Kinlochleven’s rider makes history winning Pre-65s

Gary MacDonald waves to fans following his historic win at the Pre 65 trials.

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Gary MacDonald made history over the weekend when he became the first Scottish winner of the Pre-65 Trial in his home village of Kinlochleven.

The vintage motorcycle event was held over two days in and around the village (April 28 and 29).

Gary, a member of Lochaber and District Motor Cycle Club, rode well on the first day, dropping only four marks to finish in third, placing him in a good position for the second and final day of the event.

Day two saw him do even better, with no points dropped, earning him both the Kinlochleven Trophy for best performance on the second day and the Challenge Trophy having taken the overall win.

This historic success for the 33-year-old comes in the 33rd year of the Pre-65s, which were established in 1984.

Gary told the Lochaber Times: ‘I’ve not had time to take it all in yet as I’ve gone straight into the six days. It’s a bit of a shock really. It’s not often you can jump on an old bike and ride it as well as I did.’

Gary, who works for his family’s  business, Arthur MacDonald Joinery, has also been riding in this week’s six days trial.

The first day of the event saw the riders take on a 68-mile circuit, heading north out of Fort William towards Leanachan and then down to Kinlochleven and back to Fort William along Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe.

At the end of the first day  (Monday May 1), Gary was in joint top position, again having dropped no points, putting him on par with defending champion Dougie Lampkin, and Jack Price, Andy Chilton and Jack Sheppard.

On day two the riders took on an 88-mile circuit over Corran Ferry and across to Strontian, before heading to Glenfinnan and back to Fort William via Achnacharry and Gairlochy. Gary dropped four points and finished the day in sixth place.

Speaking on Tuesday about his performance over the first couple of days, Gary, who has been riding trials bikes since he was nine years old, said: ‘It’s good so far but it’s still very early days. It’s all about staying in contention until Thursday – after that it gets really serious.

‘I had a good day yesterday (Monday) and another steady day today (Tuesday).’

Gary’s parents, Arthur and Sandra MacDonald, are his two biggest fans.

Arthur, who has been out following his son’s progress and success on his trials rides, told the Lochaber Times: ‘Gary is a hard-working joiner during the day for the family business. This doesn’t stop him putting in the hours at his chosen sports. Cycling takes up almost all of that time now but his trials background is always there.

‘He has achieved results in trials that will never be bettered in our lifetime. In the Scottish Six Days Trial the leader plate has been on his bike regularly over the years and top three finishes, including runner-up, have been achieved.

‘The Pre-65 event has always been on the back burner till this year and he made history being the first ever Scot to win it.’

Speaking on behalf of himself and his wife he added: ‘We are rarely surprised that he succeeds at whatever he puts his mind to. We are so proud of him as are all our family and his many followers.  Well done, Gary.’