After years of trying, James McCallum (Rapha Condor Sharp) finally took his win in the Scottish National Road Race in sun-soaked Balfron today, edging out good friend Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh-GAC) in the uphill sprint after a hard-fought 132km race, with VanillaBikes.com’s Alistair Rutherford a lone third a handful of seconds behind.
This is the second year the Championship has been held on this new Balfron circuit, and as James said from the podium,
“It would be great if the Championship was held here every year – superbly well organised by Colin Bark and Jez Greengrass and the guys in the Vortex RT, and it’s a superb course with an enthusiastic crowd. Just perfect.”
Indeed, here at VeloVeritas we’ve ranted about races, particularly championships, that disappear into the hills and are never seen again until the riders head back to the changing rooms.
This was different; an 11km circuit covered in around 16 and a half minutes, 12 times, was exactly what the event needs, and it clearly had the support of the locals; the crowd in the town and around the route was impressive: many of the business in Balfron were open, with race sponsor Doyle’s Café next to the finish line providing a hub for spectators as well as good coffee and hot rolls and cakes.
As Colin told me, the only thing missing from Ed’s event wish list was a crowd barrier to lean on, kermis style, and a bottle of Jupiler in his hand – and had Ed not been busy today working at the Giro, then he would have had them too!