Sunday on The Girvan 2007 started at 12.01am in the Roxy, Girvan’s answer to Stringfellows. We drank cocktails, there was Bobby Darrin on the sound system, and the talk with the Prada-clad lovelies was of moving to Saint Tropez for the Spring.The scent of Chanel filled the air.
Na – you know what it was really like; but we only had three beers, so there are no war stories.
Best Scot on GC is Gary Hand in 17th at 0.50; best of our guys is Phil Brown at 10.46 on the sheet, but that’s not right, he was in the main group on stage one and only dropped a handful of seconds in the criterium.
Stuart McGregor is 63nd at 17.27 and Owen Jeffries 69th at 21.10; it could be worse – Edge RT have gone completely. Paul broke a chain, Jason crashed, Steve Wright was DNF on stage one and Gary Robson called it a day in the criterium.
Scotland’s hopes of a Girvan win, 20 years after Andy Ferry have gone.
It was a deceptively hard day yesterday: 30% of the field doesn’t wing out the back for nothing. The criterium wasn’t as much of a Stalingrad as usual, maybe it was the thought of 108 miles today. The stage starts in Newton Stewart today so we have a 45 minute drive down from Girvan: never a good prospect with a tummy with an “Ayrshire Fry” inside it.
Newton Stewart, and a chat with Phil Griffiths. A blood transfusion truck appears; “Malcolm! Malcolm! It’s here! It’s arrived!” Big Phil never changes.
A big early break went, Rapha missed it and had to work like madmen to get it back. The first climb is at Creetown and we’ve got a group of six up the road, including Malcolm and McCaulay but there are a dozen guys out of the back, ten dropped and two with punctures, a couple get back on the descent.
James Stewart (KFS) runs out of road on the gravel – it’s an Evel Knievel job but he’s OK. The break has 40 seconds at bonnie Gatehouse of Fleet.
On the climb out of Castle Douglas, no. 23, Matt Talbot (Rapha) stops for a comfort break, as he rides back up to the group we can’t help but notice he’s wearing trainers – bad day to forget your shoes.
On the Bengray climb, Newton moves up with other groups to make it 18 at the front. We’ve got Newton, McCauley, Sharman and Elliot up there, plus Wilkinson, who has been third and second on the last two stages.
It looks like it’s all over and we’re only just over half distance.
Dalry, 64 miles and it’s 2-50, 76 it’s 4-12 – yeah, it’s all over.
Checchi has dropped off the front group and slid right through the race to the comfort of the team car. Teammate, Talbot is happy too: he stops and swaps shoes with the Italian.
There’s not much to say, the bunch ambles and the gap doesn’t grow that much indicating that the break isn’t driving either. The big loser is Dean Downing who is trapped in the pedestrian peloton; at least it’s sunny so he can improve his tan.
Dailly, inside 10 to go, the bunch is at club run pace now, surely they won’t sprint at the end of this? At 19 miles McCauley, Newton and Wilkinson go clear. The laughing group does sprint at the end, and then I have to go like hell to suss-out what happened at the front – we were out of Race Radio range behind the peloton.
Ian Wilkinson won the stage from McCauley and Newton. The three of them sprinted it out, Wilkinson lead it out slowly, jumped first and held-on.
Wilkinson has taken the jersey too; Phil Griffiths reckons that Newton blew it by working in the break with McCauley and Newton, he should have sat on – Phil would know.
There are 67 miles tomorrow, can Newton find those 3 seconds?
Back to the digs, batter out the copy, and then maybe there’ll be time to schmooze at the Roxy?