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Graeme Obree Launches The Flying Scotsman Sportive 2014

by Nick Gregory

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This August East Ayrshire will host the inaugural edition of The Flying Scotsman Sportive, an event celebrating the career and spirit of a true cycling legend, Graeme Obree.  

Scheduled for the 2nd August 2014, The Flying Scotsman will offer cycling fans visiting Scotland for the Commonwealth Games Road Race the opportunity to ride with The Flying Scotsman himself. Anyone who has followed Graeme Obree and is familiar with his biography will be aware of the history of 'The Valley', with Galston, Newmilns and Darvel playing a big part in his early career. Obree knows these roads like the back of his hand, so it's only natural that he's chosen them as the route for the new event. 

The route options on offer pay homage to the achievements of the two-time world pursuit champion, featuring the 44 mile 'Old Faithful' route and 'The Beastieat 78 miles in length. These were the names of the two bikes he broke the world hour record on during the 1990s. Obree has chosen routes that combine challenging riding with beautiful, quiet roads: 

"We are really fortunate that in and around Kilmarnock there are miles and miles of quiet roads where you can cycle till your heart's content and hardly ever see a car.  When I cycled over the Old Faithful route recently, once I was off the main road, I came across 3 cars and a tractor in almost 2 hours of cycling - that allowed me to really enjoy the cycle without the pressure from traffic."


Obree continued: "The climbs and descents are of the short to medium, but sharp, variety and will offer a stern test to all riders. I would strongly recommend that participants make sure they have appropriate gearing for steep climbs of 1-2 miles with some very steep inclines and descents."  

The event will include comprehensive signage, marshals on main junctions, first aid support, electronic timing, feed stations, mechanical support and a broom wagon. The police will also be on hand to assist the transition across the A71. Riders will depart in waves between 0830 and 0900 from Loudoun Academy.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council and Chair of East Ayrshire Leisure said: "2014 is an incredible year for Scotland and East Ayrshire. With the XX Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles now just a matter of months away, we are all gearing up for a fantastic summer of sport. The Flying Scotsman Sportive will be yet another highlight. I am very pleased that both East Ayrshire Council and East Ayrshire Leisure are supporting this event, drawing on a wealth of experience in delivering very successful large scale sporting events." 

For more information about the event and to sign up to ride with The Flying Scotsman himself, visit:

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