BUTE will host one of the most prestigious events in Scottish cycle racing during the Bute Wheelers’ annual festival of cycling this weekend – the Drummond Trophy road race.
For more than 50 years the Drummond Trophy has been one of the most important events on the Scottish cycle racing calendar, and the names engraved on this ornate silver trophy read like a Who’s Who of British cycle racing, from Olympic champions to Tour de France competitors.
This will be the first time the event will be held on Bute, and although the date clashes with the Cycling Tour of Britain, some high class racing is still expected.
Evan Oliphant, star of ITV cycle racing, originally from Wick and the Scottish road race cycling champion for the last four consecutive years, has to be favourite to win here in Bute.
Evan is reputed to be an accomplished piper, and would love to have the race sent on its way to the sound of Scotland the Brave; all that is needed is a willing volunteer!
The race is scheduled to start at 1.45pm this Sunday, September 18, from outside the Isle of Bute Sailing Club premises in Ardbeg Road.
Comprising three loops of the island over a total distance of around 62 miles, the race will finish near the park at Craigmore, although the best places to see these cycling stars will be at the war memorial at Kingarth, where it is hoped to have sprint laps, or at the car park by the Scalpsie viewing point.
Of course, the regular Bute Wheelers festival races are happening too, beginning with the Serpentine Hillclimb on Saturday morning, with the junior section under way at 10.50am and the senior event immediately thereafter.
There’s a £100 first prize for the senior event, very generously donated by The Bike Shed.
Saturday afternoon features a 21-mile paired time trial, taking in the full island loop, starting at the Thomson Fountain near Prospect House in Ardbeg and finishing in the vicinity of the Glenburn Hotel.
Sunday morning is the ten-mile Ettrickdale time trial, starting at 10.30am at Ettrickdale and heading out to Rhubodach and back; the lucky winner here will receive a trophy and £100 prize from Bute BackPackers, a firm favourite with visiting cyclists.
Finally, Sunday afternoon features the novice and APR events, in addition to the Drummond Trophy race; these will be run over one, two and three laps of the island loop respectively.
Bute Wheelers members will of course be taking part, and spectators are welcome at all the events throughout the weekend.