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The inaugural Kilberry Loop Sportive, organised by The Mid Argyll Triathlon and Cycle Club, was held on Saturday August 11, with an amazing 86 cyclists participating.
The route was promoted as a non competitive, all inclusive, event and it was certainly that with a variety of bikes and abilities on the start line.
Stephen Whiston, one of the cyclists, said: ‘The Kilberry Loop Sportive delivered and then some. The venue at The Isthmus in Tarbert, the great organisation and marshalling, provided the perfect event for cyclists to really embrace the sportive ethos. This is not a race but all about your own personal challenge and performance and the camaraderie of cyclists experiencing new routes – but Mid Argyll Triathlon and Cycle Club had to cross the line first for bragging rights alone.’
The route is 40 mile loop, heading north out of Tarbert, then over to Ormsary and Kilberry and returning to Tarbert. The cyclists were faced with 2,500 feet of climbing, and descending, with flat fast sections and breathtaking scenery.
Stephen added: ‘I particularly enjoyed us chasing and catching the postman in his van on his rural round.’
Sixteen-year-old Ethan Gascoigne said: ‘I really enjoyed the tough route. I was glad the age limit had been lowered since I could enjoy the race with my dad.’
John Hardie, the event organiser said: ‘With the guidance of British Cycling we managed to stage our event. As usual, the support from the people and businesses of Tarbert has been exemplary.
‘We wanted cyclists of all levels to enjoy the glorious cycle route 78, better known as the Kilberry Loop. It is a 40 mile cycle, not long for a sportive, but it is within the capability of most cyclists. Stuart Ashley shot round in an astonishing 1 hour 48 minutes.
‘We will definitely be organising it again next year, so look out for its launch and get pedalling.’