Garmin-Sharp pro Dan Martin is a Braveheart Fund veteran of three previous ‘lost weekends’ but World and Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos was venturing into unknown territory, on her first visit to Scotland.
Martin, just back from the Japan Cup on Wednesday, was in Scotland on Friday and decided to opt out of the 44 mile Fund ride on Saturday morning which preceded the dinner and charity auction. For her part, Vos was there in her rainbow jersey and was a massive hit with the 700-plus riders who took part in the ride which somehow was run in the dry.
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That evening, a generous selection of auction items were put under the hammer – jerseys from Chris’s Froome and Hoy, Nairo Quintana’s autographed best young rider and mountain’s jersey from the Tour as well as Vos’s rainbow jersey and Martin’s leader’s jersey from the Volta Catalunya (which went to £2,500!) and Mavic wheels were among the items auctioned off.
Between blind auctions and booze-fuelled bids, before the final, exact tally was counted, the figure to be deposited in the Fund’s kitty to support young Scottish talent was expected to exceed £20,000. “Things are tough, economically, for everyone,” said Braveheart co-founder Allan Miller, “but still people have found some money to put it in the kitty, it’s been a really good night.”
Indeed it had – as we went to press there was still some debate about who won the ‘last man standing’ event in the Park Hotel bar. There were no UCI commissaries on hand to give a final decision, though Dan Martin was in the lead group when your correspondent baled.
Vos, who was seen with a champagne glass in her hand earlier in the night, switched to soft drinks in an effort to pace herself, but sat up and retired before 2am. Nevertheless, Vos could at least claim she had ridden the 44 miles, danced like a superstar, modelled jerseys, signed autographs and posed for more pictures than the rest of the people in the room, so she had an excuse.
“It was a great night, a great event,” said Vos, “there’s not really anything like this in the Netherlands.” Follow @Braveheart_Fund on Twitter for photographic evidence of Dan Martin in a Panda hat; yes, it was that kind of night.