Another race, another Endura clean sweep on a glorious day for the David Bell Memorial Road Race at picturesque Straiton; Evan Oliphant winning solo from team mates Ross Creber and Gary Hand; these two crossing the line hand in hand to remind us of their team’s spirit – as if we’d forget?
At the start there was a bit of fat to chew unbeknownst to us, Stuart McGregor (Dooleys) had punctured on lap one of the Nationals, which makes his seventh place all the more solid…
McGregor’s team-mate Paul Rennie ‘had a bad week at work‘ to blame for chucking the National Road Race…
John Young (Velo Ecosse) was second in his first race for 18 years yesterday and Davie Lines (Endura) was fresh off the plane from London and the Smithfield Nocturne where MotorPoint’s Ian Bibby won despite Jack Bauer (Endura) being on Incredible Hulk form.
Our first sight of the race came just shy of Daily, the sun was hot but there was a stiff head breeze – Oliphant, Gary Hand (Endura) and the green spotty jersey of best climber on the back of Stirling BC’s Robin Wilkins with aforementioned ‘Stuarty’ McGregor in hot pursuit and the bunch’s tyres swishing not too far behind.
We took the short cut over the Hay Yards climb, emerging on the wee road to the foot of the Nick – where a stray herd of cows was enjoying the roadside grass.
We tried to do our bit by getting hold of the farmer but there must have been an alien abduction, the farm was as quiet as the grave.
Not much else for us do except hope the farmer appears, and press on to the Nick – but I’m sure there must be a BC rule which covers; ‘bovine issues rogue; dealing with (refer to sub section 7 for methane risk assessment code).
It was blowy at the top of the Nick with a screaming tail wind for the riders.
Rab Wardell (Glasgow Wheelers), was denied a ride in the race but was grinding up the climb in a big gear, doing ‘hill repeats’ – good time trial training, Rab.
First up were Oliphant and Wilkinson; ‘no bottle this lap, I’m fine,’ said Evan to Martin, which would indicate that he wasn’t going that deep.
Paul Rennie lead the chasers at 10, maybe 15 seconds with Robbie Hassan (Glasgow Wheelers) there too.
The two leaders’ team-mates, Lines and Creber were well back and from first to last rider there were more than ten minutes – a Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow job.
Albeit Lines worked his way back up through to do sterling work for Oliphant on lap two.
Perhaps there was a chance of regroupment off the descent; but Tairlaw comes along all to quickly off the base of the Davie Bell memorial.
“Plan A” for us had been to chase the race over Tairlaw and take pictures at the top; that almighty pothole we whacked with the Fiesta on the climb of the Nick saw to that idea – we had a wheel to change.
If you’ve read our Davie Bell pieces before then you’ll know that he was a cyclo-tourist who loved this corner of Scotland with a passion and wrote about it as ‘The Highwayman’ in the Ayrshire Post.
The memorial cairn has a relief in bronze of the ‘hills he knew so well’ – the view across the gentle folds of green is special and the sound of the stream which gurgles down the side of the cairn to accompany the bird song all contribute to making this an idyllic spot.
“Plan B” then – catch the B Race and drive carefully back ‘against’ the race to the Nick.
First down was Keith Laird (Glasgow Couriers), clear and looking strong with one chaser then a wee group just behind, with 52 year-old Stevie Hazlett in there.
Then that it was ones and twos; after a fair wait we decided to head on up the hill…
But there were still riders on the road – we had the headlights on, kept tight to the left and gave wee warning ‘peeps’ as we saw riders coming down the hill.
Our technique must have been OK; most riders gave us a nod or a wave.
We were just remarking on what a polite lot those B Race riders were when a gentleman from the Glasgow Wheelers hove into view – many, many minutes down; ‘get tae f**k off the road! For f**k’s sake! ‘ he bellowed through our open window.
Nice one, that kind of stuff is guaranteed to endear our sport to the general public.
We didn’t have to wait too long on the Nick – a lone rider ahead.
No prizes for guessing – Evan.
He took a bottle from Martin and gave me a shout; ‘time trial, today!‘
Hand and Creber were in the group of five which came along next, but weren’t contributing.
McGregor was next, ‘not bad for an old fart, eh?‘ he said, laughing, then Lines then a gruppo of around ten followed by Wilkins and Owen Jeffries (Velo Ecosse).
We didn’t hang around this time, passing Wilkins and Jeffries on the approach to Tarelaw and main gruppo with Lines and Wilkinson on the ascent.
McGregor, Dougie Young (Glasgow Wheelers) and Ian Taylor (Team Bglobal) were ploughing solo furrows into the crosswind and the chase group was down to three; Creber, Hand and Hassan.
It was well into the descent before we caught the three – Creber had already flown, skin-suited Hand jumped Hassan – the Wheelers man patently very tired – and roared to Creber to wait for him as he got close.
Creber looked stronger as the two team-trialled the valley road to Straiton at big speed, the car speedo nudging 30 a lot of the time.
We hopped them to catch Evan, who had spent the whole day off the front – he was riding aero and strongly, no one was going to see him before the finish.
He almost caught us out at the line, zooming into sight before we expected him.
Hand and Creber did the ‘Hinault & Lemond’ thing before Robbie Hassan took fourth and Taylor took fifth.
Still sitting on his training Look, Evan gave us the chat on his latest win;
“I was away all day, either solo or two-up. I was with Callum from early in the first lap but he told me to go it alone, the first time over Tairlaw.
“Davie Lines got across to me at Straiton the second time and he ‘spelled’ me round to the Nick on lap two and then he said that I should go for it – I rode the Nick, over Tairlaw and into the finish as a time trial.
“This is the best form I’ve ever had, last year I couldn’t have stayed away like that – but this year I can cruise the climbs at 380 watts and put time into them. Before, I could only generate 380 for ten minutes – now I can do it for an hour; my average watts today were 300.
“I think I benefited from that early season work in France and Spain. I’ve also been doing physio and working on my position – I have unequal spacers under my shoe plates now, to straighten me up on the bike; I sit a little lower, have gone to a 13 cm stem and narrower bars – 40 cm.
“Having Rob Hayles on the team has helped, he’s done so much stuff in the wind tunnel. He rides 40 cm ‘bars too, and if you look at our road jerseys the body is normal road fabric but the sleeves are like a skinsuit to stop them from flapping and catching the wind.”
‘Skin sleeves’ – that’s how he does it?
And last word to Sandy Wallace Cycles’ Steve Beech; ‘the last time I raced up the Nick was in the Girvan – in 1976!‘
British Nationals next weekend – Evan on the podium?
Let’s hope so.
* * *
Davie Bell Memorial Road Race 2010 - Results
1 Evan Oliphant Endura Racing E 03:07:49
2 Ross Creber Endura Racing E / U23 01:21
3 Gary Hand Endura Racing E st
4 Robert Hassan Glasgow Wheelers 1/U23 02:03
5 Ian Taylor Team B Global E 02:29
6 Dougie Young Glasgow Wheelers 2/U23 03:36
7 Stuart MacGregor Dooleys Cycles RT V2 03:53
8 Jason Roberts Glasgow Wheelers 2 st
9 Veli-Matti Raikkonen Granite City RT 2 st
10 David Lines Endura Racing E 04:34
11 Callum Wilkinson Endura Racing E st
12 Grant Ferguson Dooleys Cycles RT Junior st
13 Ciaran Dougherty East Kilbride RC 3 st
14 Jamie Kennedy Glasgow Couriers 2 04:37
15 Andrew Brierley Team Leslie Bike Shop / Right Move windows v3 05:09
16 Ray Turner Newcastle Pheonix 3 st
17 Robin Wilkins Stirling Bike Club 2 06:00
18 Owen Jeffries Equipe Velo Ecosse / Montpelliers 4 st
19 Gordon Murdoch East Kilbride RC 1 st
20 Alan Thomson Glasgow Couriers 2 st
21 Stephen Russell East Kilbride RC 3 06:10
22 Paul Rennie Dooleys Cycles RT 2 07:31
23 Niall Aitken Pedal Power RT 2 10:08
24 Jon Clarke Glasgow Wheelers 3 10:13
25 James Thompson Boneshakerbikes.com/Trek 2 12:58
26 Andrew Davies Thebicycleworks.com v3 st
27 Grame Neagle Glasgow Wheelers 3 13:35
28 Mark Skilling Ayr Roads CC / Harry Fairbairn BMW 3 st
29 Keith Robertson Grantie City RT v3 st
30 Andy Mathieson Musselburgh RCC v2 st
31 Calum MacLean Edinburgh RC 3 16:56
32 Garteth Barnes Unattached 3 18:15
33 Tom Worthington Vortex RT v3 19:03
34 Liam Cowie Granite City RT 3 20:22
35 Tom Macdonald Lomond Roads CC v3 st
36 Kenny Armstrong Ayr Roads CC / Harry Fairbairn BMW 3 29:12:00
1 Dougie Young Glasgow Wheelers
2 Stuart MacGregor Dooleys Cycles RT
3 Jason Roberts Glasgow Wheelers
1 Ciaran Dougherty East Kilbride RC
2 Andrew Brierley Team Leslie Bike Shop / Right Move windows
3 Ray Turner Newcastle Phoenix
1 Stuart MacGregor Dooleys Cycles RT
2 Andrew Brierley Team Leslie Bike Shop / Right Move windows
3 Andrew Davies Thebicycleworks.com
1 Grant Ferguson Dooleys Cycles RT
Ayrshire Post Hill Prime
1 Evan Oliphant Endura Racing
2 Callum Wilkinson Endura Racing
3 Dougie Young Glasgow Wheelers
Sinclair Scott Sprint
1 Evan Oliphant Endura Racing
2 David Lines Endura Racing
3 Ciaran Dougherty East Kilbride RC
1 Keith Laird Glasgow Couriers 4th 01:35:24
2 Richard McDonald Stirling Bike Club 4th 55
3 Scott Newman Inverclyde Velo 4th st
4 Trevor Wilson Dales CRT 4th st
5 Steven Hazlett Glasgow Ivy 3rd V50 st
6 Callum Gough Omnipex RT V50 st
7 Duncan McIntyre Glasgow Nightingale 4th 01:54
8 Neil Taylor Edinburgh RC 4th st
9 Eamonn Staunton Mid-Argyll Triathlon Club 4th st
10 Angus Elliot Edinburgh RC 4th st
11 John Paterson Dumfries CC 4th st
12 Paul French Unattached 4th V40 01:56
13 Jack McLaren Falkirk BC 4th 02:00
14 Georges Avraam Edinburgh RC 4th V50 st
15 Keith Jones Team Icarus 4th V40 st
16 Derek Martin Perth United CC 4th V st
17 Mark Murray Moray Firth CC 4th st
18 Stewart Chapman Vortex RT 4th v st
19 Brian Lafferty Edinburgh University Triathlon 4th st
20 Paul Ramsay Royal Albert CC 4th st
21 Derek McMillan St Christophers CC 4th 02:34
22 Graeme Small East Kilbride RC 4th V 03:27
23 Gerald Grant Falkirk BC 4th st
24 John Young Unattached 4th V st
25 Malcolm Paterson Glasgow Nightingale 4th st
26 Phil Deveney Glasgow Nightingale 4th st
27 Steve Beech Sandy Wallace Cycles V60 st
28 Lindsay Gordon Musselburgh Roads CC 4th 03:31
29 Brendan Roe Team Leslie Bike Shop – Right Move Windows v50 04:04
30 David Thomson Johnstone Wheelers CC 4th U23 st
31 Andrew Wyllie Mid-Argyll Triathlon Club 4th st
32 Paul Hornby Glasgow Ivy CC 4th v 04:04
33 Scott Anderson Royal Albert CC 4th 05:41
34 Martin Lonie Dooleys Cycles RT 4th 06:44
35 Nicky Cronin Glasgow Wheelers CC 4th st
36 Andrew Stewart Glasgow Ivy CC 4th st
37 Jim Meek Team Leslie Bike Shop – Right Move Windows v40 st
38 George Findlater Elgin CC 3rd V60 st
39 William Bowers Stirling Bike Club 4th st
40 Douglas Shearer Innerleithen MTB Racing / i-Cycle 4th 07:25
41 Brian McCardle East Kilbride RC 4th 09:23
42 Jenny Stanning Edinburgh RC W st
43 Colin McLellan Edinburgh RC 4th st
44 Steve McInnes Glasgow Nightingale 4th V 10:22
45 Stephen Dickson Falkirk BC 4th 10:47
46 Owen Philipson Stirling Bike Club 4th st
47 Mark Munro Deeside Thistle CC 4th 10:49
48 David Lang Glasgow Wheelers CC 3rd V60 10:51
49 Ian Kay Border City Wheelers 4th V50 12:42
50 Michael Henderson Moray Firth CC 4th 15:08
51 Paul McSkimming Dooleys Cycles RT 4th V 16:39
52 Sandy Wallace Sandy Wallace Cycles V60 st
53 Alastair Rathie Unattached 4th 17:04
54 Teri Wishart Unattached W 17:34
55 Scott Glasgow Glasgow Nightingale 4th 18:06
56 Lettie Chambers Stirling Bike Club W 18:52
57 David Blockley Rapha Condor CC 4th st
58 Alexis Barnes Walkers CC W st
59 Sarah Gleave Sandy Wallace Cycles W st
1 Jenny Stanning Edinburgh RC W
2 Teri Wishart Unattached
3 Lettie Chambers Stirling Bike Club
1 Steven Hazlett Glasgow Ivy
2 Callum Gough Omnipex RT
3 George Avraam Edinburgh RC
1 Steve Beech Sandy Wallace Cycles
2 George Findlater Elgin CC
3 David Lang Glasgow Wheelers
1 Keith Laird Glasgow Couriers
2 Scott Newman Inverclyde Velo
3 Trevor Wilson Dales CRT
1 Eamonn Staunton Mid Argyll Tri Club
2 Malcolm Paterson Glasgow Nightingale
3 Phil Daveney Glasgow Nightingale