Blue skies, sunshine, daffodils and a cool easterly wind greeted a full complement of 60 riders, divided into five groups for the 35 mile Moscow APR race. Group one was given a seven minute headstart on the small scratch group which contained the veteran >50 winner from The Lake APR last Sunday, Jocky Johnstone (East Kilbride Road Club).
– Reported by: Dominic Hines –
After 3 laps (of five), group three had merged with one and two. Group four could have made better progress if they had gone “through-and-off ” smoothly and more riders had taken a turn.To be fair, the stiff breeze and lumpy nature of the course, together with a large group, did not encourage a well disciplined chain gang.
Nevertheless, eventually most of group four bludgeoned their way through groups one to three which stretched from gutter to gutter at the start of the penultimate lap. No sighting of the small scratch group was made except for Euan Pope (Rockhard MTB) who must have stealthily sneaked up to the front.
On the final lap, as the riders turned into Grassyards Road for the two mile tailwind rollercoaster to the finish, the riders at the front strung out into a line of eight or nine, bowling along at 40-plus mph. Shane Charlton (City of Edinburgh RC – Junior), and Euan Pope being well positioned.
With five hundred metres to go, and half way through the notorious ‘S’ bend, the riders took up the full width of the tarmac.
As the the road straightened up, the sprint began up the draggy rise to the finish. Eric Easton (Edinbrugh Road Club) threw himself into the ensuing melee having used gravity and his 92 Kilograms most ably on the decent from Grassyards Farm one mile past.
However, he was given the elbow by a rider, ploughed into a mud filled crater, mounted the bank, miraculously bounced back onto the road and then claims he was given a final elbow which saw him back in another muddy trench. He flew over the bars, smashing his helmet. His bicycle, even more spectacularly, completed two somersaults and attained a remarkable height.
At the front of this mayhem the dash for the line was won in a determined sprint by Shane Charlton (who had started in the third group), followed by Euan Pope, Ryan Loye, Dominic Hines (Edinburgh Road Club) and Tom Dempste (Edge Racing).
Moscow APR Result
1 Shane Charlton – City of Edinburgh Racing Club
2 Euan Pope – Rockhard MTB
3 Ryan Loye – Fullarton Wheelers
4 Dominic Hines- Edinburgh Road Club
5 Tom Dempste- Edge Racing
First Lady – Christine McLean (Shetland Wheelers)