Monday February 19, 2018

2010 March to May - EVENT REPORTS

GWCC Reports Section

A great start to 2010 from the guys with a number of wins through the spring. Early successes were followed by tough Easter stage racing in Dumfries and Northern Ireland with a constant sprinkling of Super6 success too.

Kristoff wins in Dundee Report: Dundee Thistle 2 Day (by Kristoff Aksnes)
Date: 29-30th May 2010
A squad of Jon, Grant, Keith and I were riding this event. The prologue is a 1.5 mile effort circling around then going up law hill. Riding this climb before really benefits you as you learn that you can't push it too much on the flat section of the course. As his first race attempt, Jon put in an impressive 4-26 giving him 16th equal. Speaking to him afterwards, he mentioned he went a bit too hard at first then suffered for it on the steep sections. Grant is no stranger to a short a sharp effort as current GWCC hill climb champion so expectations are a top 5. He gets 3rd behind Rob Wilkins with 4-11. Keith puts in a 4-39? placing him 25th , well up on the majority of the 80 starting riders. For me, I knew what to expect and just hoped I could push myself all the way to the top. It turned out good with 4-05 and the win, heading into the afternoons 54 mile road race in yellow!

Stage 1:
After about 2 hours to get some food down us and relaxing in the car it was time to begin the next stage, a 54 mile road race round 6 laps of flat roads. I didn't turn down the chance to wear the leaders jersey despite it being typically 2 or 3 sizes too big (is this just a Scottish thing?!). It began to heat up a little more as we started. We had nearly 10 miles of a slow neutralised section with newly laid gravel on the road making for wobbly riding. There was also some gravel on one of the 90 degree left turns on the race course which caught out one rider and nearly another. A fair amount of attacks were attempted with one sticking for 2 laps but this was reeled in by some determined riding including a lot of fast riding from Keith who was mainly to thank for the eventual reeling in of the break. The plan for us was to protect my lead on GC and try not to do too much work. From past experience, three is rarely a break that gains significant time so in terms of wanting to gain massive amounts of time for the GC it isn't really worth it. Having said that, I was marking Rob Wilkins (a strong favourite for the overall). Everyone else was also marking him so he was always reeled in. For the chase of the break up in front, we were doing some through and off riding which eventually worked. More flurry of attacks but nothing sticking for the last lap and in the last 3 miles riders were jostling for position ready for the pounce to the line. It was a slight uphill finish. Grant was in a good position and got tenth. I got a bit boxed in but just wanted to not lose any time so was happy with 18th. Jon got 30th after some good riding in a fast and quite technical race – and his 2nd road race. While Keith had dropped back a bit not contesting the sprint. Local boy John Kermode timed his sprint well and took the stage win.

Stage 2:
16 hours and garlic breads later – as well as staying up to watch the euro vision song contest of course, we were greeted with 8 degrees temperatures and pouring rain. I was lying 2nd overall on GC and Grant was 5th, our obvious plan to protect this and get one of us on the podium or better. This course suites all 4 of us; is quite hilly with one main climb lasting about 8 mins and two other drags. They are steep and really take it out of your legs after the 3 laps. There was a fair pace set by the Leslie Bike Shop boys at the start of the race before we reached the first lap but once we hit the first lap with no one team was really willing to control things and people started riding individually but nothing looked promising so we just followed wheels waiting for the road to go upwards. We went up the first drag quickly shedding a few stragglers. Another fast pace was set by leslie bike shop on the last climb of the lap but nothing too difficult. Possibly an opportunity missed for really putting the hammer down and forming an early break? Halfway round the second lap after no one willing to be at the front setting pace, Peter Murdoch launched a strong attack off the front and more or less time trialled away. He was joined by a few others but no one in the top 7 of GC. This was the one to be in (with hindsight), however we were not helped by certain riders teaming up and blocking the road 3 abreast, not sporting and a bit pathetic. After a lap of the race slowly slipping away from us and the realisation that the break upfront was pretty handy, I put an end to a flurry of attacks and went a bit faster on one of the small drags. I was joined by 6 others and we worked well all the way to the end. Grant and John were in the main group and I think by this point Keith may have been on his way back to HQ?! A bit pointless to finish for the sake of finishing when on most days he's well up there.

Back to the race and as we hit the last climb of the day I was feeling empty and got dropped well and truly, losing 2 minutes for that last mile and dropped from 7th to 23rd on GC. Grant rode well with the surge to the line initiated by Rob Wilkins and nearly caught me on the line. Jon had a puncture on the final lap whilst in the main group and lost some time on Grant's group but rode strongly and passed riders on the final climb. The race was won by Peter and 3 juniors were in top 6. We all had our own reasons for feeling disappointed with today's result but can all draw some positives from the race. I think we learnt some lessons that can only help for next time. For example, I have learnt that one gel is not enough for 50 miles in the pouring rain! Spare marzipan from now on.... Great race organised by Dundee Thistle again.

GC results:
Kristoff 23rd @ 3-50
Grant 24th @ 3-57
Jon 35th @ 5-41

Graeme Report: Sam Robinson
Date: 23rd May 2010
Nine Wheelers took to the start of this great race around the Trossachs area. With the sun splitting the rocks Kristoff's factor 25 sunscreen quickly became team issue and it certainly made a difference for the man himself, who is finally showing the talent we all know he possesses. Kristoff joined a strong break featuring three of our boys (Dougie, Robbie and Kristoff), Evan Oliphant and Paul Rennie. The bunch was fairly settled on the mini-Braes and on the road by Loch Venachar after the predictable flurry of attacks in the first 10 miles towards the Kippen roundabout. The peleton stayed fairly intact over the Dukes pass which was lined with a good support - no one running alongside the riders thankfully. No need for newspaper sheets from spectators at the top, the fast downward run into Aberfoyle gave the sweaty pack some much needed air conditioning. A few splits appeared on the descent which were closed on the rolling road to Thornhill. A crash in the feed zone at the Port of Mentieth brought down Falkirk's Martin Coopland, who was bruised and cut but thankfully nothing worse. The breakaway were caught near the start of the top of the world with Evan attacking again to bring a number of riders with him. Sadly Kristoff couldn't keep up his great work and dropped back. Robbie, Dave and Dougie managed good top tens (4th, 6th and 10th respectively)while the rest of the Wheelers pack came in with several remnants of a reluctant bunch, only sparking into life on the drag up to Kilearn. Apart from Kristoff, ride of the day goes to Jon Clarke in 37th in his first open road race - one to watch we think!

Graeme Report: Ingilston Crit Series - Where Neagles Dare! (Yep by Greame Neagle)
Date: 8th May 2010
Myself, dougie, keith, davie G and doctor Jon all travelled to edinburgh on saturday for the final round of the ingliston crit series. After a bit of confusion at the start we discovered that there was no elite race so rab and dave had to mess about playing football and bmxing on the sidelines. The race started fairly typical of a crit as it was pretty quick from the word go. Myself, dougie and keith who all have a bit of experience doing crits stuck close to the front of the pack to avoid having to do any extra work when the bunch was yo-yoing out of the corners. Doctor Jon and Davie G were positioned further back and were caught out a bit early on as a few splits appeared. About 10minutes in to the race I got away in a break with Ali robinson, Niall Aitken and an ERC rider. We worked well together for a few laps. The ERC rider was called back to the bunch by Ross Crook in an attempt to pull us back and save his series lead. They didn't manage and we went on to contest the win with me taking the sprint from Ali Robinson and Niall Aitken. Niall pulled his pedal out as he opened up his sprint which was lucky coz he's pretty quick and I may not have got round him. Dougie got in a late move with a few of the strong juniors in the race and stayed away to contest for 4th. He was forced to lead out the sprint however and came 8th. Keith had a biomechanical about half way through.

Report: M Steel Road Race, Northumberland (Tommy Murray)
Date: 8th May 2010
Today's race was the last round of the M.Steel saturday super series in the north east england. The race was 50miles in length, 7 laps of a circuit with a little steep (or "canny" as they say) climb in it. The conditions were quite windy so I was thinking the race would stay together. The 1st lap stayed together then half way round the second lap there were quite a lot of attacks but nothing sticking. I kept my eye on the series leader who goes by the name King Kenny and had been told by a lot of people he was a ringer for these races. He attacked before the climb and no-one jumped onto it and he was slowly getting away then on the drag about a mile long before the climb the bunch was closing on him and once we caught him I saw the tired look on his face - so i launched an attack on last part of the hill dragging another 5 guys with me. I was lucky that the group of guys got working straight away and started to open a gap of around 30secs pretty quickly which then grew by the last lap to over a minute. At that point I knew we were going to stay away. The finish was up the steep canny climb and got away up it to take the win and more importantly get enough points for my 2nd cat licence!

Report: May Day Gallop (by David Griffiths)
Date: 3rd May 2010
The morning of the 3rd of May, a four strong wheelers team made their way to Falkirk, to compete in the May Day Gallup; a 50 mile APR. The Wheelers’ riders consisted of captain Davie Lang, Jon Clarke, Andy Underwood, and I. Arriving at the strip: a rugby club (which to Davie Lang’s delight was equipped with luxurious changing rooms and even showers; a rare sight at a cycle event!), we found there to be a few clouds but it was warm, with only a slight breeze: all in all, good cycling weather. After watching 2 Endura riders (Davie Lines and Ross Creber) pull up, we entered the clubhouse to sign the start sheet and collect our numbers. Here the guys encountered a few problems. Out of the 5 groups, Jon, Davie and Andy had been placed in the 4th! Andy was quite happy to be where he was, citing it’d be better training, whilst Jon, and Davie, having only raced three times, and being a veteran, respectively, were not so content. I was placed in the second, so no complaints there! After explaining his situation to the organiser, Jon was eventually allowed to join group 3. However, the organiser was not so keen to move Davie, and they were involved in a ‘heated dispute’ for quite a while. Davie was eventually begrudgingly placed in group 3 also.

Davie, Jon and I then warmed up by cycling part of the race route. It was a fairly flat course, 10 miles, to be completed 5 times, with one slight drag the only thing to resemble a climb. The time came to start, and we lined up, waiting for the flag to be waved. Davie decided he was joining me in the second group, and was spotted by the organiser. Despite being threatened with disqualification, he stayed put, and we set off together. Our group consisted of many experienced, but older riders. Consequently we had an efficient chain gang set up, but at a fairly steady pace. Nevertheless, our updates from the marshals at every junction showed we were steadily gaining on the group in front.

The first 2 laps passed without incidence, but on the third, I noticed Davie was ‘off the back’ of the group, so I pulled back to see how he was. After discovering he was just conserving energy, I told him I was feeling pretty good, so he suggested I make a break for it at the top of the aforementioned incline, and he’d come through and try to establish the break. I dropped back, to ensure I was fully fresh, and on reaching the hill, began moving up the field with Davie. On his command, and in the words of the great Graeme Neagle, I put in an out of the saddle effort and ‘smashed the group off my wheel’! Unfortunately, Davie was ‘smashed off my wheel’ too, so I thought of Fabian Cancellara, and pedalled on. I had opened up quite a gap, but after a mile or so of solo effort, I decided I couldn’t hold on for another 20 miles on my own, so eased off and rejoined the bunch.

Near the beginning of the fourth lap, I attempted another 2 breaks, but again, no one would join me, so I sat up and conserved my energy for when the big boys inevitably came through. Half way though the lap, I could hear the whoosh of deep section wheels, and sure enough, the group behind: a merger of groups 3 and 4, began to roll past. On spotting the jerseys of Jon and Andy, I picked up the wheel of one of the faster riders, and joined the group. This was considerably faster, with a few people, including Jon and Andy, attempting breaks, but to no avail.

On the fifth lap, we were joined by the scratch group, with the Endura riders, and the pace picked up again, but still there was no break, perhaps due to the Endura guys racing 90 miles the day before! By this time we had caught all riders in front, save for a break of 3 women from the first group. On the flat stretch up to the finishing line, we were in a group of around 30 riders, all jostling for position. During this, one of the riders from the scratch group bridged the gap to the ladies, largely unnoticed. He went on to win the race, with a massive bunch sprint for 4th. I was stuck behind quite a few riders, and was pretty frustrated, as I could’ve gone significantly harder. However, I was reluctant to take too many risks to move up, on account of self preservation, and preservation of Jon’s bike, which I was borrowing!

In the end, Davie Lines of Endura won the sprint for 4th, with Andy, Jon and I 11th, 21st and 19th in the sprint respectively. Davie Lang was not far behind. In my opinion, it was a good performance from us all, and I thoroughly enjoyed the race, as it showed me that with a little more experience and training, I should be aiming for top spot in all the lower category races I enter.

Report: Drummond Trophy RR
Date: 2nd May 2010
As election fever grips the country the Drummond consistuency saw a lower rider turnout of 51 labour their way to the start line while the more conservative riders stayed at home, avoiding a parcours featuring a liberal sprinkling of climbs. First past the post were the Endura riders, Evan Oliphant and James McCallum with our own Robbie Hassan 3rd in what turned out to be a three horse race.

Debuting in Wheelers' colours was Tommy Murray, the team's new signing - a promising future no doubt lies ahead for the talented Borders man. Shortly into the action and on the first ascent of the Drumclog climb the same fate befall Jamie Drever as has hit Gordon Brown's election campaign to date - the wheels came off! With a spaghetti shaped rear wheel bringing him to a halt an impossible chase to get back on meant the team was one down inside 10 miles elapsed. Rab W made an early break at this point.

The 95 mile route and tough cold, windy conditions meant this was a real race of attrition, resulting in a number of non-finishers.

Report: Barrmill APR (by Craig Dick)
Date: 1st May 2010
With the cream of the club heading off to the Drummond on Sunday the real hard men of the Wheelers decided to take in the Barmill APR, which is rapidly gaining classic status in the west of Scotland; not just as an enjoyable day out, but also due to a section which has some very close resemblances to the Arrenberg Trench of Paris Roubaix and a mini-Muur that has to be ascended 6 times before the finish, although there were racers who thought that 5 circuits were enough (more of this later).

Davie Lang, Jon Clarke, David Griffiths and your humble correspondent all got their names on the start sheet and headed to Ayrshire, the weather and course having being booked by Paul MacDonald from the Johnstone Wheelers! (This man is heading for an OBE). There wasn’t much team tactics chat at the start given our low numbers, but the general agreement was that would try and get in the top ten or twelve and work away to close the gap. There were 3 groups off, with 6 minutes between them, and David, Jon and myself were last to get going with Davie a bit up the road in front. As decided we were at the head of affairs for a lap and a half or so, which passed in a rattling haze. The key factors in this 9mile circuit, were going to be the ‘mini-Muur’ on the far side of the course, the wind, and the Arrenberg-trench after the start finish which was more potholes than normal road. Positioning was important and after a couple of laps I could almost tell which side of a rider I had to be on and when I could use a hedgerow to move up a few paces. After a couple of laps I saw Davie Lang come into site and gave him a shout to get in, but the legs were heavy today and I saw a shake of the head –such is life and there’s no point getting upset about it. On lap 3 I decided to drop back a bit to see what was going on behind and got a bit of a shock at the size of the non-participating group. Most noticeable were a few of the other Glasgow Clubs that had the same numbers as us, but were showing a lack of ambition. This was my first race in 5 years and it suddenly came back to me –you can either a) Be strong enough to get away – not me at the moment, b) Sit in, let others work, and hang on for as long as you can – definitely me at the moment c) work and get dropped later on – also me at the moment or d) Let others work in the hope that you can deliver a low moral blow by appearing from behind when the race is being decided – not something I have ever been capable of, not due to morals only lack of physical prowess. At this point I opted for option (b), with the view that at some point I may ascend to (a)but would settle for (d) and conceded to myself that (c) was the only true path to (a), but it sounded too much like hard work.

I moved back up the bunch to inform Jon of the philosophical position I had adopted and try to bring him over to the dark side too, but he is made of sterner stuff and had it in his mind to close the gap. David was still going strong at this point and I semi-relented with a few more turns on the front. The next time up the climb Jon put in a real dig to try and get away or shake things up a bit at least, and this worked to some extent, but there was a block head-wind over the top and no-one willing or able to keep it going. I definitely felt this one and was unable to close a small gap shortly afterwards and had to rely on Craig McQueen from Falkirk Wheelers to do the work. Shortly afterwards he closed a much larger gap to the group in front, as did Mark Richards from EKRC and a few others.

Round and round again, I was losing count now, and my legs were getting heavier. Up to the front for another chat with Jon, this time on the start/finish straight. I encouraged him to push on with another couple of guys that had gone off the front and said I would cover anything from behind. Jon moved over and a gap of 15m appeared and I let it go, but sure enough it was shut down just as we came into the Arrenberg trench. The fifth time up the climb and the elastic stretched extensively for David and I, but we clawed our way back on. David made an amazing recovery and I saw him clip off the front with Steven Robertson from EKRC. I got as far as thinking about it, but that was all. David came back to us at the finishing strip, but had over-cooked it a bit thinking, as quite a few others did, that this was the last lap and that was the race over for him. As expected the hammer went down on the last approach to the pave, at the head of affairs were some Courriers who were well supported from the sidelines, and Jon’s frustration got the better of him at this point. I shouted as I came by and assumed he had latched on but gaps appeared and the wheel he was following gave up.

I barely made it up the hill this time, an enormous space opened up, I cramped in both legs, things stopped working, I barely maintained my continence and thought it was all over. However, I could tell the bunch had slowed down over the top. So I looked at the tarmac, thought of absolutely nothing, shut my eyes and gave it 30seconds of my last. Having regained contact I caught sight of the lead group – 15seconds ahead, we never quite made it there, and I was left contesting the sprint in what was left of the scratch bunch. Another great day out again. There are the highs and lows of cycling and for me this was a large high. It doesn’t have the same ‘I beat ‘em up’ theme as the Eagle of Bearsden’s reports, or we won it ending such as Robbie’s stories. This was more about survival and not getting dropped – but I’ll be getting dropped this Tuesday on the A77 so don’t worry!

Report: David Campbell Memorial RR
Date: 25th April 2010
The race was first run 40 years ago and became the David Campbell Memorial in 1969, the talented, young Glasgow Wheeler having tragically died in a collision with a car in the 1968 edition of the event. The next 4 years saw the Wheelers make the race their own. In 1969 a rampant Billy Bilsland was laying the foundations for a five year pro career with Peugeot and Raleigh as well as honouring his club mate. In his last Scottish race before heading for France, he won all the primes, the king of the mountains and soloed to the victory. With versatile Sandy Gordon in 2nd and Bilsland’s brother Ian in 3rd it was a Wheelers whitewash.

In 1970 it was Highlander moved south, Sandy Crawford who kept the trophy for the Glasgow men. The talented Crawford would subsequently race in France but never really lived up to his early promise. The following year saw Crawford 2nd with Sandy Gordon taking the win on a very hard day. It was Gordon again in 1972 underlining the talent that saw him win Scottish titles in road, time trial and track events. Turning back the years it couldn't be more fitting that a talented, young roadman in the Club's famous blue banded jersey surged across the finishing line in first place. His name - Robbie Hassan. Though exhausted in the post-race press conference Robbie told our reporter that "it was a great race. Davy (David Smith) and Dougie did well, I had cramp in the last 30 miles but had enough to win the sprint. Brilliant!"

Graham Barclay describes the action.

With the riders half way round the first lap and just starting the descent down towards Springfield crossroads, a crash brought down five riders including Hassan and Gordon Murdoch (East Kilbride RC). Most of the riders were able to pick themselves up and rejoin the bunch. First attack of the day was by Alistair Robinson (Team Leslie Bike Shop/Right Move Windows) as the race headed towards Pitlessie. Wilkinson was first to respond and soon joined Robinson and the two built up a lead approaching 40 seconds. These two spent over a lap in the lead with Robinson passing through the sprint in the lead with the gap coming down to 20 seconds. David Smith (Glasgow Wheelers) took off in pursuit of the leaders catching them before the hill prime on Porters brae but again Robinson rode through the prime in the lead as the trio started to make ground on the bunch.

As they started the third lap, the gap was up to 1 minute 15 seconds however a group of seven had started to chase. In this group were Hassan and Dougie Young (Glasgow Wheelers), David Lines and Ross Creber (Endura), Robin Wilkins (Stirling BC), crash victim Gordon Murdoch and Niall Aitken (Pedal Power). The midrace sprint (prime) was again uncontested with Smith taking the points from Wilkinson and Robinson. These seven riders made the junction at Pitlessie, with another three chasers, Veli-Matti Raikkonen and Kevin Barclay and Junior Matthew Hamilton (Team Leslie Bike Shop/Right Move Windows) at 20 seconds and the bunch at 1 minute 45 seconds. On the steep accent of Cadgers, Hamilton made the junction to the leaders with Barclay and Raikkonen dropping back to the bunch. At the prime, Robinson jumped this time for the points with Wilkinson and Wilkins taking the other places.

On the final lap, the 11 leaders consolidated their lead with the gap increasing to 2 minute 20 seconds and as they climbed Cadgers for the final time, Wilkinson attacked and Hassan gave chase. The break split into several groups as the pace skyrocketed. As the race headed onto the short finishing circuit, the leading duo opened up a lead of 30 seconds as the rest of the break all rejoined. With Endura and Glasgow Wheelers defending their leaders, the gap was at 50 seconds as the leaders passed through the finish line with two five mile circuits to be completed. As they took the bell, Wilkinson attacked but couldn’t shake off Hassan and the pair continued increasing the lead to 1 minute 30seconds. Heading towards the finish and with around 1 mile to go, Hassan refused Wilkinsons gestures to lead into the long slightly uphill finishing straight. Wilkinson left the sprint as late as he could and with around 75 metres to the finish the sprint started, Hassan coming past Wilkinson on the line for the win. Full results on Braveheart.

Report: Humbie Hilly 23mile TT (by Jon Clarke)
Date: 25th April 2010
Having failed to get a ‘call up’ for the National 10 I had to settle for the 23 mile Humbie Hilly Time Trial in East Lothian and viewed this as the perfect opportunity to test my newly acquired time trial bike which I’d ridden once the day before! My early arrival (in torrential rain) allowed me time to drive round what I thought was the course (2 x 11.5 mile circuit) but my suspicions that I had gone the wrong way were finally confirmed when I had to stop at some traffic lights in a village centre. Even my wife who had come along with the promise of a sunny day out questioned the logic of having traffic lights on the circuit believing it to be unfair on those who were unlucky enough to get stuck at a red!

After an initial attempt to warm up on my turbo trainer in the rain on a sloping pavement I realised it was only a few minutes until my start slot so decided to head straight to the start. My rear tire had randomly decided to deflate and so by the time I got to the start (wet, cold and without a warm up) I had already missed 20 seconds.

The course conditions were fairly tough with wet, muddy roads and a strong breeze – not the ideal first outing for my bike. My legs warmed up after a few miles and I was pleased with my pace having drawn inspiration from a good-luck text sent to me earlier by Craig Dick reminding me "it’s for the glory of the Wheelers!\” A few of the climbs were difficult on account of being stuck in my 54 chain ring but I was still able to pass the 6 riders in front of me by the end of the first lap and remained out in front for the second lap with no-one to ‘chase’. The winning time of 58:52 reflected the poor conditions and my own time of 1:02:25 placed me 11th. I was disappointed with my time and above all my poor preparation but feel confident that I can now produce a respectable 10, provided I manage to warm up!

Report: Scottish 10mile Championships (by Craig Dick)
Date: 24th April 2010
In what were probably the best conditions for racing so far this year a suitably glorious venue for the National 10mile TT was provided on the shores of Loch Eil just outside Fort William.

Jamie and I could not quite believe our luck as we unpacked and warmed up, with a view of the Ben and the Mamores providing ample distraction from staring at the readout on the computer. I was first off and snapped the club’s disc wheel into the ‘team issue’ Ribble, I followed the sound of the pipes to find the start line just outside Corpach. The outward leg felt reasonable; rolling, with some long stretches of what I thought were flat ground on good surfaces, the odd gear change was required but nothing too drastic. Dead turns are not great fun in a pointy hat, 53x12 and a disc wheel, but this one didn’t seem too bad. In trying to get back up to speed again I could tell, however, that it was going to be a bit of a struggle from this point on. Sure enough the outward sections that I had perceived as flat were clearly faux plait and there was a particularly long section in the middle that left me with the feeling that I just wanted it all to be over as soon as possible. Not to get out of it too easily the last half mile had a distinct climb just before the finish and it was hard to wring anything out of the legs after that.

The Big Man with the Ben in the background I headed back down to the Loch-side to give Jamie the ‘scoop’ on the route and introduced myself to Robbie Hassan on the way. He had driven the course, as we had, and I passed on my impressions and wished him luck. Jamie was in full canter on the turbo as I arrived and clearly getting in the mood for it. Having carried out my domestique duties I saw him off at the start and hung around for another 22.58mins until he came back over the line – enough to secure 38th position and a good time on what was generally regarded as a tough course. Drever’s form is on the up. Robbie, clearly benefiting from all the information I’d given him on the parcours, topped the Wheelers score sheet at 22.41mins in 31st and I brought up the rear in a slightly disappointing 23.31mins but managed to stay in the top half of the field in 56th position (113 raced – if there had been any less I would have called it ‘upper end of middle third’, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!) In an awesome 20.37, Arthur Doyle blew the field away by a huge margin, setting the course record - a fitting tribute to the memory of Jason McIntyre, whom the event was dedicated to.

Another great day out for Wheelers, although the numbers ‘selected’ for the Nationals next year should hopefully be up given the interest being shown by testers Nick Badcock and Jon Clarke in recent times. Admittedly the (time driving:time racing) ratio in this event was high, but that was far from our minds as we dropped the club wheel off to Jon for his Humbie TT the next day. The expense seemed like a drop in the ocean in comparison to Jamie’s mate that was about to charge him £20 a head for his cocktail party that night – you guessed it they are from Edinburgh. With the Wheelers being represented in 3 events in 2 days over the weekend, you cannot help but feel the club is on the rise. Note: For definition of ‘selected’ please see Monsiuers Dick and Drever privately.

Report: Nicky Hardy RR (by the ever modest Graeme Neagle)
Date: 18th April 2010
Myself, Kristoph and Nicky Cronin travelled up to Dundee for the Nick Hardy race today. We left Glasgow in relatively nice conditions and arrived at the race HQ with pouring rain and really cold temperatures greeting us. We all signed on and it was evident by the lack of smiles that everyone was enjoying the conditions. The race was 50 miles set over 3 laps. The course had a few draggy climbs but it was a big ring circuit. The race was fairly typical of a 3rd/4th cat race so lots of wee attacks happened and everyone was willing to chase them down rather than get across and start trying to build it into something. Kristoph made several attacks in the first half of the race, however he was either left out to dry for a while or the whole bunch would jump on him. Half way through lap 2 Greg Brown of dooleys managed to get a wee gap on the bunch. I jumped and bridged across to him. We worked well together for a wee while but I got over excited and smashed him off my wheel over one of the draggy climbs. I had a reasonable gap on the bunch so decided to plod on alone. An erc rider bridged across to me and we again worked well together for a while before I smashed him off my wheel on a climb too. I ran out of legs somewhat from all the smashing I was doing and was swallowed up after a lap alone and with half a lap to go. Just as I was swallowed Peter Murdoch and Andrew Leith jumped hard and managed to stay away with Andrew Leith taking the win and Peter second. I tried to get a chase going but no one was up for it. Coming up the last climb it was quite subdued, however Kristoph was struggling after his constant attacks in the early stages and he drifted towards the back of the bunch. I managed to stay near the front and demoralise Greg Brown some more by cruising past him in the sprint to take 3rd. All in I thought it was a good day out. Nicky Cronin and quite a few other members of the bunch succumbed to the bitter cold temperatures and pulled out early on. Yeah it was that cold!!

The one that mattered - Dougie and Robbie in the break Report: Super6 Round 2 - Methil
Date: 10th April 2010
Round 2 of the Super 6 series was the Duncan Macgregor Memorial RR. It was held on the usual course with 3 big laps to be completed along with a hilly finishing circuit integrated into the last lap. The race had the full Scottish squad of 6 Endura riders with all the other Scottish amateur race teams and clubs well represented. A break of 14 riders went very early on over the first ascent up to Largoward. This contained all the Endura riders; myself; Robbie; Dave; Matt Kipling (the series leader) MTS Cyclesport; Liam Cowie of Granite City; Rob Wilkins SBC; Arthur Doyle Dooleys and Ali Robinson of Leslie Bikes. The group worked well over the next lap and a half. Coming in towards the end of lap 2 there was a slight lull in the group and James McCallum of Endura attacked, Dave was instantly on his wheel. Robbie and myself along with the Endura riders stopped working in the group which left the others riders to pull it back. There was a bit of jumping about at first with the other riders trying to get across to it however eventually Rob Wilkins managed to pull the pair back going up to Largoward for the 3rd time. Once this was brought back it went a bit ballistic. The Endura boys were constantly attacking for the next 30 minutes or so which caused the group to split just before the finishing circuit.

Rab proudly sports the green polka dots All the Enduras remained in the lead group with Dave, Matt Kipling and I also in it. The finishing circuit was quite lumpy which provided a few launch pads for the Endura riders to attack in pairs. This caused a bit of a plane crash with riders scattered everywhere. Evan Oliphant and Callum Wilkinson managed to get away together. Gary Hand and Ross Creber attacked aswell and managed to get away also. I didnt have anything to respond instantly to this as I was gubbed and was suffering from cramp. Matt Kipling, Davie Lines and I were a bit further behind in a group which left Dave and James McCallum a bit further behind us. Matt and I rode through and off for the rest of the race trying to get across to Gary and Ross. We didn’t quite manage as eventually Gary and Ross bridged across to Evan and Callum. Davie Lines was able to sit on as he had riders up the road. I knew I would never be able to beat Matt or Davie in the sprint at the end so worked consistently to the end with Matt knowing that if I managed to make it to the end I would take 7th. Dave rode the last 10 miles on his own holding off the chasing group behind to take 8th with Robbie coming in with the chasing group he took 13th. Thanks to the Wheelers for helping us out with our entry fees to these races!

Also worth a mention were the remaining GWCC riders in the A race - we had 7 in total. Grant Stevenson finished an excellent 17th in a group just ahead of the peleton, Graeme Neagle came in the same group in 20th. Keith Smith finished in the weary bunch in 33rd and Jamie Drever was 35th, losing 10 places in the last 300m after losing contact with the McGarrity group he'd been in for the final 15 miles (gutted big man!). Rab Wardell (left) had been riding well within himself in the bunch but was obviously on an off day after losing touch on the finishing circuit. We think it was the green polka dot climbers jersey that did it to you.....

1 Callum Wilkinson ENDURA RACING Elite 03:09:52
2 Gary Hand ENDURA RACING Elite 8
3 EVAN Oliphant ENDURA RACING Elite same time
4 Ross Creber ENDURA RACING Elite 10
5 Matthew Kipling MTS Cyclesport/ Inkland RT Elite 03:30
6 David lines ENDURA RACING 1st same time
7 Dougie Young Glasgow Wheelers 2nd U23 03:37
8 David Smith Glasgow Wheelers 1st 06:05
13 Robbie Hassan
17 Grant Stevenson
20 Graeme Neagle
Full results on Braveheart

The bunch charge through Dumfrieshire at the Tour Doon Hame Report: Tour Doon Hame
Date: 3rd - 5th April 2010
Over the Easter weekend I was racing the Tour Doon Hame. This is a brand new event, organised by the same committee who brought us The Girvan 3 day. The relocation of the event to Dumfries required a new name, and The Tour Doon Hame was taken from the locals of Dumfries; The Doon Hamers…

I was riding this event with my road club the Glasgow Wheelers. I was in a team of 6 riders; two young riders Robert Hassan and Dougie Young, Keith Smith, David Smith and Jason Roberts. We have had some pretty good results recently, and where looking to get stuck into the race. I was using the event for an overload weekend and to add some zip and speed to my legs. Also if the opportunity presented itself I would be going for results and break aways, as well as the others. The young guys where here for experience and to see what Premier Calender racing was all about, and it turned out that they where the riders that excelled. Matthew Kipling was also guesting for the Glasgow Wheelers.

The first stage was around 75 miles. Three loops where used. One big, two medium and a finishing circuit. The pace was fast and the racing controlled with the big teams going for the bonus sprint seconds to extent advantages and not break aways. This was the theme for the weekend and produced a lot of tactical and hard racing. It could be seen as a little negative, however it did add a dimention to the racing anbd kept the pro’s on their toes. I was doing my best to stay near the front, and was glad to see most of the Glasgow Wheelers up there too. Going into the finish after the big lap I had a go slipping off the front with a group, but it was going no where. On the first of the medium laps I puntured, there was a bit of chaos going on with other punctures and riders being shelled. I managed to get a wheel not long after puncturing from Corley Cycles and made it back into the bunch easily enough. Onto the second medium lap the racing started to kick off a bit more and I struggled to move up. The road was either blocked kerb to kerb or lined out. I had to stay where I was and suffered towards the back of the race and rolled in around 80th, unable to contest the sprint (I would have struggled anyway to be fair!). Bad news of the day was there was crash early on taking down a number of riders and as far as I am aware nobody was seriously injured. Unfortunatly for us Keith punctured not long after the crash and couldn’t recieve Nutral Service as the car was blocked and servicing other riders. (In road racing riders can normally swap wheels after puncturing and then follow the car back to where they where in the race. This is to make sure no one looses the race on a mechanical failure and is the same for everyone to keep the playing field level.) He didn’t get a change for 4 or 5 minutes and then lost a lot of time over the stage as he couldn’t rejoin where he was in the bunch. I was happy to see Evan Oliphant get second on the stage though, but it looked like a difficult task for him to topple Chris Newton who was flying; Matt Kipling was our highesat finisher in 10th. The young guys (Robbie and Dougie) had ridden exceptionally well, holding their position at the front of the fast moving peloton for the duration of the stage despite being tiny guys. Great job and very impressive! For us, recovery was now the priority and we headed back to the hotel to chill out, get some food, and sleep.

Stage two was the ‘Queen Stage’. One big 96 mile loop from Dumfries through Castle Douglas and the round and back to finish in Castle Douglas main street. There was a number of descisive sections on the race route and the wind and hills came into play. I was hanging tough in there through all the cross winds and hills until around 85 miles gone. Over the final King of the Mountains prime I dropped my chain shifting down to the little ring when just about on my limit. The race was kicking off right then with Marcin Bialoblocki attacking to split the race as previous winner of The Girvan. Once i remounted my chain there was no chance of me getting back on terms and I was content to ride home and save as much energy as possible for the final stage. Once again Robbie and Dougie showed the best performances of the Glasgow Wheelers and made the front split, Dougie unfortunatly punctured out of the group. Matt sprinted well again taking ninth on the stage. Chris Newton won the stage. I was a little disappointed with my road form; I seem to be lacking short bursts of power and every time I’m doing them it’s sapping me of energy. It’s not something I’m naturally good at, and I haven’t been training it too much as it’s not a priority right now for me. I was just trying to focus on the job in hand, getting some fast hard miles in the legs to build on for the MTB season.

Full Photos and results can be found at the Tour Doon Hame website

Graeme sprints at the end of Stage 2 Report: Tour of the North
Date: 2nd - 5th April 2010
A crack squad of five Wheelers heading over the Irish Sea to compete in the gruelling Tour of the North race. As regular visitors to this event we had some experience in the team, though among our quintet were three Tour virgins. They would not be broken in gently. Wet and windy weather turned a tough, hilly parcours into an unrelenting torture track. Shelter was difficult to come by with the frequent crosswind. Thankfully though wet and wild there were few crashes to speak of, unlike this year's Tour Doon Hame and Tour of the Borders.
Full results and photos for each stage can be found at the Tour of the North website

Fri 2nd April - Prologue, Stormont (Grant Stevenson)
Setting off from a dry and crisp early morning in Glasgow we arrived mid afternoon at our self catering accommodation in 2 two team cars rammed full with bikes, spare wheels, bags, tools, spares, 5 riders and 2 support members, Eric and young Sam. Following a quick dash around Sainsbury's for our food supply's, we got back to sort our gear and head off to the headquarters for Stage 1, the individual time trial. The first of four stage races was the traditional opening of the Friday evening prologue at Stormont wet and windy conditions. With the first rider off at 18.30 as the rain lashed down on Stormont Estate, the Glasgow Wheelers were warming up in the rain with Graeme the first to set off. Riders set off at one minute intervals up the hilly mile from the Prince of Wales gate to the parliament building. All Wheelers rode an excellent prologue to set them in good sted for the 76mile the following day at Dundonald. A hill effort this short always requires that horrible oxygen debt effort. I was really pleased to finish 13th with a time of 2:22, 9 seconds down on Cycling Ulster's Phillip Lavery who took the win. Next finisher Graeme was 28th, Kristoff 38th with Andy and Jamie 53rd and 65th respectively.

Hanging on over the top of Slieve Croob 1st Cat Climb Sat 3rd April Stage 2 - Dundonald (Kristoff Aksnes)
For the first road stage of the 2010 Tour of the North we had a 76 mile road race with a 1st cat climb and a 2nd cat climb to contend with. We set off on the 8 miles of neutralized section in damp and cold weather. Rolling along at 15/20mph warmed up the legs. I was still very glad to have stuffed some pages of Jamie's newspaper under my jersey for added protection against the wind! Once we hit Ballygowan we were properly off with the speed doubling. There were surges from the front as we got sucked along by the peloton. I had later found out that Andy had the misfortune of being struck down by another rider, splitting his chain in the process. This ultimately ended his weekend of racing as he was not allowed to race the following day – bad luck, and very strict rules as in past it was possible to continue to race the next day.

The surges continued until we neared the Slieve Croob 1st Cat Climb when everyone began jostling for position. Small chain ring was needed as we were on the climb itself. The Slieve Croob is similar to station road hill climb, Lennoxtown. It is perhaps a little less steep by goes on further and then levels out near the top. With the road being very narrow there could only be 3 or 4 riders wide and getting around slowing riders proved difficult. Grant, Graeme and I were positioned quite well with Jamie slightly further back. However an attack at the front of the race saw a split emerging as we were nearly at the top. I dug deep to latch on to a 2 or 3 man chase but the gap had already developed and were descending no quicker than the lead group of 20 or 30 riders. I looked back and saw a strong chased group of 15 or 20 riders including Graeme and Grant so eased off a bit to joined them. Jamie had lost contact with this group of riders and was fighting with little other help to get back on.

Making the selection on Slieve Croob Back to our chase and with most people willing to work hard we maintained a good speed as we left the climb and were riding along more rolling roads. We rode through and off and after 15miles saw some Rapha boys and the head of the race in front. With one last effort we joined the lead of the race. We had little rest though as some of the riders gave it some gas as they tried to break away and I soon found myself riding in the gutter. After a flurry of successful attacks, 3 of us wheelers remained nestled in the original group with no extra power to latch on to the breaks. After the breaks had gone our group rode slowly for the last 8 miles, losing almost 7 minutes from the winner – Philip Lavery of the Cycling Ulster team. Jamie's group rolled in 3 minutes back.

Dropped with a lap to go Sun 4th April Stage 3 - Limavaddy (Graeme Neagle)
Due to snow covering the climbs of the original course the route for stage 3 of the tour of the north had to be changed. The new route consisted of a 20 mile loop mainly on twisty back roads with a 1st and second category climb. We had to do this four times giving us an 80 mile total. From the neutralised section there was action as Martyn Irvine led a group away in an attempt to collect as many KOM points as he could ( he got loads and won the jersey). In the main peleton there was a lot of speculative moves coming and going but nothing of any importance. Near the top of the 1st category climb of the 2nd lap a big move went containing the yellow jersey and most of the other big name riders. I tried to follow it but got stuck in no mans land and eventually dropped back into the main bunch with considerably sorer legs than I had when I left. At the start of the last lap this bunch came back together and a big split happened in the bunch. Unfortunately no wheelers made it into the split. Myself and Kristoff were in a chasing group of about 20 riders and finished about mid 30’s. Jamie D found all the uphill bits too much and dropped back on the last lap. He managed to limit his losses quite well and came in a few minutes back from ourselves. Grant was noticeably absent from view for the whole race which was strange as he usually sits quite high in the bunch in a good position. It wasn’t until I saw him on the 3rd lap as I was drifting backwards and suffering horribly that I realised his pedal had fallen off and he was riding on the spindle. This isn’t the most efficient way to pedal your bike. Grant did really well to stick in as long as he did but was unable to get out the saddle and respond to any moves and eventually found himself drifting off the back. Grant had more problems coming into the finish when the marshall at one of the junctions wasn’t looking and he went the wrong way for a few minutes before being caught up and sent towards the finish. It should be noted that he still came in ahead of Jamie who had two pedals!! Stage winner was Matt Cronshaw of Rapha condor sharp. 2007 British road race champion Hamish Haynes took the yellow Jersey.

Only 60 miles to go Mon 5th April Stage 4 - Ballymena (Jamie Drever)

A weary peleton lined up for a hilly final stage to complete what has to be regarded as a lumpy edition of this annual race. Unfortunately further resistance was added in the form of formidable cross-winds and coastal gusts along the Antrim coast. Four Wheelers started and the same four would finish the race intact – the epilogue would however have a few twists left in store. The Ballymena stage follows a similar route to previous years and myself and Graeme were more than familiar with the parcours, which though an advantage did nothing to settle the nerves. The first climb came after 13 miles. Shane's Hill takes less than five minutes to climb in the big ring but undoubtedly had a few riders struggling. The descent from the top was particularly fast with gusts from the side not stopping speeds of over 50mph being reached on the road towards Larne. The juncture with the coast road introduced the bunch to blasts of sea wind and strong wafts of seaweed - though on reflection as I was sitting on Graeme's wheel it may have been a stench of Rego...... After several miles of jostling for shelter the road turned sharply inland to the next climb, a 1st Cat King of the Hill. With a break up the road the bunch rode gently up for the next 10 minutes, a head wind effectively neutralising the peleton from any uncivilised riding. With sore legs from the previous stage I was particularly grateful. Another fast descent on a narrow, twisty road ended with a sharp right turn onto an exposed moor, the bunch again being subjected to strong cross winds. I was almost dropped here but managed to hang on at the rear of the bunch, perilously close to losing contact. Unfortunately for Grant he did lose touch and had to ride the remaining 25 miles with a few other stragglers. It was shortly after this that Kristoff had the misfortune to puncture. He had been riding fantastically, so well nestled in the heart of the bunch that I cannot find a single photo to prove he even took part! After a slow wheel change he eventually hooked up with Grant's group, both unfortunately losing significant time on GC. The run in on the coast rode through Glenarm was epic with its sharp cliff faces, wild sea road and howling winds. Several near crashes were narrowly avoided before the assault on the final 1st Cat climb, the mighty Glenarriff. 10 minutes in I cracked despite the bunch pace being sedate with the race leaders off the front. Graeme hung on to finish in the bunch with a respectable place overall. I finished a minute back on the remnants of the bunch, pleased with how I rode and with aching legs. Overall a great Tour, thanks to our helpers Eric Cruickshank and Sam Matthews for their invaluable help throughout.A weary peleton lined up for a hilly final stage to complete what has to be regarded as a lumpy edition of this annual race. Unfortunately further resistance was added in the form of formidable cross-winds and coastal gusts along the Antrim coast. Four Wheelers started and the same four would finish the race intact – the epilogue would however have a few twists left in store. The Ballymena stage follows a similar route to previous years and myself and Graeme were more than familiar with the parcours, which though an advantage did nothing to settle the nerves. The first climb came after 13 miles. Shane's Hill takes less than five minutes to climb in the big ring but undoubtedly had a few riders struggling. The descent from the top was particularly fast with gusts from the side not stopping speeds of over 50mph being reached on the road towards Larne. The juncture with the coast road introduced the bunch to blasts of sea wind and strong wafts of seaweed - though on reflection as I was sitting on Graeme's wheel it may have been a stench of Rego......
After several miles of jostling for shelter the road turned sharply inland to the next climb, a 1st Cat King of the Hill. With a break up the road the bunch rode gently up for the next 10 minutes, a head wind effectively neutralising the peleton from any uncivilised riding. With sore legs from the previous stage I was particularly grateful. Another fast descent on a narrow, twisty road ended with a sharp right turn onto an exposed moor, the bunch again being subjected to strong cross winds. I was almost dropped here but managed to hang on at the rear of the bunch, perilously close to losing contact. Unfortunately for Grant he did lose touch and had to ride the remaining 25 miles with a few other stragglers. It was shortly after this that Kristoff had the misfortune to puncture. He had been riding fantastically, so well nestled in the heart of the bunch that I cannot find a single photo to prove he even took part! After a slow wheel change he eventually hooked up with Grant's group, both unfortunately losing significant time on GC. The run in on the coast rode through Glenarm was epic with its sharp cliff faces, wild sea road and howling winds. Several near crashes were narrowly avoided before the assault on the final 1st Cat climb, the mighty Glenarriff. 10 minutes in I cracked despite the bunch pace being sedate with the race leaders off the front. Graeme hung on to finish in the bunch with a respectable place overall. I finished a minute back on the remnants of the bunch, pleased with how I rode and with aching legs. Overall a great Tour, thanks to our helpers Eric Cruickshank and Sam Matthews for their invaluable help throughout. Final placings on GC, Graeme 38th, Kristoff 55th, Jamie 58th and Grant 63rd out of a start list of 104.

Dave Smith, back En Ecosse and winning races! Report: Dick Longdragon Road Race
Date: 28th March 2010

A hard weekend of racing with Gent-Wevelgem,the Criterium International and the Dick Longdragon dominating schedules of many of the top teams. Budgetary constraints dictated that we gave the first two a miss, if only because the Club Treasurer didn't trust the boys to go to Belgium and not fritter their cash on Duvel and frites. Granite City RT's Dick Longdragon road race had enough of a Classics feel anyway to more than substitute. Cross-winds, tail winds and head winds and the 'berg' before the Start/Finish meant the 70 miles were gruelling enough - we didn't see any Flanders Lion flags at course side though. A strong start sheet witnessed the Endura pair of Ross Creber and Gary Hand amongst others. Despite their pro-status we are delighted to reveal they were unceremoniously put to the sword after being Wheelered by a one-two in Dave Smith and Robbie Hassan. Dougie Young rode strongly to finish 6th after giving substantial support and Graeme Neagle also made the front break to cross the line in 12th. Jamie Drever and Kristoff both finished in the remnants of the peleton. At the post race press conference, winner Dave Smith issued this statement - "The race went really well today; everybody rode tactically very astutely. We were well represented in the first split having four riders in a group of around twenty. Around the midway point of the race I forced a split and we managed to get three riders in a move of seven. This put us in a really strong position and we benefitted from the fact that the others in the group were committed to seeing it succeed. We quickly built up a lead of around two minutes. Nobody seemed keen to try attacking from far out, maybe because it was so windy. This meant it came down to a sprint up the steep climb to the finish. I didn't hesitate and accelerated hard from the bottom. Nobody was able to respond and Robbie did the smart thing by letting the others chase and then sprinting round them at the finish. It was excellent to see everyone riding so well, we've bonded well together as a team over the winter and I think that showed today. Hopefully we can continue to get results like this over the coming months, I don't think there is any reason why the Wheelers can't put someone on the top spot of the podium at a Super 6 or at the Scottish champs!"

Report: Bill Jinks Memorial, Birminghamsh-sh-shire area (Keith Smith, English Chapter GWCC)
Date: 28th March 2010

While the guys were doing a good ride in the Dick Longdragon I rode the Bill Jinks Memorial just north of Birmingham. This was to be the last race before the Tour Doon Hame for me and a good gauge of my form at the moment. A full field of 80 rolled out, with a delay so that the air ambulance could pick up a casualty from the first race! Thankfully there were no similar crashes in our race. The race was 7 laps of a rolling 9 mile circuit and was quite exposed to the strong wind. Over the first 2 laps I was quite active and away in a few short lived groups of 2’s and 3’s. The strong wind had the race in the gutter though and by the end of the second lap 5 or 6 stronger riders came up to me and another rider who were between the bunch and another 2 riders up the road. The group worked well and we caught the remaining 2 riders, a few others managed to bridge from the bunch to give a lead group of 13 riders. Things soon steadied up and we got a good gap from the bunch. After a few laps of spelling I began to suffer and had to sit on for the last 3 laps or so, from there on I didn’t contribute too much to the group. With a lap to go a few attacks began to go, a counter from Mathew Gee riding for Raleigh stuck and he stayed away to win by 20 seconds. This counter split our group in two. I couldn’t quite make it into the first and ended up sprinting for sixth and managing ninth in the uphill sprint. The bunch followed us in at just over 5 minutes.

1st Mathew Gee Raleigh 2:24:28
2nd Carl Dyson Unattached @20s
3rd Alister Clay Halesowen CC st
9th Keith Smith GWCC @1m24s

Correris Cafe - a haven for cyclists since 19 canteen! Report: Corrieri Classic (By Jamie Drever)
Date: 22nd March 2010

A windy March day saw a field of 100 riders, simply blown away by Dooley's, Arthur Doyle. A time of 20:14 could only be seconded by Jim Cusick's 21:38 - which itself was reflective of the difficult conditions. Most riders were around a minute off their usual times which begs the question, what does Dr Doyle do to keep out the wind. A spectating Michael Nicolson remarked that he appeared to be floating - perhaps a lack of friction then could explain the phenomenal performance. We watch with baited breath for a special 19min effort from the chrono specialist. Never mind the ides of March, if this performance is anything to go for we need to beware the ides of April too!

A Wheelers contingent of seven lined up on a cold March morning, two TT virgins in Jon Clarke and Nick Badcock and other more seasoned testers, such as myself, Keith Smith and Isobel Fletcher. A postmortem of the course caused me to realise I had made the same mistake as many others and misjudged the wind which seemed tough on the way out to Kippen but unusually was even harder on the homeward leg, despite the majority of riding expecting a taily. Top Wheeler was Keith Smith in 23:13, camoflauged in a Caithness skinsuit (he's crashed too many times in his Wheelers one!). I trailed 5 secs behind and struggled all ride, never quite getting on top of a decent gear. Ride of the day for me was Craig Dick, returning to active competition with a strong 23:32, before facing a tougher test at home with two bambinos. Ex rugby player, Jon had a sound opening 10 with a 24:58 on his road bike. Who could argue with that time on their debut?! Also impressing was Nick, again without any aero assistance stopping the clock at 25:26. Isobel was slightly off her 2009 form in 28:18 and like many will hope for more benign conditions and faster legs next time!
Full Results on Braveheart

Report: Lake APR
Date: 22nd March 2010

Full report to come soon!
Full Results on Braveheart

Report: Musselburgh 3up (By Jamie Drever)
Date: 13th March 2010

After being asked by Robbie Hassan if I wanted to do the 3up with his dad, my first question was not should I do this event but how slow is his old man? This was my first mistake as I knew nothing of the calibre of Liam Hassan, though I knew his brother Davie had a purple patch in the 80s in Wheelers colours, winning races for fun. Having raced in the Super6 and struggled the week before I knew the roads were tough. To the Hassan clan though any incline is an opportuntity to dance on the pedals and reach for the sky. A 24.5 mile rolling time trial is always tough but over lumpy roads with tough winds and out of form it's hell. Both Liam and Robbie powered around the circuit, while I could only contribute efforts on the first and start of the second of the third lap. Hanging on to them was effort enough. Despite holding both back we crossed the line in a time fast enough for second, behing Leslie Bikes but ahead of a disqualified Dooleys (their 3rd man punctured, eliminating them from the race) and another 40 teams. A great result for team GWCC, great promise shown from young Robbie and a great kicking for myself which should help bring on some fitness!
Full Results

Robbie 4th in Dunfermline Report: Dunfermline MTT (By Robbie Hassan)
Date: 7th March 2010

Same course as last year despite some road works at the bottom sections of the course. Great conditions this year compared to the blizzards of last and a lot less windy meant the times were down as well. I was feeling fresh today as I only did a 1/3 of the Super Six the day before due to a puncture so I was raring to smash it today.

Arthur Doyle, one of Scotland’s best TT men was my minute man, so my dad timed us to the top of the main climb of the course and it turned out I lost no time to him at all which was good. However he soon closed the gap as I got to the bottom of the descent. I managed to hold a 10 metre gap as long as I could. The long, straight, drag descents didn’t suit me so after 10 mins he got away. But I kept powering away, and apart from getting held up by a turning tractor later on, I made it round the course really well.

I’ve only done a couple time trials before this one so I was happy with my time of 01:02:23, 4th position and beating some of the TT specialists. Last year I did a 01:08.Though I would have really liked to of got on the podium, only 13 secs away. I plan to do more TT’s as it will bring on my road racing efforts and good fun when no other events are on that weekend.
Link to Photos and Results

Rab in the break of the day Report: Super6 Round 1 - Gifford (By Rab Wardell)
Date: 6th March 2010

An impressive line-up of 9 Wheelers appeared on the start sheet of 80 riders for the series opening A race. Among those in form and expected to feature in this race were debutants, Rab Wardell and Dave Smith - both who have raced extensively overseas in both Club and national jerseys. Ride of the day undoubtedly came from Rab who was involved in the break of four riders who shot off the peleton on lap 2 of 8. Unfortunately for Dave a mechanical on the first lap ended his hopes of glory. Punctures for Robbie and Kristoff and a late biomechanical for Jamie ended their race. We'll let Rab tell the story!

It was the usual circuit at Gifford, eight laps, and conditions were good - usually there’s wind and that splits the bunch on the climbs. We had nine riders there from the Wheelers and we decided that we would cover every break. I went away on lap two with Matt Kipling (MTS), Callum Wilkinson (Endura Racing) and Michael Nicholson (Dooleys) and we stayed away all day. It did look like we might get caught at the end, though - Wheelbase and Leslie Bikes were chasing. Every one in the break worked well, no one gave up - but it’s not often that I’m in a position in a road race where I’m sprinting for the win. I was going to attack them late and try and go it solo but the bunch was chasing hard and it was a case that if I broke up the group then maybe they’d be caught and the bunch would chase me down; instead of sprinting for the win, I’d be 20th. Then late on, maybe a third of a lap to go, Matt broke a spoke in his front wheel, when that happened we all hesitated - I thought then that maybe I could beat him in the sprint so I didn’t attack. He was always the danger man - he’s pretty quick at the end and he won the sprint, Callum was second and I was third with Michael fourth.Read Rab's Veloresults Blog,