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Oban Sportive 2014

2013 News

News Archive 2005-11 | 2012 | 2013

Coming Events: Loch Creran TT - Thursday 3rd April 7pm

Cruachan Hill Climb - Sunday 13th April 0930

28th September 2014

Rising Star?

Smith Wins It

Blazing sunshine, as is now customary at NACC events, and a snowcapped backdrop made this the best looking XC by far. A good turnout of old and new faces made short work of the testing course. Runner Tom Smith showed he can still ride a bike, Youth Brych Hensman-Martin put in a dangerous looking time and the single speeders proved once again it's quicker on a geared bike. Full results

Record's Gunn

So the final Loch Creran TT of 2013 was more about good solid performances and sunshine than a series climax. Most notable was Marie Meldrum's assault on the long standing women's record held since 2009 by Fiona Gunn. 30.49 is the new standard. Ewan Thorburn strong as ever led the men home in 26.29 and David and Lauren Robinson brought tagalong time trialling to a new level. So the series ends with another win in the men's for David Robinson and in the women's for Frances Dent who quietly put in the work to take the top spot. Full results

Turnbull Romps Home

Ice like conditions with diesel and fresh rain on the roundabouts led to some interesting manoeuvres and a number of downward excursions. Progress was mostly forward though and only the ill fated Nick had to pull out with a bent skewer. David Turnbull romped home in PB 23.01 and Marie Meldrum set a new standard for the ladies at 28.42. Good times all round as the season matures.


NACC's first 2up TT designed to give everyone a fighting chance of winning failed when David Robinson was drawn with Stuart Moran. The winners decided, the rest battled it out over three laps. The pairs managed to hold it together for the most part.

Robinson/Dent Head Table

Gusty wind was forecast, not the worst but enough to keep the numbers down for July's TT. Series leader David Robinson put in a good time for the conditions to cement his position. Frances Dent kept the pressure up on the ladies leader board and points were bagged all round with most of the field scoring above par.

Talent Floods Loch

Much debate on the start line had no effect on the officials at Loch Creran. The relevant data was crunched and the handicaps applied in a scientific manner. Good conditions, increasing levels of fitness and a strong field bolstered by West Highland Wheelers led to a fast pace and retirement due to sickness of the wayward Miller. Oblivious to the battle between the scratch and first handicap groups Bruce Griffiths led the event home in a theoretical time of 43.53 from Sam Wood and the rest of the field.

Sportive Courses Reccied

Thirteen NACC and WHW riders turned out for the Tour of Loch Awe which this year was a dry run of the Oban Sportive courses. Blazing sunshine, virtually traffic free roads and a good mix of entrants. The four long course riders spent rather more time in public toilets than they had planned and were deeply envious of the good time charlies supping fresh coffee and homemade shortbread on the short route. Full on feed stations available on the day. Oban Sportive entries are now open at the link above.

Blainey 1st Home

Loch Creran the home of Australian Pursuits saw a tactical masterpiece played out by Gavin Blainey.

NACC 123 Moran 22.05

June saw the first combined NACC west highland wheelers 10 mile time trial at Loch Creran and near perfect conditions ensured a record turnout of over thirty. The records kept on tumbling: New course record for Stuart Moran, new ladies record for Mairi Meldrum. great times from newcomers Andrew Barrington, Raeanne Miller and Euan Mackie and loads of personal bests. Nacc took the top three spots. Next combined TT is 1st August. Full results

Ill wind Blows Good

Glean Salach sprint hill climb went ahead under threatening weather conditions. Dark skies and windy conditions didn't put everyone off and those that ventured out got a helping hand from the southerly wind all putting in times under 5 mins from cattle grid to summit. A new course a so new records for Tim Brand in 4.51, and Nick Charlton on single speed 4.56. Podium positions for everyone.

Robinson Replies

Foul weather didn't stop ten turning out for TT round 2. David Robinson pounded round in under 27mins to tie the series with David Turnbull. Frances Dent boosted her lead with another top time.

Mull Classic

Fine west coast weather continued into the weekend and a drizzly morning gave way to full blown rain and a healthy breeze. Claire Treasurer meant business from the start and in a surprise move pressed on through lunch. Having opted out of the long loop former leaders Maclucas, Griffiths and Charlton never made up the ground. Griffiths punctured and a strong finish from Maclucas wasn't enough; Claire was already sipping her tea. Regular visitor Barry Teal made the ferry in good time having left Robin Morton wondering when the magic was going to start.

Ewan, You Won

A crystal clear day in Fearnoch's attractive woodland didn't draw the crowds but brought out the best in everyone. In this well mannered race, the only thing cooler than the weather was Ewan Thorburn who took the win from Ben Miller without breaking a sweat. Nix Forster romped home for the ladies. Big smiles in the middle order as not too much carrying of bikes downhill was involved. Thanks to Mike for laying out and time keeping and the greenkeepers lead by Gardensmith.

Turnbull drops glove

Baltic conditions hung over the opening TT of 2013. A healthy turnout of faces old and new took on the flattish 10 mile course. Frances Dent on good form dominated the ladies field but Meekin and Gunn have plenty of potential to challenge. Debut times for Bruce Griffiths and Kieran Curran were well up the rankings and all enjoyed missing the hill. Top honours of the day go to David Turnbull who set the standard with a new course record (24.22). 2012 champion Moran waited in the wings. The time trial and hill climb events this year will all be open events, free to NACC members and a nominal entry fee for visitors.

Chris Bell Racing fund for Mountain Rescue Teams

Although only here in Oban a short time Chris Bell became a key player in the club with blistering performances on and off road, behind the scenes on the committee and as one of the Oban Sportive organisers. It's clear that he was able to offer that same level of commitment in any number of fields and cement strong relationships on the way, always with infectious enthusiasm. He will be greatly missed.

Contributions are being encouraged to the Mountain Rescue teams via Chris Bell Racing

In the final event of Tom Smith's Stagathlon the stage was set at the NACC/WHW winter league round at Barcaldine. The humble arena belied the quality of the field with past Winter League champions, Celtmen and British Champions in the line up. With two laps of burning climbs and steep, treachorous, natural, single track descents and lingering hangovers this was a course for a prodiguous climber and fearless downhiller. This was one man's race. The Bell Boy came of age, the Blackburn Bullet, the Ubiquitous Bell at his best took minutes out of his rivals and established a new course record. That's where I'll remember him.

NACC "Owns" Craggy Island Triathlon Sunday

With six members in the top 22 NACC were the best represented club in this new classic triathlon.

Hell or High Water

The large hill and having to climb it twice comes as a nasty surprise to visitors to the NACC TT course. Nothing could have led John Bosely and his wife to expect to wade through the sea as well. Those who braved August's spring tide steeplechase put in commendable times with PB's for Ben Miller and Chris Bell who will now be vying for second place in the series. Davy Gunn is numerically in with a shot too.

Turnbull-Gunn Fastest

Having struggled to find a flat 25mile stretch without obstacles it was decided to have a re-run of the standard ten miles or Loch Creran without the hill. David Turnbull was rewarded for all his hard work and new bike by becoming the fastest rider over 10 miles with a course record of 24.22. Fiona Gunn returned to competition after a long rest to establish the ladies course record in 37.22. Full results

Fort William Raided

Three Nacc riders headed North intent on doing some damage on the Wheelers 25 mile TT course. Bell 3rd 59.18, Bossard 5th 61.08 and Charlton 7th 62.13.

Bossard relaxes in the motorhome.

Blackburn Bullet Breaks Record

With the scratch group containg time trial giants Ben Miller, Stuart Moran,Chris Bell and David Robinson the handicap riders set off like lambs to the slaughter. Despite spirited efforts the prey was nearly all caught by the start of the final climb. Dangerman Miller attacked on the hill followed by Bell with Blainey in tow, still with juice in his legs. Jim Stuart and Davy Gunn were caught at the start of descent and they jumped on the train with Blainey riding solo just behind. Miller made a break but the pace was too high for Bell who tucked in behind Gunn, hopped onto Jim and slingshot off at the final corner to catch Miller on the line snatching victory with a thrust of the arms. The finishing time was a course record of 45 mins giving Bell reason to be cheerful. See picture for the ageing effect of this event.


TT Flat

June's flattish TT rescheduled into the wet saw times drop by up to 5 minutes. More about the power and less the weight Nick Charlton took advantage closely followed by guest Martin Wilson. Everybody enjoyed better than usual times and benchmarks were set for all categories.

Moran Maximum

With four TT's down Stuart Moran has cleaned up the full 200 points which will earn him this years trophy. Chris Bell warmed up with a lap of Mull and put in a personal best of 26.10 and holds 2nd in the rankings. This could be challenged over the final two outings by Bossard, Miller or Turnbull. It's not over yet.

Moran on Track

At the halfway point with three TT's completed Stuart Moran is the man to beat with a perfect score of 150. Blustery conditions held him back to just over 25 mins. Fixed ratio records continued to fall with Martin Charlton brightening the day and improving his time against the elements. Good to see some old faces reappearing with Tom Wilding on form and the return of the clubs founding Chairman Chris Hutchens both sub 30.

Bell Boy Pips It

The Tour of Loch Awe was a race of two halves. A dry run out with determined climbing, a very leisurely lunch and a long wet slog home to Sunny Oban. Consistent climbing, a good start in the sprint and other contributions to the Spirit of the Tour earned Chris Bell the most points. First to cross the line was Jim Montgomery. Ever the tactician he learned quickly from Iain Stuart's example on Mull by pushing straight on as soon as the breakaway rule allowed it, leaving the others at the mercy of the Portsonachan Chef. An unscheduled diversion by Bell and Bossard via the cycletrack nearly cost Bell the Tour as the peleton just slid into Oban before them, pushing Nick Charlton and Davy Gunn up the rankings. Full results

Mull not Mobbed

The annual Tour of Mull brought forward to May was a quiet affair but the Spirit of the Tour was as strong as ever. Some points were awarded and the winner in no particular order was newcomer Iain Stuart who used the post lunch breakaway rule to good advantage.

Records Keep Tumbling

May's TT continued to rewrite the record books. Moran found more in his legs to set 24.36. And the Charlton brothers as yet uncontested in the fixed ratios made more progress. The top of the table looks to be taking shape with Moran and Turnbull, both new entrants this year, with the bulk of the points.

Mucky Musdale

If you're looking for Finlay Wells you probably won't need to bother checking Musdale. Gravel, potholes, cattle grids, sheep and shit make this the roughest hill climb in Britain. Seven of North Argyll's finest turned out and hid in Kilmore bus shelter until the worst of the rain had passed. The course is 4.3 miles and 220m of climb starting flat and then climbing in short steep bursts, wheels spinning at times, to the top.Whippets Ben Miller and Ian Sim put in good times and Stephen Dent getting stronger all the time was not far behind. The coast downhill is equally challenging leading to some Armstrongesque excursions into the countryside. Thanks to all for coming and to Alan Dent for timing. Full results

Duathlon Doesn't Disappoint

Spring sunshine graced the tranquil setting of Sutherlands Grove and the low turnout didn't dampen the spirits of the competitors. The youngest, Tormod Doherty, came all the way from Dunoon to put in a good performance on the Junior Course in 33.50 close to Calum Kirsop's course record from 2010. Leigh Murray showed true sportswomanship by following Charmaine Love on a slight detour before taking the advantage in the cycle leg and going on to win. Mike Bossard still in his prime lead from the start against a field which may have looked more at home at the bowls club. Thanks to all for coming and the Marshall's for their help.

Duathlon set to expand

The Barcaldine duathlon now in it's 5th year is set to expand. Designed as an introduction for cyclists to running and running to cyclist's the course is demanding but not technically challenging and suitable for all abilities with the top places being hard fought for and a short course for youngsters or fun entrants. Scottish Hill Racing have kindly included us in their calendar of events and we hope to see some of their regulars at Sutherlands Grove. The cycle course is suitable for mountain or cyclo cross bikes. See route map to right. Meet is 10am for 11am start Sunday 15th April at Sutherlands Grove just North of Barcaldine Village.

NACC are Better than WHW

The Annual Barcaldine XC attracted the cream of the West Coast off roaders. The storm damage had been cleared to recover the natural, technical single tracks. The Deer Path stage 1 and 2 with side slopes, roots, rocks, sludge and now root ball craters, the Green Mile chopping through the trees and the legendary Tony's Trail from the top of the course back to the dam at insane angles are what they came for. Old hand Ruari Watt gave up first position to Ben Thompson with a flat also letting through Liam Moinihan and three NACC riders Bossard, Bell and Smith. Right behind them was the first Junior Lachlan Blair. Marian Austen was challenged only by the course to win the ladies. In the team competition NACC just clinched it.

Full results

TT Record Smashed

The Summer Time Trial series 2012 kicked off at Loch Creran in mixed but gentle weather. A good field of fifteen with a broad range of machinery from an 80's rust bucket, a converted mountain bike through standard road bikes, up to no compromise carbon rocket ships. Skin suits and teardrop helmets were also noticed. Course record was blown away by new club member Stuart Moran on his first outing with a time of 25.15. Will Stuart be the first to break 25! New benchmarks were also set for single speed Nick and fixed wheel Martin Charlton.

Full results

Mergers and Acquisitions

Plucky independent Bikefix recently returned to Oban has joined forces with Nevis cycles to open a new Oban superstore. Nevis Cycles, now officially a chainstore, have supported Fort William and Oban cyclists over many years. Proprietors old and new Maggie, John and Ben Thompson are the living legends of cycling on the West Coast.. The store will be run by well known cycle magnate (and legend) Kevin Whitehead. Opening night is scheduled for Sat 15th October.

NACCattack on Podium

Niterider Relentless the event with no midges guaranteed is familar ground for the four riders of team NaccAttack. Nothing could have prepared them however for the conditions laid on by evil organiser Fraser Coupland. Rain was the order of the day and after getting a lap each out of the way and establishing third position, manager Mike Bossard imposed a two lap strategy to keep the laundry to a minimum. The team battled on through the night with the wet, gritty course taking its toll on the bikes. Nevis Cycle's Dougie was a regular vistor with brake pads for all and for Mike's last laps it was all we could do to scrape one working bike together. All smiles at the finish and third place was held all the way for a spot on the podium.