Jason MacIntyre: Time trial cycling champion
Thursday 17 January 2008
Jason MacIntyre, cyclist: born Lochgilphead, Argyll 20 September 1973; married (two daughters); died 15 January 2008
Jason MacIntyre's career as one of Britain's leading road cyclists was just taking off at the time of his death in a collision with a vehicle while training near Fort William on Tuesday. MacIntyre had secured three British titles in his speciality – time trialling – as well as 13 Scottish titles. The current holder of the national 25-mile championships for a second time, MacIntyre had been strongly tipped for a possible place in the Beijing Olympics this August.
Not only that, but he had recently received a grant from the Braveheart fund – an independent organisation which backs Scottish racing cyclists of all categories – with a view to concentrating on the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Without such financial backing, this would have been no easy task: MacIntyre's "day job" was as full-time carer for one of his twin daughters, now eight years old, who suffers from a kidney condition.
"We had given Jason the grant because he was essentially a one-man band with very limited funding," the former Scotland rider and Braveheart founder Bryan Smith said. "Working as a carer, you don't get a lot of money. It says a lot about the quality of Jason as a person that he was prepared to put in so much time into looking after his daughter. Time trialling is a very individual sport, but for his family and when riding for Scotland he was always a team player, 100 per cent."
Many have found parallels between MacIntyre's early career and that of another Scottish time-trialling hero, Graeme Obree. Like Obree, MacIntyre started riding relatively late – at 18 – and moved swiftly towards time trialling. This is one of the most mentally and physically exhausting types of racing in which the rider, alone and unsupported, is timed over a set distance, his only rival the stop-watch.
But if Obree preferred time trialling because it was an individual challenge, for MacIntyre – who recently broke Obree's Scottish 10-mile record in the speciality – it was a question of necessity. Looking after his child, coupled with living in the remote north-west of Scotland, made it difficult for MacIntyre to do other kinds of racing – and at the same time, those logistical problems made his achievements all the more impressive.
Fate seemed to conspire, sometimes, to get in the way of greater recognition: in last year's national time trial, MacIntyre was ahead of the Tour de France star and eventual winner David Millar when a puncture scuppered his chances of victory. But not even that stroke of bad luck could prevent MacIntyre from finally coming in for consideration for Olympic selection – a dream he had already helped other riders to achieve.
"Back in 1996 he helped me keep the Tour of the Kingdom, a race which I was winning, under control, despite not being a team-mate – just because he was that sort of unselfish kind of bloke," Smith recalls. "Winning that race gave me the chance to go to the Olympics – it's just awful that now he won't have that chance, and we'll never know what he could have achieved."
A trust is being set up by the Braveheart fund to help MacIntyre's wife and children.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...