Monday, July 26, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsSuper 6 - Round 2, Leven goes to Gary Hand

Super 6 – Round 2, Leven goes to Gary Hand

-

Endura Racing Team’s Gary Hand topped a near perfect day for the Scottish UCI Continental squad with a solo win in the second round of the Super Six Series – the Duncan MacGregor Memorial Road Race over 80 miles around the “Rigging of Fife.”

Gary Hand
Gary takes the second round of the Super 6 series.

Team mates Gordon Murdoch and Duncan Urquhart took second and fourth respectively, to make it a quality day for the men in red and white.

Spoiling the party just a little was Rapha-Condor’s Matt Cronshaw, who, despite a severe working-over from the winners, grabbed third place.

Gary Hand
Spring sunshine, tempered by a cool westerly breeze greeted the peloton as it rolled out of Buckhaven.

VeloVeritas had planned to catch the race for the first time on Largo Law, however, guest photographer for the day, Bethany, decided that her cheese, ham and onion pasty had to be micro-waved.

Gary Hand
Guest photog Beth’s brunch came first.

This meant that our first look at the race was from outside the sandwich shop at Lundin Links – early break specialists, Paul Coats (Squadra Via Manzini-Race Tool) and Endura’s Urquhart were already on the attack.

Gary Hand
An anxious moment for a couple of riders in the bunch.

Up at Moonzie, it was still Endura at the head of affairs as Hand and Callum Wilkinson battled the stiffening westerly, ten seconds ahead of Cronshaw, leading a group of six and already on the defensive.

Two groups of around a dozen passed with a handful of seconds between them, but for the bunch, more than a minute back, it was over already.

On the second ascent of Largo Law it was Wilkinson; still 12 seconds clear of Cronshaw’s team mate, Ben Greenwood, but right behind the man in black was Endura’s David Lines.

Gary Hand
Endura Racing controlled the activity today pretty conclusively.

It was clear that there would be no repeat of Super Six number one, where Endura missed the boat.

Gary Hand
Duncan worked hard and looked good for the win to us.

West of Craigrothie on lap two, it was Urquhart who had picked up the batten as he plugged into the wind; Colin Humphrey (Sports Cover) was trying to bridge, but had Murdoch glued to his wheel.

Gary Hand
Colin tried hard to repeat his podium finish in the first Super 6 at Gifford.

Cronshaw was in pursuit but another Endura – David Lines – was leading the group behind him.

The race was now between some 20 riders; the bunch was history.

Gary Hand
Matt rode a clever race, but was always on a hiding to nothing.

The third time up the Law saw the definitive move of the race consolidate as Urquhart, Murdoch, Hand, Humphrey and Cronshaw lead Lines by some 45 seconds.

Gary Hand
Boxing clever, or waiting for Lines to come across to make four in front?

On the small circuit off the main one from Ceres, it was Urquhart stalling at the front to let Lines get across and the Army man looked like a winner to us.

Gary Hand
Duncan looks at ease.

However, it was Hand who finished alone from Murdoch on the quiet finishing straight behind Lundin Links, with more daylight back to an understandably frustrated Cronshaw.

Gary Hand
Gary empties the tank in the rush for the line.

Gary Hand
Three happy Endura riders, one somewhat pragmatic Rapha one.

Urquhart made it three out of four; in a situation like this, the big team is damned if it wins and damned if it doesn’t – but it’s always better to win!

Gary Hand
Gary is very happy with his team.

Gary Hand was quick to praise his squad;

“We really wanted to win today, there were eight of us, so we had no excuse not to. But having said that, the team all did their job very well. Cronshaw was strong, he countered all of our moves.

“I actually cramped up on one of the last drags, but it free-ed off and I got my second wind. When I attacked, I didn’t think that it was going to be the winning move, it was to force Cronshaw to chase. I’m happy with my form, I’ve started later this year, I want to try and peak for the British.

“So far, I haven’t done any intervals, juts base work, so I’m very happy with how I’m going.”

Gary Hand
At the finish, Gordon couldn’t get over how comfy his bike now is.

Gordon Murdoch spoke to Martin;

“That was great. A great result for the team, and the end of a good week for me too- it’s taken me a while to get my position sorted on the new bike, cleat positioning and so on, and now I feel fantastic on the bike.

“We wanted to dictate the race today, make sure we got in all the moves and control things – (laughing) we can’t have the English guys coming up here and having it all their own way anymore!

Yeah, we worked Matt over a little, but it took some doing – he was very strong today. We decided to start attacking him from 20 miles out, to make sure his sprint was taken down, Gary actually had cramp, but fought his way back on with about four miles to go, caught us and kept his momentum up, sweeping straight by us. To be fair, Matt worked hard to try to bring him back, and he’s done a good ride to get 3rd, but we weren’t going to have any other result today. Very happy.”

Gary Hand
It’s fair to say Matt has probably been happier.

Matt Cronshaw was philosophical about the game that was played on him;

“It was always gonna happen, I was trying to shut them down as quickly as possible so they wouldn’t get a gap but I was getting no help at all.

“I’m enjoying being with Rapha-Condor, it’s a great set up; John Herety has treated me really well.I did the two squad training camps in Malaga, which were really good for my form, but didn’t go to the races in South Africa.

Girvan? No, I’m going to the Tour of the North, in Ireland.”

Round Two to Endura, then.

With Girvan next and all the English big hitters heading for Ayrshire, we’ll see you there.

Gary Hand
Congratulations Gary.

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

The Drummond Trophy 2009

"I hit 'em hard!" was how Pete Williams (Pinarello/Candi TV/ Marshalls Pasta) explained his race winning move in Sunday's 54th Drummond Trophy, held in bright sunshine on the sinuous back roads west of Eaglesham and the M77. With a new Scottish sponsor's name on their jerseys (Marshalls) and the commanding figure of team boss Phil Griffiths there in the flesh, there was never any doubt that Pinarello were going to win.

The 44th Davie Bell Memorial Road Race 2009

Ross Creber delivered the win for the dominating Endura Race Team in the 44th edition of the Davie Bell Memorial Road Race. Team mate and reigning Scottish Road Champion, Evan Oliphant took 2nd, narrowly edging out visiting James Sampson of the Candi TV — Marshall’s Pasta team.

Super 6 2009 – Round 4, Lang Whang, West Calder

"Lang Whang" is Auld Scots, it means 'long way' - it's fair to say that Endura's Gary Hand was in the break for a lang whang and he won the finishing sprint by a similar margin from wanderer returned, Alex Coutts (I looked at his jersey but the team name looked like Greek to me).

Super 6 – Round 3, The Sam Robinson Memorial Road Race 2009

The Trossachs in spring, a nice cup of coffee in Aberfoyle, the weather forecast is good, the Sam Robinson Memorial Road Race is always a good race to watch and...

Lothian Flyers Road Race

Gavin Shirley (Nevis Cycles RT) made the trip to the Scottish Borders today, and went away with the win in the Edinburgh Road Club promotion, the Lothian Flyer Road Race, narrowly edging out two fast Vets, Chris Brown (Stirling BC) and Steve Nutley (Fife Cycling 2000).

Scottish Cycling Super 6 2009 – Round 5, Aberdeen

Endura's Gary Hand took the July edition of the Scottish Cycling Super 6 2009 over 66 miles at a scorching Aberdeen on Saturday, beating Robin Wilkins from Stirling into second and Craig Adams from Falkirk into third with East of Scotland 'old dog' Andy Matheson grabbing fourth.

At Random

Dan Patten – A Close Call in Grandglise

Came close to another win at the weekend, this time in Grandglise. I was second to an ex-pro called Jurgen Guns, who used to ride for Vlaanderen 2002 - Eddy Merckx around 1999/2000.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 15: Cesana Torinese – Col du Galibier 149km. Visconti Takes Movistar’s 2nd

I didn't get much opportunity to see stage 15, it was a long day for VeloVeritas - Alford and back, and then all the editing and formatting that it takes to put a piece together. But it was another tough day in a tough Giro - albeit the 'Bigs' declared a cease-fire. You'll hear no complaints about that from Giovanni Visconti, Movistar's former three time Italian champion who grabbed the Spanish team's second win of the race in fine style.

From the Tour Down Under Massage Table

From the massage table hereat the Tour Down Under in Australia, I've finally found time to write this first blog for the year...

Jack Bauer – He’s Why We Love This Sport!

It was a Saturday night in the summer of 2009 and I was driving ‘up the Town’ to the movies. I pulled the car over, answered the mobile and had my first chat with the man. VeloVeritas's pundit in residence Viktor had spotted this New Zealand laddie who was burning up the Flanders kermis scene in the colours of Anglo/Belgian team, Kingsnorth Wheelers – Jack Bauer.

Weight of a Nation: TdF 2010 Stage 7 (hilltop)

Weight of a Nation. Today was the first mountain stage of the race, and the second chance for the big hitters to test each others' legs and see who was looking dangerous and who not. I just love the mountaintop stages in these races!

Colby Pearce – Chats about his Hour Record Experiences; “Everything Hurts!”

It's all very well for us at VeloVeritas to pontificate about The Jensie and Hour Records but what about the thoughts of a man who knows the pain of The Hour at first hand? Former United States hour record holder Colby Pearce - who last year attempted to take the record back and also set the standard for the US "Athlete's Hour" - is a good man to talk to.