Girvan 3 Day Race

Race History - 1968 to 2009

Comments by George Miller
The basic information on this page was created by Tom Bruce  I have added additional points which are in italics. 
 
Event Format
The Girvan Cycle Race was a multi-stage cycle road race which was a counting event in British Cycling's Premier Calendar Elite Road Racing Series.

Race Organisation
With the exception of the first edition, when it was an Ayrshire & Dumfriesshire Cycling Association promotion, the race was promoted by Wallacehill Cycling Club which is based in Kilmarnock, Scotland. The organising committee were assisted on race weekend by around sixty volunteer race officials and numerous supporting organisations. 

Kilmarnock businessman and Wallacehill Cycling Club member George Miller founded the event in 1968, going on to organise the race for 23 years. In 1991, George handed over to fellow club member (but no relation) David Miller who was at the helm until 2004. In 2005 long standing committee member and former Scottish Cyclists' Union President Ian Sinclair took over the reins.

How long was the race in existence?
The Girvan Cycle Race was held annually over the Easter holiday weekend almost continuously since 1968 when it began as the Ayrshire 3-Day promoted by the Ayrshire & Dumfriesshire Cycling Association.

Girvan wasn't actually on the route of the inaugural race which consisted of four stages:- Sat am: 5 mile time trial, Kilmarnock circuit. Sat pm: 82 mile road race, Kilmarnock to Dumfries. Sun: 60 mile road race, Dumfries to Ayr. Mon: 70 mile road race, Ayr to Kilmarnock.

The race was an immediate success and before long it found a base in Girvan where it would remain until the event was relocated to Dumfries and Galloway in 2010 as The Tour Doon Hame. The criterium (circuit race) stage around the streets at Victory Park in Girvan was introduced in 1971 adding a 'spectator friendly stage' to complement the three road stages. The race wasn't held in 2001 due to the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak and, due to funding problems, was not held in 2002.
It was a big disappointment to me when I heard that the event was being moved to Dumfries.Just as British Cycling was hitting the sporting headlines the decision to move was like a Top Brand making a bad marketing decision. I immediately thought the Race was finished and this proved correct within 3 years.
 
How important was the race in the cycling world?
The race, known to cycling enthusiasts simply as "The Girvan", formed part of British Cycling's Premier Calendar, an annual series of single-day and multi-stage races for elite road race competitors. The race was held in high regard by the cycling fraternity and provided an important early-season test for national, professional and club teams alike.

A good performance at Girvan often caught the selectors' attention and paved the way to international team selection. The race provided a stepping stone for ambitious riders. Many competitors went on to success in British and World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. Several went on to join the European pro circuit, competing in the major tours of France, Spain and Italy.

Multiple Giro D'Italia and Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish took the opening stage at Girvan in 2004 describing it in 2008 as "my first big win."

Did "The Girvan" attract any big names?
The race had some of the best known names in world cycle road racing as competitors. Mark Cavendish, Chris Boardman, Sean Kelly, Robert Millar, Tony Doyle, Brian Smith, Chris Newton, Rob Hayles, Paul Curran and Sean Yates to name but a very few. Visiting our Race Winners page will give an idea of the quality of rider who competed at Girvan.
I also remember Henk Lubberding of Hollan who became a top professional 

How does a stage race work?
Most stage races are essentially scaled down versions of the famous Tour de France. Followers of the World Rally Championship may recognise the timing/points system as it is broadly similar to the WRC format.

Riders compete together over a number of timed "stages". Each stage produces a Stage Result, with every rider being credited with a time and place according to their finishing position.

As the race progresses, each stage classification is added to the preceding ones to produce a combined General Classification or "GC". The overall winner after all stages have been completed is the competitor with the lowest cumulative time on General Classification.

Other, optional classifications within the main race determine the winning team, best sprinter, best hill climber and leading under-23 rider. All this makes for a highly competitive and absorbing race which, after several stages, can be won by several minutes or by as little as a single second.

Results Archive


Girvan Cycle Race Winners


Race Placings 1968-1979


Race Placings 1980-1989


Race Placings 1990-1999


Race Placings 2000-2009

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Photos

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