Thursday, February 29, 2024

Scottish Road Race Championships 2011, Evan Takes His Fifth!

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HomeRaceRace ReviewsScottish Road Race Championships 2011, Evan Takes His Fifth!

On a day of sunshine, wind and squals over 12 laps of a rolling circuit around Balfron, Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) defended his Scottish road race championship in fine style; riding away from the day long break with two laps to go and opening a big gap over Gary Hand (Endura/Pedal Power) and Ross Creber (Cycle Premier/Metaltek) who also slipped the bunch to sprint it out for silver and bronze respectively.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2011
Evan takes the Scottish RR again.

With an 11 kilometre circuit, race watching was easy –

Race View # 1: we followed the race to get the lay of the land.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2011
Rolling fields.
Scottish Road Race Championships
Lush green countryside, in the lee of the Campsies.

A glorious mix of conifers and deciduous trees; winding, rolling roads; some of the surfaces are a little rough but most of the pavement is good – the feed zone’s a tad nippit, though.

But 12 times through Balfron – nice work; there’ll be complaints from the sheep though, they’re big race fans.

Scottish Road Race Championships
First sighting.

# 2: parked up, a couple of miles out of Balfron; it’s windy with squalls blowing through – there are eight or nine away already, Oliphant, Lines, Creber, Hand – that could be it?

Scottish Road Race Championships
The bunch chase.

Michael Nicholson leads the chase at 30 seconds.

Scottish Road Race Championships
Game over.

It’s over already for Callum Wilkinson and a couple of others.

Our prediction: 1) Oliphant, 2) Nicholson, 3) Hassan.

Scottish Road Race Championships
Nice sunshine.

# 3: the gap is a minute, we make it nine – Arthur Doyle, Evan Oliphant, Gary Hand, Davie Lines, Ross Creber, Chris Thomson…

It’s looking even more like it’s all over for the peloton.

But Michael Nicholson and Robbie Hassan are behind, so maybe it’ll come back?

Time for a change of scenery, we drive against the race direction to the other side of the valley.

# 4: a minute 15, it looks more and more it looks like it’s a done deal.

There’s a ‘Spokes’ rider in the break – Tim Allan?

Scottish Road Race Championships
A group of four is trying to bridge, Hassan and Paul Coats?

Gregor isn’t too chuffed that his boys have missed that too.

A cry comes from the bunch; ‘what’s the f***ing time!?

A minute plus,’ says us.

Across the valley we can see them – and the gap has gone to a minute 30 in the space of a mile or two.

# 5: as we wait for them, Graeme McGarrity ambles past…

One minute 40 – Gary Hand and Tim Allan are hurting up front.

Hassan has gone, a puncture?

The wind is getting up, just to add to the pain.

Scottish Road Race Championships
John Anderson.
Scottish Road Race Championships
Dave Martin.

# 6: the feed station, John Anderson of the bicycleworks waits to feed Ali McNichol, who’s made the break and Dave Martin, who hasn’t – that should be ‘winning break’ because the gap is starting to yawn.

The break are still riding hard; Rob Wilkins is trying to bridge with a couple of others but it’s unlikely to happen.

Finlay Young has crashed out – no harm to him, but apparently his Giant has a broken fork; and Robbie Hassan is back on…

# 7: a big squall blows through the feed.

Scottish Road Race Championships
Endura lead the break.

The break are still working well together; but behind the peloton has split.

Scottish Road Race Championships
Endura leads the chasers.

A weary looking Endura leads round the corner, maybe 12 riders?

For the main bunch it’s all over.

# 8: we make a quick detour to the strip so Finlay can get his gear; ‘Stuart McGregor punctured and crashed, he took a few guys down, I managed to avoid it – but run into the back of someone and broke my forks.’

Scottish Road Race Championships
Arthur Doyle (Dooleys Cycles) leads.

And we catch the break as it whistles in to Balfron; Arthur at the front; Alf Engers would shake his head – an 80 mile road race the weekend before the 10 champs ?

Scottish Road Race Championships
The split is making progress – the gap is down to 90 seconds.
Scottish Road Race Championships
The bunch hasn’t abandoned all hope.

# 9: back round against the race to the valley road, the sun’s out again and the shadows of the clouds scurry across the Campsies.

Scottish Road Race Championships
Arthur leads, Gary Hand brings up the rear, neat, tidy – fast.
Paul Coats.
Paul Coats.

The chasers are back out to two minutes, Robbie Hassan is there, so is Paul Coats – I don’t think they’ll make it.

Gordon Murdoch bridges across to the split – a good effort.

# 10: we move on again, back to the feed – Eddie Addis wants water.

We’ve missed the break, they flash past the van window.

And the split – Robs Wilkins and Hassan are off the front, two strong guys, maybe ?

We just make the feed, Eddie gets his bottle but the peloton is ‘battus‘ as they say in France.

# 11: we pass the lap marker board, they have three laps to go – a time or two we’ve seen them twice on the same lap.