Kilmaurs , Scotland
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Sometimes all your hard work goes unrewarded. Sometimes you fight your way up all the climbs and drags, and then get to pretend you are Tony Martin all the way home. This ride is the latter. The backroads of East Ayrshire help to disguise the hard work for a large proportion of the ride, twisting their way north, avoiding the towns as much as possible, but eventually the valley sides can be traversed no longer, and you have to go straight up. The Catmad Cattery climb is tough in sections, with long false-flats between the ramps, allowing the strong to accelerate, and those struggling to compose themselves. Once up to the Neilston Road, there is no hiding though, and your legs know you’ve worked hard when you descend rapidly past the fishery, and down to the bottom of the Uplawmoor Climb. One final effort over the top reveals a wonderful twisty, singletrack descent, before the Tour de France Time Trial fantasy begins. Lochlibo road runs all the way from Barrhead to Kilwinning, and the gradual downhill is only interrupted by small rises which can be powered up as you imaging the team car blaring its horn, and the TV Helicopter buzzing behind you!