Monday, May 27, 2024

Scottish Road Race Championships 2021


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We used to have Brian Blessed as the voice on the satnav. Today however, on our journey north to watch the Scottish Road Race Championships 2021 it was Daffy but even with our little American Black Duck guiding us it’s a fair old hike from Peebles to Bridge of Alford.

From the Cairn o’ Mount to the circuit is lovely countryside; great for the bike with very little traffic. 

We just missed the finish of the ladies’ race atop Suie Hill but got straight to work; a chat with 2021 Scottish Road Race Champion, Ms. Becky Storrie, Brother UK-Cycle Team OnForm.

Photo©Martin Williamson

But not before the vintage tractors had trundled past – happens all the time at the Italian Nationals.

Becky Storrie is the Scottish Road Champion for 2021. Photo©Martin Williamson

Becky’s race covered less than two laps of the circuit – of which more later – but included two ascents of the stiff Suie Hill climb;  we started by asking her about the brevity of the race.

“Yes it’s a pity it’s such a short race but on the other hand I think that idea is to attract more girls to ride, not putting them off with a long distance.”

And the winning move?

“I put a dig in first time up the hill with the idea of getting clear with the two Beths, Maciver and Morrow, that’s how it played out but I was surprised that we were reeled in, so I realised that I’d have to put in an even bigger hit the second time up – and that’s what I did.”

And next up?

“I have a National B race tomorrow and I’m hoping that the ladies’ RAS  in Ireland goes ahead – and I’m looking forward to the British  National Champs, which are incorporated in the Lincoln GP, I like that hill on the finishing circuit…”

The two Beths did indeed finish second and third with Beth Maciver (Torvelo Racing) second and Beth Morrow (Storey Racing) third.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2021
Beth Maciver (l) (Torvelo Racing) was second and Beth Morrow (r) (Storey Racing) took the bronze. Photo©Martin Williamson

Best Junior was fourth across the line, Morven Yeoman (Tofauti Everyone Active). 

Scottish Road Race Championships 2021
Morven Yeoman was fourth, a great result for a Junior who had to ride restricted gearing. Photo©Martin Williamson

For the record, three non-starters, 24 started and 23 finished on this unforgiving parcours.

* * *

The Circuit

Robbie Brown of the race organisers, Spokes RT has put a lot into the race calendar this season, indeed this event was the 14th race the team has organised in Scotland this year!

There has been only been one other road race or criterium not organised by Spokes RT this season, the Ben Forsyth Criterium which was run by the Edinburgh Road Club.

Rolling through lush farmland out of Bridge of Alford through Montgarrie to Keig and then a fast descent to quiet Auchleven, left on a narrow, gnarly, recently-resurfaced road through Leslie past the Garioch Aero club grass landing strip, to hang a left and ‘bang!’ into Suie Hill.

It’s a belter, steep early with a hairpin then not quite so savage but at two kilometres long, a tough climb.

The descent is fast and not technical with a good opportunity for those who have less fear than the rest to make up lost time before starting the next lap.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2021
The view from Suie Hill. Photo©Martin Williamson

But does every race really have to have a ‘killer’ climb like Suie which destroys the field early in the day?

Perhaps – we’re not race organisers, after all…

* * *

Lap One

It’s lovely, bright sunshine on the hairpin and three are away and well clear; Messrs. Davie Lines (Wheelbase Cab Tech Castelli), Aidan Quinn (Dooleys Cycles) and Jason Roberts (Vanelli – Project Go). 

Scottish Road Race Championships 2021
Photo©Martin Williamson
Scottish Road Race Championships 2021
Photo©Martin Williamson
It’s steep. Photo©Martin Williamson

Two are chasing in ‘no man’s land’; Alastair McNicol (Dooleys) and Ray Wilson (Ryan’s Bike Surgery) with a face-pulling peloton not so far behind.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2021
Photo©Martin Williamson
Ray Wilson. Photo©Martin Williamson