Gary Hand (Pedal Power), race winner at Gifford in Round 1 carries his Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series lead into Round 2 at Scotland’s highest village of Wanlockhead on Saturday.
The village sits at 467 metres (1531 feet) and used to be known as ‘God’s Treasure House’, due to the local mineral wealth.
[There’s a village in Fife which is known as ‘The Street of Fear’ due to the propensity of the locals to commit random acts of violence on strangers — but that’s another story].
VeloVeritas thought we’d best have a word with organiser Callum Gough to get the low down on the race (highest village — low down?… please yourself!)
Callum, I remember you as a demon climber back in the 80’s.
“Yeah, I was with Liverpool Century and I got the bronze in the RTTC hill climb championships in ’81. The North West scene was very strong back then, as well as The Century there were our deadly rivals The Mercury, with the Fleetwood brothers — and of course there was the Kirkby.
“It was common place for races to be over subscribed, hopefully the Super Six Series is taking us back to those days; I’ve had 241 entries so far and they’re still coming in.”
Does the race have a history?
“No, this is the first edition. When James McCallum first discussed the Series, he said he was looking for new organisers, new races, new ideas – not just the ‘same old, same old,’ where you rolled up and rode like part of some secret society. He wanted organisers that weren’t blinded by past experience, organisers who would organise the local community and make the race a bit special.
“The sport is getting pushed off the roads and we have to react to that, maybe even try for closed roads. We want to make a weekend of it — next year we hope to promote a Sportif, the next day. But I’d prefer a summer date, the only thing that worries is me is the weather — that and missing the Tour of Flanders!”
Tell us about the course.
“It’s a tough one; it’s basically a triangular circuit of around 15 miles to be covered four times, total distance is 64 miles.
There’s a five mile gradual downhill on poor surfaces, then five miles on flat, exposed roads then a five mile gradual climb from Abingdon to Leadhills to complete the lap. The climb is a power job, even though it’s a tough course you won’t need the inside ring.”
And you have a good field?
“Yes! 241 entries in total, including 50 fourth cats, so we’ve got full fields for both races. The ‘entry central’ system has been a boon — no more stamp addressed envelopes!
Gary Hand is riding, defending his lead; Ben Greenwood (right) is up for Rapha and there’s all the usual good Scottish guys, like Gordon Murdoch (Pedal Power), Stuart McGregor (Velo Ecosse) and Paul Rennie (Dooleys).”
Who’s your sponsor?
“Scottish Power Renewables are the main one, there’s good prize money for each race and for the series overall you are running into very good money.”
What have you got laid on for spectators?
“The race HQ is the Wanlockhead Inn and there’ll be party there after the race — it should be quite a ‘do!’ There’s a free barbecue for spectators; the race will be piped out of the village and the local MSP, Kate Gillan will start the event.”
What did you think of the first race of the Series, at Gifford?
“I rode the ‘A’ race, I got round, they couldn’t get rid of me, I just hung in like an old pro! The standard of promotion was very good; the only races that I’ve ridden in Scotland that would be compare, would be Girvan and the old Tour of the Kingdom, back in the 80’s.”
And who’s gonna win?
“I know that Gary Hand is going very well, he had a good Girvan but I think he’ll be marked out of it. If Greenwood has recovered fitness then he’ll be dangerous, but I reckon that Paul Rennie is the man, knowing the course helps a lot and these are local roads for him.”
A free barbecue and a post race barbecue, they didn’t have races like that when I was a boy!
Race Headquarters: Wanlockhead Inn, Dumfriesshire.
Chief Commissaire – Tom Forbes (‘A’ & ‘B’ race)
Commissarie – Graeme Herd (‘A’ & ‘B’ race)
Chief Judge – TBA…
Photo Finish Judge – Bill Dunscombe (‘A’ & ‘B’ race)
Gear Checker – TBA…
Assistant Organiser – Andy Verral
Notes for Competitors
- Competitors must sign-on at least 30minutes prior to the commencement of their event.
- Riders who have not completed sign-on will be withdrawn and reserve riders will be included in the field. This will be strictly enforced.
- Please remember to bring your 2008 race licence with you.
- Junior gears will be checked. All Juniors MUST have their gears checked before and after the event.
- Race numbers must be properly affixed, see diagram below, do not fold numbers. Body numbers must be visible at all times. Frame numbers must be located within the front triangle on the frame or behind the seat-post. Timing chips must be located as per Sign on Instruction.
- Both races will be neutralised until Leadhills. Riders WILL ATTEND race briefing, leader’s jersey presentation 20 minutes before start time in the car park of the HQ (Wanlockhead Inn) . After wave off from dignitary we will go out in convoy. Wearing of leader’s jersey and: attendance at briefing is compulsory. Race leaders please come prepared to change jerseys.
- NO RACE SHOE PLATES ON THE WOODEN FLOOR OF THE HQ!!!!!
- Neutral service will be provided. Service is on the left hand side of the road. A rider should place a hand in the air when safe if service is required. No wheels given in then no service. Odd numbers front/Even numbers rear. Name on wheel please.
- Riders who retire must report to the Chief Judge or Photo Finish operator to report a nonfinish.
- Competitors in Race ‘A’ must not use the course for warming up while the ‘B’ race is in progress. Please be aware of other competitors, officials and public using the circuit.
- Competitor Parking is in the Old Tennis court carpark . This will be signposted and is as indicated in the race village map. Strictly NO PARKING in the WANLOCKHEAD INN or MUSEUM CAR PARKS.
- Parking at Wanlockhead Inn is for Official convoy only this will be strictly enforced no blaggers as there is limited space.
- Due to the limited number of toilets inside the HQ, the Museum of Lead Mining (Hidden Treasures) toilets are available for competitors and officials. They are located outside the Museum.
- A free BBQ and T and cakes bar will be provided after each event at the Wanlockhead Inn.
- Presentations for both races will be held in the Wanlockhead Inn approx 1 hr after the race or ASAP. DON’T PARK IN THE CARPARK OF WANLOCKHEAD INN.
- Reserve ri