Robert Millar Sportive this May to tackle roads where Scottish great honed his climbing skills

Event forms part of Scottish Sportive Series along with Graeme Obree Ayrshire Sportive and Whisky Trail Sportive

by Simon_MacMichael   March 21, 2012  

Robert Millar (picture Eric Houdas, Wikimedia Commons)

Following the launch of the Graeme Obree Ayrshire Sportive last year, Scotland is to get a second ride that celebrates one of the country's great cyclists – Robert Millar, winner of the King of the Mountains competition in the 1984 Tour de France, and still Britain's most successful ever Grand Tour rider in terms of overall placings.

The Robert Millar Sportive, which will be based in Kirkintilloch near Glasgow, will be held on Sunday 27 May 2012, and is one of three events that will form part of the Scottish Sportive Series of rides from organisers Maximise Sport – the Whisky Trail Sportive in June, and the Graeme Obree Ayrshire Sportive in July.

The Robert Millar Sportive aims to celebrate the legacy of a cyclist whose fourth place overall in the 1984 Tour has still never been bettered by a British cyclist, although Bradley Wiggins equalled it in 2009.

During his career he also finished second in both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta – it’s widely believed that he would have won the latter in 1985 had Spanish teams not worked together to ensure that home rider Pedro Delgado would win.

Millar’s career and subsequent withdrawal from the cycling scene was charted in Richard Moore’s 2008 biography, In Search of Robert Millar, although he does from time to time emerge from his seclusion, writing now and again for publications including Rouleur.

While Millar has no direct involvement in the event, it does have his support, with proceeds going to the Braveheart Cycling Fund and Glasgow Wheelers CC.

Rhondda Geekie, leader of East Dunbartonshire Council Leader, commented: “I am delighted that East Dunbartonshire is a part of this wonderful event and I look forward to welcoming participants, their supporters and spectators to Kirkintilloch on the day.

“The challenging terrain which makes up the routes provides a picturesque backdrop to celebrate one of Scotland’s true cycling heroes, Robert Millar. In East Dunbartonshire, we are fortunate to have some beautiful scenery on our doorstep and I’m delighted that others will get to enjoy it too”.

Two routes will be on offer, one of 95 miles the other of 46 miles, and David Lang of organisers Maximise Sport said: “This will undoubtedly be one of the hardest sportives on the UK calendar.

We have selected a route which will offer a severe test even to the best prepared riders and takes in many of the roads Robert  trained on when he was a member of The Glasgow Wheelers including some of the most challenging climbs in central Scotland, the ‘Tak Ma Doon’,  ‘Top of the World’ and ‘The Crow Road’.

“This is a beautiful route starting and finishing in Kirkintilloch, climbing over the Kilsyth Hills before travelling through Stirlingshire then negotiating the private road around Loch Katrine for the 95 mile event.

“We think this is destined to become one of the best sportives in the UK and will be a
test for the best. This is fitting in that it celebrates a legend that is Robert Millar whose feats as a cyclist inspired many of the cyclists now competing at international, world and professional level.

“We are delighted also that proceeds from the Robert Millar Sportive will go to help develop the talent of tomorrow with funds being allocated to Glasgow Wheelers and The Braveheart Fund and hopefully assist in the development of Scotland’s aspiring road and track cyclists,” he added.

Full details of the event including how to enter can be found on the Robert Millar Sportive website.
 

14 user comments

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Bit of a kerfuffle with this sportive up 'ere in Scotland.

They've had to cancel/postpone the (long running) Sam Robinson RR as this Sportive will be using the same roads on the same day. Bit of tension between the races and sportives and perhaps shows that it's about time BC got involved with sportives to avoid such things happening again in future. Ironic that the money from this goes to Braveheart to help young racers.

posted by Goatkarma [28 posts]
21st March 2012 - 11:35

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Sounds like the situation in Bristol that Road.cc recently reported on - races being canned in favour of sportives. While my abilities put me far more in sportive territory than road racing, postponing proper races to hold pretend ones seems backwards.

45 and 95 miles seems to be two extremes.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2524 posts]
21st March 2012 - 11:46

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Yeah its to be the 38th Sam Robinson RR aint it? But its running on the 26th i thought Thinking Thinking

Still not on, just because a big name comes along that other things can get binned like this, also charging more that double the RR, RR £15 - Sportive £35

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posted by Gkam84 [7886 posts]
21st March 2012 - 12:27

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I might start organising a sportive for 28 July in the Surrey Hills and see what happens Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7326 posts]
21st March 2012 - 12:33

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
I might start organising a sportive for 28 July in the Surrey Hills and see what happens Wink

Thats a plan, a mass Road.cc outing and call it, Cycling for cyclists not profit Devil

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posted by Gkam84 [7886 posts]
21st March 2012 - 13:01

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The link at the end of the article doesn't work, it's missing a : after the http. It should be http://www.glasgowwheelers.com/robertMillarSportive.php

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posted by netclectic [104 posts]
21st March 2012 - 13:18

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That's rather poor considering the Trossachs Ton with an almost identical route is already scheduled for June 17th. Seems bonkers to have both and disrupt the Sam Robinson. Confused

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posted by netclectic [104 posts]
21st March 2012 - 13:24

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Thanks netclectic, link fixed

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7326 posts]
21st March 2012 - 13:32

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A few decent climbs in there, including the Tak Ma Doon complete with stream ford. The shorter route goes along an awfy bumpy and rough road east of Balfron too. That road from Stronachlachar to Aberfoyle after Loch Katrine is a nightmare too, bring yer cyclocross.

Je vie dans l'espoir constant

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posted by Strathlubnaig [113 posts]
21st March 2012 - 16:54

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+1 with Strathlubnaig

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posted by giff77 [917 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 1:32

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Pretty new to road cycling and have done the Tak and Crow.

Curious to where the 'Top of the World' is. Any pointers would be appreciated.

posted by clowner [2 posts]
25th March 2012 - 17:54

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Double post

posted by clowner [2 posts]
25th March 2012 - 17:56

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Hi Clowner
The top of the world is the area of a mile or so circle where the roads of Arnprior, Kippen and Fintry all meet at a junction. It is the B 822 road..appprox 5 equidistant between Kippen and Fintry villages near where there are two small lochs/water catchments..not sure natural or man made. I don't think people local to Kippen and Fintry call it Top of the World..I suspect this is Scottish club cyclists who tend to refer to it as the top of the world due to panormic view east, and west south west.

D1

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posted by dave_1 [3 posts]
12th April 2012 - 6:10

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5 miles between Fintry and Kippen..can see here on google map http://g.co/maps/qfshu

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posted by dave_1 [3 posts]
12th April 2012 - 6:14

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