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Scottish Road Race Championships 2007

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The result may have been predictable, but Evan Oliphant (DFL) only took home the gold medal in a sodden Scottish Road Race Championships 2007 after an incident-packed four hours.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2007
Evan Oliphant – Scottish Road Champion 2007.

Taking a well-deserved silver medal and ‘moral victor’ of the championship was pre-race favourite Raymond Wilson (Dunfermline CC).

The Irishman displayed great strength of character against Oliphant and the Velo Ecosse duo of Phil Brown and Stuart MacGregor; these four riders dominated the finale with Brown taking his first ever road race medal, leaving MacGregor with just the €30 fourth prize as consolation.

The race took in two laps of a large circuit which included the brutal Nick o’ Balloch climb; then two laps of a small finishing circuit near Straiton.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2007
Bringing up the tail of the bunch – first time up the Nick.

By the end of the first lap of the main circuit around half of the field had succumbed to the dismal conditions, hills and gravel-strewn surfaces.

Gary Hand (KFS) meanwhile, had flown the nest and was on a gallant – or over-optimistic, depending on your point of view – solo off the front.

As Hand, and then the survivors of the bunch, left Straiton to start their second lap they were mis-directed and it took the organisers a little time to sort things out.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2007
Paul Rennie headed for the showers early after the direction error.

Paul Rennie (Edge RT) didn’t hang around to see what the outcome would be, he popped a u-turn and headed for the strip.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2007
Trying to figure out what’s going on.

It was a wet, cold and de-motivated group of riders who eventually re-started 39 seconds behind Hand – albeit he did get away right behind a well-timed truck; as pre-race favourite but eventual non-finisher, Gordon Murdoch (East Kilbride RC) succinctly put it; ‘he’s jumped a f**king juggernaut!’

Scottish Road Race Championships 2007
Chaos.

The only happy riders were those souls who had been dropped but caught-up again at the enforced halt.

Indeed, Oliphant had to be persuaded to continue.

On the Nick for the second time MacGregor, Brown and Hand lead by a handful of seconds from Wilson, Arthur Doyle (Ivy CC), Oliphant and a surprising Michael Mallen (GS Metro).

Scottish Road Race Championships 2007
L to R: Brown, Hand and MacGregor lead 2nd time up the Nick.

The two groups merged before the top and the race was over for all but these seven riders; Brown took the prime as the weather conditions went from bad to grim.