Three intrepid Walkers women took part in the Lake Feminine APR at the weekend in almost perfect cycling weather.
Fiona Walker, Anna Walker and Fiona Wallace all started in the first group of the 31 mile pursuit race on the picturesque route round the Lake of Menteith. Experienced racer Fiona Walker led the group away from the start with the strategy being to keep everyone together for as long as possible. But the early pace was too much for some of the less experienced riders and the group soon split up with Fiona Wallace, who was riding in her first ever road race, ably leading the back markers while Anna and Fiona Walker kept the front team together for a few mile more. The two sections held out reasonably well but were eventually overtaken by the second and then the third chasing groups. Over time the front team got split up with Anna riding on her own for long spells. She continued apace to finish what was only her second road race with a creditable time of 1hour 40minutes. Fiona Wallace kept working with her group of three to cross the finish line in Balfron in 2hours and 3minutes, but unfortunately Fiona Walker’s race ended abruptly when a double puncture put her out of the running around the 20mile mark.
Fiona Walker – daughter of John and Susan of Walkers Cycling- remarked laughingly: ” Talk about bad luck! This was the first time in 23 years of racing that I have punctured.”
Fiona Wallace commented: “As a complete novice, I set out with no real expectations. The criteria I had set for myself were to finish it and to enjoy it, and I have done both of those.”
Said Anna Walker who is shop manager at Walkers Cycling: “I competed because I think it is important to support women’s cycling in Scotland. Hats off to the organisers for giving women’s cycling this boost.”
The event was won by Rhona Grant of Dooley’s Cycles who also was riding in her first competitive road event.
NB official times not yet released – above times are based on my Garmin data. If they’re out tonight I’ll update this accordingly