Monday, June 17, 2024

Dan Fleeman Does the Sam

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HomeRaceRace ReviewsDan Fleeman Does the Sam

Dan Fleeman makes a trip to Scotland to ride the Sam Robinson Memorial Road Race.

Thursday 23:00

The Giro is just a memory.

Reality, work, bills and the Transit; tomorrow, Dan Fleeman is coming up for the Sam Robinson Memorial Road Race, part of the Scottish Super Six series – best grab some sleep.

Friday 07:00

Where am I?

There’s no wi-fi in the house, need to go to McDonald’s for the free connection but I’ll be strong – no sausage, egg and cheese bagels.

Maybe just one?

Send the pictures to Martin, make the ‘workie’ phone calls, send the emails and bolt to the airport.

Dan is standing by the carousel – perfect timing.

Batter the Micra up to the Trossachs; Dan needs a leg loosener so he’s going to ride the big circuit of the Sam.

We set up training camp at Thornhill; Dan’s riding his training bike – which was last cleaned when it left the factory.

Dan Fleeman
Dan gets his bike setup.

Where’s the baby wipes?

Off up the ‘mini Braes’ as Janette calls the climb out of Thornhill.

I stop at the top to grab a pic of Dan; the sun is warm on my skin, there’s no traffic, a cuckoo sings with song thrushess and bees on backing vocal, the views are wonderful – not such a bad place, is Scotland.

Dan Fleeman
A sports B&B – perfect.

Loch Venachar is beautiful; Lendrick Lodge offers massage – that could be handy on Sunday?

Dan Fleeman
Brig o’ Turk Tea Room.

Brig o’ Turk tea room looks cool, the first time I’ve seen it – I usually go round in the opposite direction.

Dan Fleeman
It’s a glorious day to be in the Trossachs, even the mile posts are cool.
Dan Fleeman
The start of the Dukes Pass.
Dan Fleeman
Dan gets to know the Dukes.

Half way up the Dukes I draw along side Dan; ‘this is the Duke’s Pass.

Oh yeah? when does the climb start?‘ – he’s a cheeky monkey.

Why is he descending The Duke’s one handed? He’s on the phone – silly me!

The bobby in Aberfoyle wasn’t impressed, shaking his head in disgust.

Dan Fleeman
Haste ye back.

‘Haste ye back’ says the sign at the foot of the Braes – along through Ruskie to Thornhill and job done.

Saturday 08:45

I have to work; Dan goes for a spin with Evan Oliphant on the Edinburgh Road Club bash down the coast, from the Commie Pool.

My plasterer, Kenny, has a new T-shirt – “Please drink responsibly, don’t spill any.

The Giro stage is a good one, more upsets – and it would be wrong to write off Liquigas, just yet.

Barbecue with Pete Jacques at night, can’t be bad.

Sunday 07:00

Porridge with raisins, nuts and bananas; scrambled egg on toast and two double strength ‘instant filter’ coffees – that boy may be skinny, but he can eat.

Meet Martin at the Little Chef, mad dash to Stirling; there’s a test on the Kippen Flats – takes me back to my youth and time I went over the handlebars coming out of the Raploch.

Anyway, show Dan ‘The Top of the World’ and then get to the start.

Say ‘hello’ to the guys, Evan, Jamesy, Paul Coats, Paul Rennie and Alex Coutts who’s just back from five stage races in the Far East – and a deportation from Iran.

Dan Fleeman
Evan Oliphant is flying at the moment, and goes into this race as one of the favourites.
Dan Fleeman
How many of us can say we’ve been summarily ejected from a foreign country? Couttsy can.

We’ll need to explore that one !

Get Dan organised, clean the bike, rub his legs, organise the bottles – and it’s start time.

Dan Fleeman
Martin gives Dan’s pins a light dusting…
Dan Fleeman
…whilst Ed puts teh polish on his bike.
Dan Fleeman
Graeme in his Leaders jersey.

Graeme McGarrity looks cool in his Super Six leader’s jersey – but what’s that number he’s covering up?

Dan Fleeman
Jamesy and Martin chill before the off.

And they’re off, we follow them down the Stirling road, then left at the Kippen roundabout.

We try to pass the race so as we can get pics on the ‘mini Braes.’

Drop back behind the convoy, NOW!‘ the commissaire instructs us – funny how Martin and I have just come back from a week working from a press car at the Giro d’Italia without any hassle, but within ten miles of the start of the Sam Robinson, we’re in big trouble.

It just goes to show that Johny Foreigner has got it wrong again.

Who needs race reports and photos, anyway?

U-turn, at the bottom of the Braes and back up towards the Lake of Menteith, and along the Tour de Trossachs route to the top of the Dukes.

Dan Fleeman
Beautiful Loch Drunkie.

Good job I got my Loch Drunkie picture on Friday.

Dan Fleeman
The break near the top of the Dukes Pass.

Evan is in the lead group with four others, three Glasgow Wheelers…

Dan Fleeman
Dan is boxed in, and has to wait until later for his bottles.

…but Dan is trapped in the bunch.

Back down The Duke’s and out past the Rob Roy Motel – six get the mallet, there.

Dan Fleeman
Off the bike, but sitting up – always a good sign.

And there’s a crash at Port of Menteith – he’s OK, though.

Blast across to Arnprior, left to the Kippen roundabout, up the ‘Top of the World’ and park up.

Dan Fleeman
The lead two near the top of the Top of the World.

Evan with one; group of 12, but no Dan; Paul Rennie then the bunch, there’s a split with Dan in the back half, he pedals past Martin looking unchuffed.

Dan Fleeman
Dan climbing the Top of the World.
Dan Fleeman
This one’s a little worse – we hear yelps as he gets assistance.

We follow them – there’s a crash at Fintry and as Martin puts it; ‘the fire has gone out‘ in the bunch.

Dan Fleeman
A quick wheel change means this riders was back in the bunch in a couple of minutes.

An ERC punctures – not a bad wheel change.

The finish circuit, we go the wrong way to catch them on the climb.

No feeding…‘ shouts the girl from the car, ‘…not allowed!

Why?

Dan Fleeman
Evan and Rob are well clear this time.

Evan is clear – again – with Rob Wilkins, they’re the winners.</