In the language of the Gael, Glasgow is, ‘The Dear Green Place,’ on Sunday for the European Road Race Championship it was certainly ‘green’ – we’re not do sure about ‘dear’ though; it was grey, miserable, and wet – just plain DREICH.
But we still love the city – last time we went west for the Commonwealth Games Road Race, this time we decided to get soaked in the East End.
I hope you like my (dull grey) pictures from our wander round the east end of the circuit.
Lap one and first man to ‘honour the race’ was JLT Condor’s Irishman, Robert-Jon McCarthy who’s a double stage winner in the Ràs.
Big Ian Stannard wasn’t looking like he was enjoying things and all those Buchanan Street buskers wouldn’t be chuffed about losing their pitch for the day.
The Kristoff fans were out in the drizzle but it wasn’t to be a repeat, the reigning champion and Tour de France last stage winner was just one of scores of DNF.
And here’s the man himself, before he ‘chucked it’ – if you’re as old as me then you’ll remember the Kellogg’s City Centre Criterium winging through that arch back in the 80’s.
I tried for an ‘arty’ shot here with the seven man break which had formed around McCarthy cresting the hill – not sure it worked, the Glasgow weather and my Nikon just weren’t getting along.
And even this early in the day the Italians were present at the head of the peloton.
“My gears are slipping, honest!” – but you only get away with that the one time.
Remember the tall skinny guy who attacked on the Poggio in The Primavera, giving Nibali the stepping stone to his beautiful victory?
Krists Neilands, Israel Cycling Academy, is the man; this year he successfully defended his Latvian Road Race Champion status and won on the tough gravel roads of the Dwars door het Hageland in Belgium, he’s a coming man.
Here he leads the break into the top turn at the Cathedral.
And those I-talanz, as Sean Kelly calls them, were still to the fore, not too much slack cut by these boys.
And not one rider even stole a glance at the beautiful cathedral in front of them.
An appropriate street sign on a day of constant greyness and drizzle.