Champion Jason honoured in first Cycling Time Trial event to be held in Scotland
A FORT William cycling champion has been honoured in the first Cycling Time Trial (CTT) event to come to Scotland.
Tragically killed in a collision at Carrs Corner in 2008, Jason MacIntyre was a rising star in British cycling. The 34-year- old was a triple British and Scottish champion time trial cyclist and heading for the Olympic Games before his death.
Every year since his passing, the cycling community has held a memorial for him, and this year Britain’s biggest time trials organisation, CTT, allowed the Scottish district to hold an event in memory of Jason.
Organiser and friend of Jason, Stephen Bloom, told the
Lochaber Times: ‘This was an event that had never been done before, but CTT chairwoman Shelia Hardy said this was the best one they had ever seen, with the location and the stunning scenery. Everyone was raving about it and the comments we got back were 10 out of 10.’
Cyclists completed the 17.8mile route round Loch Leven before heading to Ballachulish Village Hall for a presentation of the fastest lady, local rider and veteran.
John Archibald, 26, who is based in Glasgow, clocked 38.40 to win by 51 seconds.
This year John has broken long-standing records over various distances, including some held by Fort William retired rider Mark Atkinson.
Jackie Field, 52, from Cambridge, was fastest female and wrapped up her overall series win in the veteran women’s category.
‘All the racers from down south said it was well worth the drive up to Scotland and these are really high profile racers,’ said Stephen. ‘The hope is the riders will go home and spread the word and next year this will be an even bigger event, which will be another great boost for the economy.
‘Jason loved doing these events and he would have been immensely proud this event came to his home patch.’
Stephen said guest of honour Graeme Obree gave a ‘ lovely presentation, and thanked all the volunteers who helped’. Speaking to the Lochaber
Times, Jason’s widow, Caroline MacIntyre, said: ‘ The whole event turned out fantastic and the day was really good. It was quite difficult and bitter sweet in a way, because Jason would have loved to be able to do the race up here, but it’s lovely that the first time it came to Scotland it was for him.
‘It was great to hear everyone talking about him and seeing his bike and memorabilia. People were all swapping stories about what he was like on the bike and his best times.’
Caroline said Jason’s bike and biking gear is now being sent to Dooleys Bike Shop in Paisley where it will be on show.
‘It was really difficult to part with his things because they have been in the house for so long and now they are not going to be there. But his bike deserves to be in Dooley’s, on show for people to look at and talk about him and his achievements,’ said Caroline.
Stephen said he hopes next year the event can be bigger and better, with more community involvement.
He added: ‘ Out of the blue two guys from the Co- op in Ballachulish came round to the village hall and gave us four boxes of bananas and four crates of tangerines. We can see how much bringing this event to south Lochaber meant to the community. We weren’t really in a position to do fundraising this year, but I put a donation box out and we got £101 which is being given to Ballachulish Scouts.’
Jason’s widow Caroline MacIntyre, centre, with the Jason MacIntyre Memorial Trophy, and daughters, Morgan, left, and Chloe.
Trial winner John Archibald, left, with organisier Stephan Blom and world biking legend Graeme Obree, right.