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When Scotland had a National Stage Race: Part 2 – The Pro-Am Years


In Part 1 of “When Scotland had a National Stage Race” we saw the domination of the East Europeans that ended with the introduction of Professionals in to the Scottish Milk Race. The first year it was the British based pro’s, then the big boys in the shape of the Belgian Isjberk-Gios team arrived in 1978 and set fire to the race, so instead of an East European domination we now had a Continental Pro domination, but they had something the Czechoslovakians, Poles, East Germans or Russians didn’t have: style; class; and that “Pro-appeal”.

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The year was 1977 and the Scottish Milk Race had gone Pro-Am for the first time. Co-organizer; the late Arthur Campbell, said before the start “perhaps the shape of things to come”. How right he was, as now we have open racing all around the world.

Many people thought it would be a Polish and Czech whitewash, but they didn’t know the hardman character of Sid Barras. Barras had some trouble from the Pole Stanislav Szozda and the strong Czech team, but “Super Sid” never lost control at any point in the five stage race.