Wednesday 12 April 2017 09.10 BST
The loss of a once popular road race from the UK cycling calendar is never a good thing, but a unique legacy has emerged from the ashes of one event in Scotland.
The demise of the Davie Bell Memorial Race in 2015 – a National ‘A’ event which had been running since 1966 – prompted the organiser to look for other ways to promote cycling.
Two years later, South Ayrshire now boasts the UK’s only “road cycling park”, a 15-square mile network of little-used roads that criss-cross a series of hills in South Carrick – about 10 miles south-east of Ayr – known as the “Ayrshire Alps”.
“South Ayrshire council had supported the race but were more interested in something that left a legacy,” says organiser Chris Johnson. “I’d had the idea of promoting the area as the road equivalent of a mountain bike trail centre, but it was hard to explain. In order to demonstrate the potential I built a basic WordPress website and showed this to the team that had funded the race. They were really keen and helped set up a meeting for me to present the idea to the South Carrick community. Following this, the council committed approximately £5,000 to get my website professionally redesigned, and to commission the logo and map idea.”