win on South Park Avenue remind us what all the work is for.  That was truly thrilling racing!

The first SCCL Youth Criterium, part of the Scottish Power Youth Series, provided a great spectacle for everyone around Victory Park in Girvan.

We started with the Youth C/D events.  Great to see a strong field stay together for so long, working had.  The format was 25mins plus a lap.  Jack Cruden eventually managed to get a gap and crossed the line a few seconds ahead of Youth D winner Callum Reid and Youth C Rider Eva Barnet.  Nice work!

Youth C Start Line

Youth C Start Line

Youth C Male
1 Jack Crudden
2 Hamish MacLaren
3 Hamish Armitt
4 Owen Morris
5 Chris Blockley
Youth C Female
1 Eva Barnet
2 Anna Shackley
3 Polly Henderson
4 Abby Stewart
5 Emma Forsyth
Youth D Male
1 Callum Reid
2 Murray Lawson
Youth D Female
1 Imani Pereira-James
2 Katherine Macleod
3 Skye Donnelly

Then there was the Youth B race.  Unlike the C race, this quickly became a war of attrition.  Not least because of the devastating speed of Joseph Nally (Hardie Bikes).  In just 11 laps he put 40 seconds into nearest challenger Sean Flynn.  Local hopes were raised by young Cammie Black who delivered a fine sixth place for the new Ayr Burners Youth Cycling Club.

The format was 25mins plus 2 laps

Youth B on the move

Youth B on the move

Youth B Male
1 Joseph Nally
2 Sean Flynn
3 Maximillian Bloor
4 Matthew Running
5 Jonathon Hilbourne
6 Cameron Black
7 Robbie McLaren
8 Callum Stienlet
9 Fraser Macdougall
10 Cameron Oliver
11 Adam Hazle
12 Kyle Anderson
13 Douglas Glendinning
14 Jack Cassidy
Youth B Female
1 Fiona Thomson
2 Laurie Adamson

And that just left Youth A.  WHOOOSH, what a cacophony they made.  Really impressive riding from a group who looked and acted the part.  Really exciting watching from start to finish.  Resplendent in those Blue and Red stripes, Ben Forsyth was a marked favourite.   But he lived up to his reputation with a series of brutal digs early in the race.  As the laps ticked by you could see him weighing up his opponents as they threw everything back at him.  The finishing dual between Forsyth and Rian Hill was enthralling – a 250m straight out sprint that was in danger of requiring photo finish.  A long sprint that required total commitment from both riders.  Thanks for the show!

Youth A

Youth A

Youth A Male
1 Ben Forsyth
2 Rian Hill
3 Rhys Donnelly
4 Andrew Brown
5 Robert Tree
6 Sam MacNeil
7 Fraser Middleton
8 Calum Mitchell
9 John MacLeod
10 Danny Hedley
11 Greg Henderson
12 Ruairidh Brown
13 Ewan Mathieson
14 Ryan Glasgow
15 Grant Martin
Youth A Female
1 Sarah Bradford
2 Rachel Torrance
3 Eilidh Thomson
South Carrick Community Leisure Chairman Andrew Sinclair and the Youth Criterium Prize Winners

South Carrick Community Leisure Chairman Andrew Sinclair and the Youth Criterium Prize Winners


Girvan Community Groups – can you help?

Over the 17th 18th August we anticipate approximately 300 cyclists and volunteers to descend on Girvan to participate in the Ayrshire Alps Cycle Festival.

Hungry cyclists like to be fed and watered.  But this year we are sad to announce our top internal catering team will be out of the country!

Our 2012 catering team 'frantically' preparing to feed hundreds of hungry cyclists and greedy officials

Our 2012 catering team ‘frantically’ preparing to feed hundreds of hungry cyclists and greedy officials

We would like to appeal to any local group who would like to use the event for a spot of fundraising to step forward to take on the role.

Cycle race catering follows a pretty simple format – members of the club tend to donate a lot of homebaking, and some poor volunteers prepare a lot of sandwiches and attend to the hot urn for tea and coffee requests.  In return all riders are expected to make a donation of at least £1 for the catering.

As any cycle race organiser will tell you, catering is the only profitable part of the event.  Last year all profits went to the MS Society Scotland.  If you feel you can help, and would like to use the event as a fundraiser for your local cause please get in touch.

Contact club chairman Blair Wyllie or event organiser Chris Johnson at



Money Talks!

Ayr Roads Cycling Club will present the MS Society Scotland with over £1,000 after all proceeds from our weekend of cycling in Girvan are totalled up!  ARCC pledged support when launching the first Highwayman Challenge, a 100km endurance test giving amateur cyclists the chance to ride the circuit of the classis South Carrick David Bell road race.

More than 100 riders rose to the challenge on Saturday.  Despite the wet and misty conditions there was a fantastic atmosphere at the event with participants completing the testing course over Tairlaw Summit and the Screws climb comfortably inside the time limit.  A huge selection of cycles were used, from fast racing cycles to vintage mountain bikes.  There was even a tandem team and a unicyclist!

Crowds gathered by the finish line at Girvan Academy were wowed when Guiness Record Holder Sam Wakeling of Ayr rode into view on his single wheeled machine.  “I’ve ridden further before by unicycle, but not in a long time.  Today was fantastic, so much more fun to be out in a group than on your own”.

Thanks to Stuart Green for this image of Sam Wakeling and his unicycle

A good number of staff from the William Grants and Sons plant also took to the challenge.  Sponsors of the main South Carrick David Bell race on Sunday, they turned out to try the route for themselves.  Every single member of their team got a rowdy reception at the end of the event.

Riders reach control 2 at Straiton – thanks to Stuart Green for the image

With participants aged between 13 and 69 it was a fantastic day by all, and the catering especially was highly commended.  One participant, Martin Young even suggested that the ladies of ARCC release a recipe book!  Over two days the club catered for over three hundred people including riders, officials and spectators.  All proceeds too will be donated.

Davie Fulton of Girvan was the first local rider to complete the course and called the event a resounding success.  “It was superb, great roads, great fun, great to see so many people out to enjoy themselves.  I’m looking forward to next year already!”

The effects of an over exuberant victory gesture didn’t wipe the smile from the face of Paul Ross from Girvan, riding as part of the William Grants and Sons team

Special thanks go to ACS Prestwick Limited for donating a wonderful selection of cycle accessories for participants to raise more funds for MS Society Scotland.

The event was named in honour of David Bell’s popular Ayrshire Post column in which he encouraged people onto their bikes to explore the beautiful Ayrshire scenery.  With over 30% of the field hailing from South Carrick, the promoters Ayr Roads Cycling Club like to think its a fitting legacy.  Plans to run a 200km route in addition to the 100km are already being discussed!

1st Highwayman Challenge a success

Gordon Sykes of Girvan (and support team)
“This is my first bike event, next i’m doing the Loch to Loch to raise more money. The scenery here is wonderful “

Kevin Nicol, Barry Cunningham and Jamie Horne of the William Grants & Sons team

A great day out was had in Girvan today for the very first Highwayman Challenge Audax.  100 riders got around all the checkpoints with ample time to spare having ‘soaked’ up the great Ayrshire atmosphere as they trialled the roads of the 47th South Carrick David Bell Memorial Race.

Anyway, no point in us telling you about, here is the participant view!

the promoting club Ayr Roads CC at the finish

Magnus and Julie Gardham of Glasgow
“What a great ride! The climb [Tairlaw] was dramatic in the low mist, visibility was especially low for a spectacle wearer though!”

Sam Wakeling of Ayr
“I’ve ridden more than 100k before, but this is the furthest i’ve been in a while. Its been so much more fun than a normal day ride with lots of other people about. The steep S-bend by Barr proved too much, but otherwise I rode it all. Next stop is the World Unicycle Champs in Italy!

The magnificent spread put on by Joanne Clark and Marie Johnson-Gobert – over the weekend they’ll be catering for over 300 people!

Drew Agnew with his fantastic campag equipped Raleigh – this ain’t no collectors piece – he used to commute on it daily, and the components all come from former race bikes. Drew picked up our Retro-Bike trophy for matching the bike with old club colours!

What a way to celebrate her 40th Birthday! Lynne Wardrop of Dalrymple proudly wore her birthday badge around the whole circuit

More to follow later, but for now we must get on with final preparations for the South Carrick David Bell Memorial!

List of finishers

Brian Adams Glasgow
Andrew Agnew Kilmarnock
David Allen Prestwick
Kenneth Balfour Ballantrae
Richard Barnes Kirkintilloch
Joe Baxter Newton Stewart
John-Paul Baxter Troon
David Beattie Lynwood
Greg Bowie Prestwick
Brian Boyd Maybole
Heather Brown Crosshouse
Derek Brown Glasgow
David Campbell Giffnock
Steven Clark Calderwood
Joanne Clark Onchan
Edward Clifron Ayr
Sarah-Jane Coleby Kirkcowan
Peter Connelly Dailly
Tommy Connelly Girvan
Alan Connor Prestwick
Derek Connor Malbrough
Gary Cree Monkton
Barrie Cunningham Girvan
Dave Currie Newton Stewart
Beth Currie Newton Stewart
Gary Currie Troon
Barry Dawson Girvan
Allan Dewar Maidens
Ian Donnelly Lanark
Michael Dougall Glasgow
Stephen Dunn Prestwick
Ross Dymock Airdrie
Arthur Eggleton Annan
Claire Eldred Creetown
Brian Ferguson Newton Stewart
Peter Ferrier Prestwick
Michael Fletcher Aberdeen
Peter Forsythe Dunlop
David Fulton Girvan
James Galloway Girvan
Julie Gardham Glasgow
Magnus Gardham Glasgow
Alan Gaskin Dunlop
Paul Gibson Ayr
Graeme Guthrie Ayr
Brian Harrison Newton Stewart
Iain Henry Linlithgow
Gary Higgins Dailly
Jamie Horne Girvan
Lawrie Johnston Cherrybank
David Kaminski Troon
Phillip Kelly Crosshouse
Scott Kerr Dundonald
Fraser Law Edinburgh
Alan Littlejohn Ayr
Catherine Logan Irvine
Euan Lothian Maidens
Robert Love Girvan
Scott Lucas Girvan
Ross Lyall Ayr
Kenny MacKay Maybole
Stefan Marion Liverpool
Alan McAulay Larkhall
Alexander McDonnell Kilkerran
Billy McDowall Ayr
Paul McGhee Ayr
Allan McGibbon Prestwick
Alastair McGibbon Prestwick
Euan McGregar Girvan
Stuart McLean Stewarton
Alan Mooney Ayr
Russell Mowat Irvine
Sandy Muir Stewarton
Andrew Napier Ayr
Kevin Nicol Girvan
David Palmer Glasgow
Paul Rae Girvan
Paul Rae Girvan
James Reid Glasgow
Colin Reily Ayr
Bruce Ritchie Chryston
Michael Robb Straiton
Bales Rogerson Annan
Paul Ross Girvan
Daniel Scobie Dailly
David Sherlock Kilmarnock
Ian Smith Duns
Adam Stevens Troon
Gordon Sykes Girvan
Paul Torrance Dailly
David Torrance Dailly
Will Tyler Glasgow
Sam Wakeling Ayr
Steven Walsh Glasgow
Lynne Wardrop Dalrymple
Chris Wilkinson Skelmersdale
Richard Williams Newton Stewart
Adrian Willshaw Preston
Martin Young Glasgow


Highwayman Challenge – Route Update

Dear Highwayman Challenge participant,

With just five days to go until the first Highwayman Challenge, Ayr Roads Cycling Club /Harry Fairbairn BMW would like to wish you all the best with your preparation.

We have had to make an important change to the route of the event following a final route recce yesterday.  Unfortunately there is a 500metre section of the Carrick Forest Drive that we found inappropriate for road cycles so for 2012 we will have to omit our beloved Strada Grigio.  Due to logging works at the Loch Braden end there is a stone chip surface that is neither practical, nor fun for road cycles. I should add that it remains a spectacular ride with amazing scenery – we hope to return soon!

The Carrick Forest Drive – not this year sorry, fingers crossed for 2013!

Luckily we have a ‘route B’ in which the second checkpoint moves from Loch Doon to Bargrennan.  Total distance remains the same, at just over 103kilometres.  We will venture deep into Highwayman territory, descending Tairlaw Summit all the way back down passed Glentrool, and returning to the third checkpoint at Barr Village via Barrhill.  You can view the route here:

Our checkpoint controls will be at:

0km Girvan – Start Open 0900 Close 0930
23km Straiton Open 0946 Close 1102
57km Bargrennan Open 1054 Close 1318
90km Barr Open 1201 Close 1531
103km Girvan – Finish Open 1226 Close 1622

Retro-Bike Trophy:

We encourage you to dust off that museum piece and bring it out for another outing – the most handsome cycle wins our specially commissioned trophy by the Sprocket Man.  All you have to do is notify the judging panel at sign on that you wish your cycle to be considered.  To qualify the bike should be at least 15 years old and look suitably ancient to a modern teenager!

Fundraising Target:

Please please please dig deep to support our official charity partner, the MS Society Scotland.  If every participant was to donate just £10 we will have raised over £1,500 for this deserving cause!  And given the entry fee was so fantastically low, we should all have some spare change to do so…  As an added incentive, the rider responsible for raising the most money will be awarded with a free entry into this year’s FreshNLo Pedal for Scotland.  Visit our justgiving site now to make your pledge –

Advice for the day:

Come prepared with clothing appropriate for the weather – we have booked Mr Sunshine, but he’s been known to be a wee bit unreliable…

Have a good audax!

Carry some basic spares – road conditions are fantastic, especially the descent of Tairlaw which is an absolute joy.  However, punctures do happen so carry a spare tube and puncture repair kit.  We’ll make sure there is a track pump at each control to help blast the air up

Snacks are good – We’ll have a tasty spread laid on at the end of the ride with donations being taken for our charity friends.  Meanwhile there a few businesses on route that would be happy for your custom, but its always recommended to carry some tasty treats in your backpocket.

Finally – don’t forget to get your brevet card stamped!  Event Registration at our Girvan Academy HQ opens at 0830 and these will be issued at the start of the event and must be returned at the finish in order to qualify as having completed the first Highwayman Challenge.

If there is any additional information you require please don’t hesitate to get in touch – ayrroads @ gmail .com

We look forward to seeing you Saturday!

Postscript: following a rider enquiry, we include the following information about our decision to re-route the event:

Why can’t the Highwayman Challenge Audax use the Carrick Forest Drive?

Due to commercial timber operations where the road forks between Loch Braden and Stinchar Bridge the section where the 2011 David Bell Memorial Race returned to asphalt last year is not passable.  A section of the weak road has been replaced by loose stone chips only navigable on a mountain bike.  As an alternative the Forestry Commission were good enough to scrape and grade an extended area down to Talleminnoch Cottage.  This section is particularly scenic, but descends quite steeply in places with tight corners on a very loose surface, making it too hazardous.

Why was the decision made so late?

The Carrick Forest Drive is open to the public between May and late September/October.  The Forestry Commission scrape and grade the route before this as the route deteriorates over winter.  Therefore, with our event running in June we expect to enjoy an excellent quality surface.  We have communicated regularly with the Forestry Commission over the past 10 months and found them hugely accommodating.  On the 30th May we were aware that there was an issue with sections west of Loch Braden with mixed reports about usability.  Therefore the Ayr Roads CC club run visited the area on June 3rd and made a collective decision to change the route.

What next?

We are very grateful to the Forestry Commission for how supportive they have been to Ayr Roads Cycling Club with our events, and we are keen to maintain this relationship and to return to the Carrick Forest as soon as next year.

Although we have lost an exciting stretch of road we believe the Highwayman Challenge still has lots to offer.   With the majority of participants being local to the South Carrick area its an opportunity for many to take part in a mass ride.  All participants can enjoy the stunning scenery and hospitality of South Carrick, to get to experience the roads the professional and elite riders will use on Sunday, to enter into the retro bike competition for those who want, and also to fundraise for a great cause – the MS Society Scotland.

The Highwayman Challenge

The organisers of the South Carrick David Bell Memorial Race announced a brand-new mass participation event this week.   The ‘Highwayman Challenge’ will give local cyclists the opportunity to sample the route just 24 hours before the best cyclists in Britain line up for the classic road race.

A 100km Audax, the Highwayman Challenge starts and finishes in Girvan on Saturday 9th June.  The route will feature all the elements that the South Carrick David Bell is best known for including Tairlaw Summit, Nic O Balloch and the Carrick Forest Drive.   To add to the challenge, riders must get round a series of checkpoints at an average speed of between 15 and 30km/h.

The Highwayman Challenge will cross the Carrick Forest Drive

Ayr Roads Cycling Club, the promoting organisation, hope that the excitement of the seeing the pros tackle the route next day, and also the bargain entry fee, will attract cyclists from across Ayrshire and beyond to Girvan.  Coming just a month before the Graeme Obree Sportive, it will also be a great opportunity for sport cyclists to test their legs!

The Highwayman was David E.T. Bell’s penname when he wrote his extremely popular column in the Ayrshire Post for over forty years. Challenge participants will get the opportunity to pay homage to Bell as they pass the memorial in his name at Rowantree Toll.  To enter into the spirit of the event, organisers are also offering a prize for the best turned out ‘retro-bike’ – typically any steel machine more than 15years old.

Participants will be encouraged to use the event for fundraising to support two excellent causes – the MS Society and South Carrick Community Leisure.

Follow the link for more information, and to enter The Highwayman Challenge

Unveiling the 2012 Route

The South Carrick David Bell organising committee have settled on a route for the 2012 edition, and are now working on making this a reality in time for race day – 10th June 2012.

We've taken our inspiration from the stars...

What you need to know:

  • 163km / 101 miles long
  • 7,790 feet of vertical ascent
  • The Carrick Forest Drive is confirmed
  • The Nic O Balloch is back
  • A new section of Forest Road to be incorporated
  • Spectator friendly with 4 visits to Girvan

The organisers have designed a route that they believe will create a truly open, dynamic and dramatic event.

Popular with spectators if not the riders... The Nic O Balloch makes a return

The inclusion of two unsurfaced sections of road will mean lady luck will have an influence over the race.  With both sections coming before the half-way point, it should encourage the top protagonists to play their cards early to minimize risk on the loose gravel.  However, with more than fifty miles remaining, there should be good opportunity for chasers to recover ground by the end.

Looking east from Ballochbeatties on the Carrick Forest Drive

Riders will have a chance to pay homage to ‘The HighwayMan’ when they pass the memorial to David Bell at Rowntree Toll before tackling  Tairlaw Summit, the race high point at 1421feet.

2369m of climbing - twice up Alpe D'Huez and then some!

Two laps of a finishing circuit around Girvan and the Assel Valley will ensure spectators have plenty of opportunity to see the action.  With its steady and relatively shallow gradient, the Byne might not be the most feared climb in Ayrshire, but two ascents coming so late in the race will separate the strong from the hangers on.  True to the words of former victor Roddy Riddle, “the Davie Bell will NEVER be won by a sit-on sprinter”.  That much, we can guarantee!

Strada Grigio Sector 2 - 'Transmitter Road' as seen last week. We hope to deliver a glossy new surface by June!

DISCLAIMER:  This is a ‘draft’ route – organisers are working with partners in South Ayrshire Council and the Forestry Commission to ensure the roads are in the best possible standard for the race on June 10th.  The Carrick Forest Drive and Transmitter Road sections of gravel road are for seasonal passage, and will be regraded ahead of the event.  Please be aware that as of this moment, we would not recommend taking 700x23c road bikes along these sections!

You can view the proposed route on ridewithgps

Race Schedule

0km Girvan depart 0 11:00 11:00 11:00
4.4km End Neutral zone 2.7 11:05 11:06 11:07
12.8km Dailly (Woodside Rd) 7.9 11:15 11:18 11:21
26.3km Straiton 16.3 11:32 11:37 11:44
30.8km Largs Prime 19.1 11:38 11:44 11:52
36.5km Dalmellington B741 junction 22.7 11:45 11:52 12:01
39.8km Loch Doon Road start 24.7 11:49 11:57 12:07
43.4km Dam by Ness Glen 27 11:54 12:02 12:13
46.7km Garpel Bridge 29 11:58 12:06 12:19
51.2km Loch Doon Castle 31.8 12:03 12:13 12:26
51.9km Forest Drive Start 32.2 12:04 12:14 12:27
57.1km Loch Riecaw Play Ground 35.5 12:11 12:21 12:36
60.5km Ballochbeatties 37.6 12:15 12:26 12:42
62.9km Stinchar Bridge Turn 39.1 12:18 12:30 12:46
64.6km Forest Road Sector 2 Start 40.1 12:20 12:32 12:49
72.5km Sector 2 End – Nic O Balloch 45 12:30 12:43 13:02
76.5km Rowntree Toll –  Memorial 47.5 12:35 12:49 13:09
81.4km Tairlaw Summit 50.1 12:40 12:55 13:16
90km Tairlaw Bridge 55.9 12:51 13:09 13:32
95.1km Straiton 59.1 12:58 13:16 13:41
108.2km Dailly B741 67.2 13:14 13:35 14:03
118.2km Girvan (by Victory Park) 73.4 13:26 13:49 14:20
124.1km Byne Summit 1 77.1 13:34 13:57 14:30
140.1km Girvan 87.1 13:54 14:20 14:57
146km Byne Summit 2 90.7 14:01 14:29 15:07
163.2km Finish – Victory Park 101.4 14:22 14:53 15:35
3hrs 22 3hrs 53 4hrs 35

Well done to Owen Philipson who successfully found our hidden route in last week’s competition.  He receives two new tubes thanks to ACS Prestwick Ltd.