Sunday, November 28, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsSuper 6 Series - Event 6, East Saltoun

Super 6 Series – Event 6, East Saltoun


On a day more suited to a November cyclo-cross, than a ‘summer’ road race, those Pedal Power boys did it again; Gary Hand topped and tailed the Super Six in taking the East of Scotland Championship at East Saltoun, having won the first round — also in East Lothian — back in the spring, whilst series leader, Gordon Murdoch built upon an already unassailable points total, in second spot.

The day was a horror; windy, wet and cold — the car computer said 10 degrees at one point — with the gnarly road surface covered in pieces of battered branches and foliage.

Super 6 Series - Event 6, East Saltoun
PedalPower make it look easy.

The first time up the prime hill, Pedal Power were already at the front, along with a man who thrives on the cold and wet, 100 mile champion, Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers).

At the tail of the field, ‘three’ wasn’t the magic number as 3, Trevor Blackburn (East Kilbride), 13, James Daly (Dooleys) and 33 Mark Millington (bicycleworks) were already all out of contention, for one reason or another.

Lap two, and at least the rain had stopped — Gary Hand swerved across the tar to take the prime and cement his lead in the overall series King of the Mountains classification.

Super 6 Series - Event 6, East Saltoun
Gary secures his KoM jersey.

Second across the line was Velo Ecosse man Stuart MacGregor, reprising his position in the British veterans’ road race championship for his 40 — 44 age group, the day before in Pontefract.

Stuart MacGregor.

Cracks were starting to appear, but there was still a long way to go for breakaway attempts, especially with the trees swaying manically in the cold wind.

Matt Cronshaw (Kinesis) and Callum Wilkinson (bicycleworks) thought differently though, and the third time up the prime, they were clear, looking comfortable with a minute in their jersey pockets.

Callum Wilkinson.

The ever vigilant Hand wasn’t letting them get too far though and he was active at the head of affairs behind.

Jim Cusick was enjoying the cold too, and so was Mickey Mallen (GS Metro) thriving on that real ale from the Harbour Bar in his new home of Kirkcaldy (looks like I left Kirkcaldy for Porty just in time!).

The last lap of the big circuit saw the race in its crucial form; Cronshaw and Wilkinson, still looking composed, but with a group of five behind — Hand and team mate David Lines, Ashley Finn (unattached), Alan Thomson (Glasgow Couriers) plus the hardy Cusick.

The break cement their lead.

The small circuit, based around East Saltoun took around ten minutes to complete and by the time the two escapees crossed the line there for the first time, their lead was down to seconds and the temperature was down to ten degrees.

Jim Cusick was enjoying the cold.

With three to go it was still the aggressive and stylish Cronshaw at the front, this time with Cusick — who else?

Mark Millington with Jim Leslie (r)
Mark Millington with Jim Leslie (r).

My fellow Porty Pundit, Jim Leslie agreed with me that this looked like the one. We were a bit puzzled as to why the chasers, particularly Hand and Lines were so relaxed, freewheeling in fact — and then we saw the reason.

Waiting for Gordon to catch up
Waiting for Gordon to catch up.

Gordon Murdoch was on his way across; “like a big train!” as Hand would say later — those race radios sure are handy! Our prediction of a Cronshaw or Cusick win was suddenly looking shaky.

Matt Cronshaw.
Matt Cronshaw.

With two to go, Cronshaw was now flying solo, Cusick had gone and was absorbed by the chasers on the drag up from the finish line.

The way Cronshaw was riding, it looked like the Pedal Powers would have to get down to some serious TTT training.

As a young lady whacked at the farmers gate adjacent to the finish with a spanner, to simulate the bell, there were three clear, Cronshaw, Hand and Murdoch — barring disaster the Tartan Lads would win.

And so it proved, doing so in some style, having left Cronshaw for dead on the last circuit, the Englishman held out for third however as we sought out Gary and Gordon for the umpteenth time this year… RT RT.


“Yes, it’s my second win of the series; I won the first one at Gifford.
The first objective today was to make sure of the King of the Mountains overall, so we kept it together until the second time up the prime, when the points were on offer — I took it, so that meant I couldn’t be beaten in the series.

“Our other objective today was to try and get Paul Coates, David Lines or Gary Macrae into a winning position; they’ve all worked so hard for the team this year, but we couldn’t get it to work out that way.

“When Callum (Wilkinson) and Matt (Cronshaw) were away, we weren’t concerned, they were dangling out there and we knew we could get them back.”

Stories to tell...
Stories to tell…


“It was pandemonium at the start with the narrow roads and the wet. I decided to go across to Gary’s group the third time up the prime hill, but just as I attacked I had a rear wheel puncture.

“It took me about five miles to get back on, I just sat on and recovered for a bit after that. On the finish circuit I knew that if you were strong there wouldn’t be a problem in crossing a one-and-a-half minute gap so I jumped and got across.

“On the second last lap I attacked again and only Gary was strong enough to come with me.”

Matt takes a moment.
Matt takes a moment.


“It was an interesting day!

“There was a long way to go when we went away, but we didn’t fully commit until we had 30 seconds, I felt good and Callum was very strong.

“The reason I went away again with Jim Cusick was to try and set things up for my mate Ashley Finn, I thought that I might as well give it a try. When the two Pedal Power guys caught me, I had nothing left and just had to let them go. It was a tough race in far from ideal conditions.”

Yep, that about sums it up!


Race A

1 Gary Hand / Endura RT 03:12:30
2 Gordon Murdoch / ENDURA RT same time
3 Mtthew Cronshaw Kinesis UK @51 secs
4 Ashley Finn @01:12
5 Callum Wilkinson Bicycleworks same time
6 Jamie Henderson Spokes RT @01:38
7 Aidan McIlroy Edinburgh RC – The Bicycleworks same time (ESCA Champion)
8 Chris Thomson VC Astar same time
9 David Robertson Active Bikes same time
10 Stephen Russell East Kilbride RC same time
11 Ross Crook Edinburgh RC – The Bicycleworks same time
12 Neil Cameron Falkirk BC same time
13 Ian Taylor MTS cyclesport/inkland same time
14 Damien Smith Wheelbase same time
15 Graham McGarrity Dooleys RT same time
16 Liam Cowie Aberdeen Wheelers J same time
17 Alister Watt Granite City RT V same time
18 Scott Macrae / ENDURA RT same time
19 James Cusick Glasgow Couriers – DB Developme same time
20 Tom Anderson Falkirk BC same time
21 Andrew Matheson Musselburgh Roads CC same time
22 Paul McInally East Kilbride RC same time
23 Gary McCrae / ENDURA RT same time
24 David Lines / ENDURA RT same time
25 Stuart Macgregor Velo Ecosse same time
26 Alistair Robinson Keswick Bikes V @01:47
27 Barry Crumlish Glasgow Couriers / D.B.Developm same time
28 Alan Thomson Glasgow Couriers / DB Developments @01:49
29 Michael Nicolson Glasgow Wheelers @01:50
30 Robert Hassan Rockhard Racing J same time
31 Paul Coats / ENDURA RT same time
32 Keith Smith Glasgow Wheelers @01:56
33 Micky Mallen GS Metro @09:43
34 Tim Blathwayt Edinburgh RC @17:09
35 Jason Roberts Glasgow Nightingale CC @19:05
36 James Daly Johnstone Wheelers @27.30
37 Graeme Walsh Sandy Wallace Cycles @28.05

Race B

1 Niall Aitken / ENDURA RT 01:54:10
2 Colin May Edinburgh RC same time
3 James Mcpake Falkirk BC same time
4 Robin Wilkins SBC / Wheels of Callander same time
5 Brendan Milliken / ENDURA RT same time
6 Eddie Addis Stirling Bike Club same time
7 Stevie Crowther Team Leslie Bikshop -Right Move same time
8 Robert Kennedy Glasgow Nightingale CC same time
9 Jonathan Powell Gosforth same time
10 Michael Bossard Nevis Cycles RT same time
11 Alan McLean Johnstone Wheelers CC same time
12 Bruce Fullerton Falkirk BC same time
13 Douglas Young Stirling BC/ Wheels of Callander Junior same time
14 36 Alastair McNicol Velo Ecosse Junior @5
15 Malcolm Paterson Glasgow Nightingale CC same time
16 Alex McAllister Ayr Roads CC/Harry Fairbairn BM V50+ same time
17 Mark Skilling Ayr Roads CC/Harry Fairbairn BM same time
18 ?? Spokes RT same time
19 Chris Bown Dunfermline CC same time
20 Scot Bullivant same time
21 Graeme Neagle Glasgow Wheelers same time
22 Paul French same time
23 Graeme Small East Kilbride RC same time
24 Barry Cranstoun East Kilbride RC same time
25 Jamie Kennedy Glasgow Couriers – DB Developme same time
26 Kristoff Aksnes Glasgow Wheelers same time
27 Stephen McQueen Falkirk BC same time
28 Stephen Dickson Falkirk BC same time
29 Mark Ansell Edinburgh RC – The Bicycleworks same time
30 Mott Karl @14
31 Georges Avraam Edinburgh RC – The Bicycleworks same time
32 Andrew Hood Team Leslie Bikshop -Right Move Junior @17
33 Graham Barclay Team Leslie BikeShop/Right Move V50+ @47
34 Andy Douglas / ENDURA RT @02:01
35 Kieran McCluskey Team Icarus @02:13
36 Gordon Plenderleith @02:37
37 Sharon Doyle Glasgow Ivy CC Woman same time
38 Paul Murray Glasgow United @03:48
39 Andrew Kilpatrick Fife cycling 2000 @05:08
40 Chris Lilley @05:20
41 Dougal John Allan Edinburgh RC – The Bicycleworks @05:40
42 Miguel Ciriza Edinburgh RC @06:22
43 Andrew Duncan Spokes RT 28:14:00
44 Gavin Mooney Edinburgh RC – The Bicycleworks same time
45 Mark Finlay Edinburgh RC @28:16:00
46 John Milligan Dundee Wheelers CC same time
47 Neil Crawford Dundee Thistle RC @28:23:00
48 Frank Kennedy Johnstone Wheelers same time
49 Rosemary Byde Edinburgh RC same time
50 Nicholas Stormonth Musselburgh Roads CC same time

Sore one, Graham!
Sore one, Graham!
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series – Event 4, Leven

"That was horrid", said the winner Evan Oliphant, as I asked him moments after he crossed the line at the Scottish Cycling Super 6, how he enjoyed it. "It was just like being back at the Rás, what with the rain - and those roads!". Oh! I I thought he was talking about his teammate James McCallum congratulating him with a sloppy kiss on the cheek!

Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series – Event 4, Leven: Preview

The Scottish Cycling Super 6 Duncan McGregor Memorial races will start with 5 or 10 minute gap between them. Race A off first. Both races will tackle the climb to Largo Ward which will prove a challenge, race B have a prime the first time up the climb with race getting a lap to warm up before the first prime points are fought out.

Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series – Event 3, Greenacres

"I was needing a win! I've had too many second places!" was how Gordon Murdoch (Pedal Power) explained his strongman's victory over 62 windy, potholed, crash-plagued miles in Saturday's Dooley's Grand Prix, part of the Scottish Cycling Super 6 series, high on the bleak moors to the south west of Paisley.

Scottish Cycling Super Six Series – Event 1, Gifford: Preview

Snowdrops by the roadside, fluffy white clouds scurrying across a blue sky, bright sunshine requiring the Ray Bans to get dusted-off, and a breeze that was fresh but not chilling-has Spring arrived in Gifford on this February Sunday? Nah! It'll be snowing, tomorrow! Still, it was a lovely day to recce the course for the first of James McCallum's 'Super Six' series; the timing was perfect, organiser Chris Harney pulled-on the brakes of his Orbea outside Gifford town hall, just as I stopped the Toyota beside the village green.

Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series – Event 2, Wanlockhead: Preview

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.

Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series – Event 2, Wanlockhead

"I knew you'd ask that! With my team mate Gordon Murdoch in second place in the series, there's no pressure on me, and all I would say is that it'll be hard for someone to win who's not in Pedal Power!". Those were the words of Gary Hand in the run up to this weekend's race, and with Ben Greenwood (Rapha Condor-Recycling) pulling out of the second round of the Scottish Cycling Super 6 due to injury, it looked set to follow a similar pattern to the first round; being dominated by Pedal Power.

At Random

Le Tour de France 2013 – Rest Day Two, Vaucluse. Moules and Interviews

It's the rest day today, and we're in Vaucluse, reading L’Équipe; ‘Naturellement’ says the headline. It’s ambiguous, to say the least. Does it mean that the Ventoux was always to be the place where Froome was going to place his stamp on things? – after all I wasn’t the only one who tipped him or Voeckler for the stage win. Or does it mean they think he’s ‘clean’ – natural?

Cameron Richardson – a ’49’ For His First ’25’

Cameron Richardson ‘crossed over’ from duathlon to cycle racing a couple of season ago, recently won the Tour of the Campsies and recorded a '49' for his first 25 Mile TT. It seems fair to say that this chap has potential…

Lizzie Armitstead’s (Three) Two Strikes for Missed Tests

"She’s at it, they all are! And you know she’s at it!" The reaction of a friend of mine when I explained the basics of the Lizzie Armistead case to him – he’s no right-wing balm pot, on the contrary he’s a working class former international sportsman who’s represented Scotland at the highest level. Perhaps if it hadn’t been for Lance feeling sorry for the doubters; Tyler and his phantom twin; Floyd and all that Jack Daniels; Bert and his steak and all the rest he wouldn’t feel that way?

Graeme Nisbet – Scottish International Roadman of the ’70s

We’ve opened the ‘whatever happened to’ file again, this time it’s a man who many will remember dominating Meadowbank Track League in Edinburgh back in the 70’s, winning a rare (in that era) British Track Championship medal and scoring numerous, notable successes on the road; Graeme Nisbet of Dunedin CC and Roiseal Cycle Racing Team.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 11: Tarvisio – Vajont (Erto e Casso) 182km. Ramunas Navardauskas Rules

Ryder Hesjedal is one of the nicest professional athletes you’ll ever meet, polite, grounded, sincere, soft spoken and likeable. To see him languishing in the gruppetto with Cav, yesterday was really quite sad. He was strong at Liège, paving the way for the win which took Dan Martin from ‘up and coming,’ to firmly, ‘arrived!’

Wade Mangham – Happy in Belgium and Working Hard

The phone rings, it's Vik; "Why haven't you spoken to that Wade Mangham boy? He's getting round all right in Flanders." In line with VeloVeritas policy of trying to keep abreast of who's 'up and coming' in the Flatlands, we tracked young Mr. Langham down - here's what he had to tell us about dodgy club presidents, Shane Archbold's mullet - and he has a chat with his bottle cages.