Kin­lochleven rider makes his­tory at Pre-65 Trial

The Oban Times - - News - KATIE CARABINE kcara­bine@oban­

GARY MACDON­ALD made his­tory over the week­end when he be­came the first Scottish win­ner of the Pre- 65 Trial in his home vil­lage of Kin­lochleven.

The vin­tage mo­tor­cy­cle event was held over two days in and around the vil­lage (April 28 and 29).

Gary, a mem­ber of Lochaber and Dis­trict Mo­tor Cy­cle Club, rode well on the first day, drop­ping only four marks to fin­ish in third, plac­ing him in a good po­si­tion for the sec­ond and fi­nal day of the event.

Day two saw him do even bet­ter, with no points dropped, earn­ing him both the Kin­lochleven Tro­phy for best per­for­mance on the sec­ond day and the Chal­lenge Tro­phy hav­ing taken the over­all win.

This his­toric suc­cess for the 33-year- old comes in the 33rd year of the Pre- 65s, which were es­tab­lished in 1984. Gary told the Lochaber

Times: ‘ I’ve not had time to take it all in yet as I’ve gone straight into the six days. It’s a bit of a shock re­ally. It’s not of­ten you can jump on an old bike and ride it as well as I did.’

Gary, who works for his fam­ily’s busi­ness, Arthur MacDon­ald Join­ery, has also been rid­ing in this week’s six days trial.

The first day of the event saw the rid­ers take on a 68mile cir­cuit, head­ing north out of Fort Wil­liam to­wards Leanachan and then down to Kin­lochleven and back to Fort Wil­liam along Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe.

At the end of the first day (Mon­day May 1), Gary was in joint top po­si­tion, again hav­ing dropped no points, put­ting him on par with de­fend­ing cham­pion Dougie Lamp­kin, and Jack Price, Andy Chilton and Jack Shep­pard.

On day two the rid­ers took on an 88-mile cir­cuit over Cor­ran Ferry and across to Stron­tian, be­fore head­ing to Glen­finnan and back to Fort Wil­liam via Ach­nacharry and Gair­lochy. Gary dropped four points and fin­ished the day in sixth place.

Speak­ing on Tues­day about his per­for­mance over the first cou­ple of days, Gary, who has been rid­ing tri­als bikes since he was nine years old, said: ‘ It’s good so far but it’s still very early days. It’s all about stay­ing in con­tention un­til Thurs­day – af­ter that it gets re­ally se­ri­ous.

‘I had a good day yes­ter­day (Mon­day) and an­other steady day to­day ( Tues­day).’

Gary’s par­ents, Arthur and San­dra MacDon­ald, are his two big­gest fans.

Arthur, who has been out fol­low­ing his son’s progress and suc­cess on his tri­als rides, told the Lochaber Times: ‘Gary is a hard-work­ing joiner dur­ing the day for the fam­ily busi­ness. This doesn’t stop him put­ting in the hours at his cho­sen sports. Cy­cling takes up al­most all of that time now but his tri­als back­ground is al­ways there.

‘ He has achieved re­sults in tri­als that will never be bet­tered in our life­time. In the Scottish Six Days Trial the leader plate has been on his bike reg­u­larly over the years and top three fin­ishes, in­clud­ing run­ner-up, have been achieved.

‘ The Pre- 65 event has al­ways been on the back burner till this year and he made his­tory be­ing the first ever Scot to win it. ’

Speak­ing on be­half of him­self and his wife he added: ‘ We are rarely sur­prised that he suc­ceeds at what­ever he puts his mind to. We are so proud of him as are all our fam­ily and his many fol­low­ers. Well done, Gary.’

Pho­to­graph: Iain Fer­gu­son, The Write Im­age. Gary MacDon­ald waves to fans fol­low­ing his his­toric win at the Pre- 65 tri­als.

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