A man who can wheel about with Ineos World Tour beasts Ian Stannard and Ben Swift then win the Stockton Grand Prix with a 100 kilometre solo break was never going to have too much trouble with the Scottish Road Championship 2019 – and so it proved.
John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling) solo-ed to a four minute victory across the Backwater Dam on a bright but breezy day in the Angus hills.
Second was Fraser Martin (Wheelbase Cab Tech Castelli) who Archibald rode away from on the first of the tough Mount Blair circuits.
Third was Richard McDonald (Bioracer Moriarty Bikes) who out sprinted another Wheelbase man, Finn Crockett to take bronze with yet another Wheelbase man, Joe Reilly taking fifth.
These five had formed the ‘break of the day’ which defined the race and never looked like coming back.
Despite the sunshine and all those nice bikes on display, it was hard to drag me self out of the van at the Pitcronkie Restaurant race HQ near Alyth – Paul Gambaccini was playing great tunes from 1965; it was tough to switch the ignition off…
I had a quick wander round then headed on to the course which climbed from the off before the first of five circuits of the bonnie, leafy Loch of Linrathen circuit.
Around the loch was pan flat but there were two ascents on the loop, one which rose in ‘steps’ into the wind and where one could sit in but another faster climb which curved round a hillside and spelled curtains for more than a few.
My first sighting was just past the flat loch section on lap one where that man McDonald was already on the attack with Aidan Quinn (Dooleys).
And as is the current vogue with off-road guys taking to the tar, Rab Wardell (unattached) was well to the fore.
For lap two I was on the second climb and the break of the day was already formed and working well under welcome sunshine.
Davie Lines was keeping an eye on things for his Wheelbase team mates back at the head of a strung out bunch.