Ross Creber (Endura) added a top flight ‘en ligne’ result to his VTT and ‘cross palmarès with a fine win in the Scottish Road Race Championship 2009 over a technical, challenging and windy — but beautifully sunny – 81 miles at Hawick on Saturday afternoon.
Creber lead the men in red and white to a clean sweep of the medals with Callum Wilkinson taking silver – distanced by Creber in the sprint – and James McCallum having to be content with bronze after a late race puncture when it looked like it was his day.
The man McCallum beat into fourth place — Paul Coats (Squadra Via Mazzini-Race Tool Bicycles) – was man of the race for many; featuring throughout the race and only beaten by Endura’s superiority of numbers.
VeloVeritas saw it this way, before the start:
- Viktor 1) Coutts, 2) Oliphant, 3) Ross Creber
- Dave 1) Oliphant, 2) Coutts, 3) Gordon Murdoch
- Me 1) Oliphant, 2) Coutts, 3) Creber
The first break was away well before they banked left past the village green at ‘en fete’ Denholm; where the wedding guests were making their introductions.
Paul Rennie and the rest had no time for pleasantries as they snarled past the wee kirk.
As was the case last year; a dire morning had left the River Teviot wide, brown, fast and deep but under a bright afternoon Borders sky.
We caught sight of them for a second time on lap one and with a dozen clear and Endura under-represented, the troops were being marshalled — it’s doesn’t pay to give men like Paul Rennie and vets road race champ, Stuart McGregor (both Dooleys) too much rope.
Lap 2 and we had a chat with Alex Coutt’s dad at the feeding station, suffice to say there’ll be no Greek writing on Alex’s jersey next year!
The break was now 18 strong and two minutes clear with big favourites Oliphant and Coutts stranded behind.
A stomach bug would make sure it wasn’t Oliphant’s day.
Lap 3 and it was time for the world’s slowest and worst coffee at Denholm — respect on the cheesecake, though – the break was maybe a little too big to be ‘the’ move and with James McCallum cruising at the back, no one would be too keen to take him all the way to the finish.
Coutts, Oliphant plus Ras and Tour de Beauce finisher, Rab Wardell (Kinesis) had slipped the bunch and were in hot pursuit, behind.
Lap 4 and the wedding was in full effect as the break thrashed through past the kirk to upset things; with Oliphant and Co. within 30 seconds and the bunch at 2-15.
Lap 5 and we joined the race, tucking in behind the break; on the lumpy part at the back of the circuit, the 19 leaders had split into four: groups in the strong wind which blasted in across rolling the Border’s country.
At the top of the climb on lap 6 the winning break had formed — Coats, Rennie, McCallum, Creber, Wilkinson and a surprising Jason Roberts (Nightingale).
Things were very fluid behind as the 13 remaining break survivors were picked up by the bunch, some two minutes back.