EVENT REPORTS - June to Oct 2010
Welcome to the Glasgow Wheelers Reports section. If you have an event to report on, you can download a GWCC report form HERE, fill this in for you road, time trail, social or other event - add photos if you have them and EMAIL the webmaster!!.
Event reports from FEB to JUNE 2011.
Event reports from JUNE to OCT 2010.
Event reports from MAR to MAY 2010.
Criterium de Levallois (Paris)(by David Lang)
Date: 17th October 2010
The last event of the season in the French racing calendar (Sun. 17 October), saw the Club being invited to compete in the 14th edition of the International Criterium de Levallois, in Paris, thanks to both Alistair Forbes and the generosity of the organisers, Velo Club de Levallois. I acted as team manager / 'chaperone' for the team of Robbie, Jason, Dave, Rab & Grant. Flying with Ryanair from Prestwick to Paris Beauvais actually proved to be uneventful and as arranged Alistair picked us up from the bus station at Porte Maillot in their Club minibus. We then dropped our bikes & kit at our hotel before going out for a meal with Alistair. As the race wasn't until the Sunday afternoon, we decided to 'chill out' and took the opportunity of taking a trip up to Sacre Coeur & Montmartre to experience the Paris night-life. We all had a great evening soaking up the 'Parisian atmosphere' with their chic nightlife and live rock music. On the Saturday, following an early lunch, we all cycled into the heart of Paris, and followed the main tourist route taking in all the main attractions, past the Palais des Congres de Paris, and then to the Arc de Triomphe, down the Avenue Des Champs Elysees, past the Grand-Palais to the Place de la Concorde, the Musee du Louvre and the Hotel de Ville. We then crossed the Seine, taking in both the Palais de Justice and Notre-Dame, before a fast run back along the riverside to the Hotel des Invalides and finally Le Tour Eiffel, before heading back to Levallois and our evening meal. However, I think we were all agreed that the best experience was actually cycling down the Avenue Des Champs Elysees, when you could almost imagine what it must be like to race over the cobbles which are actually much rougher than you would imagine when you watch Le Tour de France.
Following a fairly early night, and Sunday morning breakfast, Jason & I went out for an easy hours ride around the Bois de Boulogne, which we had both wanted to visit. It was a cold grey morning and both of us were somewhat taken aback at the huge number of joggers and walkers out in the vast parkland area which I suppose is really the only place to get some real exercise within Paris itself.
In the afternoon, about an hour before the start of the International Criterium I had a brisk warm-up before the supporting gentlemen's race over the ridiculously short distance of 2 laps (3.6 kms), bearing in mind that the main event was over 108 kms (60 laps). From the start, I felt good and stayed near the front of the small field, before sprinting out of the last corner to win the race.
The start of the International Criterium was predictably fast and within the first 2 laps, two French riders, Loic Desriac (C.C. Etupes) and Thomas Rostollan (A.U.C. Aix), had powered away from the field to quickly establish a gap of some 35 secs, and take all of the early primes. Our riders were all within the main peloton, with Rab in particular, being fairly active close to the front. After about 20 laps, a series of ferocious attacks produced a chasing group of 17 riders who eventually caught the two leaders. By then the race was effectively over for the large remaining bunch, who were eventually lapped by the break. Then 10 of the riders from this breakaway group continued their attack and again moved away from the main field. By half distance, our riders were all still in the large main field and unfortunately Rab then punctured and was forced to retire. With 10 laps remaining, the Dutch rider, Leander Schreurs (Team Koopmans Cube), attacked alone and built up a lead of some 30 seconds. By this point, there were only 8 riders remaining in the chase group who were slowly reducing the gap lap by lap, to the race leader. With only 3 laps remaining, Grant was also forced to retire with an attack of cramp. However, Leander Schreurs was still looking very powerful in the lead and although reaching the bell lap with his lead now reduced to only 9 seconds, I still thought he would hold off the chasers. In a frantic finish, I was somewhat amazed to see the German rider and winner in both 2007 & 2009, Michael Schweizer (Lexxi Team Trikot), steal the race victory right on the line, with another German rider, Dimitri Claeys (Netapp Allemande) finishing a close 3rd. Bearing in mind the strength of the opposition, being mainly pro riders from Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Luxemburg, Portugal & Switzerland, our guys all gave a good account of themselves, with Jason being our best finisher in 25th place, with Robbie 29th and Dave 41st.
I can safely say that we all had a fantastic and memorable week-end and would certainly hope to be invited back next year.
Kingscavil Hill Climb (by David Griffiths)
Date: 17th October 2010
The Kingscavil hill climb took place just outside Edinburgh, a 1km long steep climb best described by this picture. From what I’d heard, it was a total power climb: an uphill sprint for just over 2 minutes. The field was over 50 riders strong, and from the start sheet, the opponents looked more formidable than the ones in the Scottish Championships! I knew from training I seem to be good at short sharp climbs, but it was time to put this to the test! I was fortunate to get a very late entry; I’d delayed due to transport issues, but discovered I could catch a train to a nearby station. As there was a runner’s event also, and Gary, one of my university friends runs, we decided to enter as a cyclist/runner team.
It was an early start, leaving Glasgow before sunrise, and we got to HQ 10 minutes before the runner’s event started! We quickly cycled to the hill, and I started my practice run, cheered on by some very enthusiastic children! I waited at the top and watched the exhausted runners crest the hill, all 9 of them! Gary had overtaken the runner in front, and finished a respectable 4th. There was an hour’s wait until the start of the cyclist’s event, and for Jon Clarke to appear, to accompany me on my warm-up. After just over half an hour, my number was up.
From the word go until the finish I was out of the saddle, powering my way up the hill, but my legs didn't feel too good. The climb ramped up twice, and I almost dropped my chain changing down a few gears. Gary was standing about 300m from the finish, as it flattened off. His shouts of encouragement caused me to put in one last effort, and I sprinted all the way towards the finish line; complete with photographers and bagpiper! After the finish, I wasn't anywhere near as drained as the week before, but I could taste blood and my throat was very painful on inhaling!
I cycled in a circuit back to the foot of the hill, to speak with my team-mate, who had set off a few minutes after, and had been able to cycle straight back down the hill. I felt disappointed with my performance, so was shocked when Jon said he'd overheard the timekeepers mention Arthur Doyle's new course record of 2:14 and David Griffiths close behind at 2:17!
My second place was confirmed at the presentation, and was rewarded with some prize money and a new Endura jersey! Elaine Lowden of the Wheelers also came 2nd in the women’s event – a great ride. Jon had done well to come in at 10th place, especially as he hadn’t ridden the hill before, and we narrowly missed the team prize; I suppose we have to give the other clubs a chance sometimes! Next climb I'll be aiming for one higher!
Scottish Hill Climb Champs (by David Griffiths)
Date: 10th October 2010
On 10/10/10, 3 Glasgow Wheelers (Kristoff Aksnes, Andy Underwood, and I) took part in the Scottish Hill Climb Championships near Falkland, Fife, up the notorious Purrin Den.
I wasn't sure what to expect, as this was my first major event. I had a lift there with Kristoff; one of the best climbers in Scotland over a long drag, and hoping for a podium finish. The hill was certainly formidable; it loomed menacingly over the HQ village of Freuchie, a large transmitter at the top.
The hill was about 1.5 miles long and climbed around 1000ft. It was a fairly constant gradient, ramping up at about half way, and towards the finish.
The practice run didn't seem too bad, at low intensity and with a tailwind, but the actual race pace ascent was torture! My 40 minute warm up ended with an effort to get to the start (Jamie Kennedy of Couriers exclaimed at the pace Kristoff and I passed him!) and I arrived 1 minute before my number was up.
I set off hard, but immediately was gasping for breath and thought I had overcooked it on the warm up and the start, as soon just turning the pedals became an almighty effort.
Ed Hood, my personal photographer at veloresults.com (and kind provider of the featured photos)was at the half-way point; I grimaced at him and shook my head, just as he took the photo! I carried on, but almost stopped twice as my legs just weren’t working - I’d be kicking myself for this later.
The final stretch was arrow-straight, but ramped up significantly. I was spent, but the sight of riders in front, including my 4 minute man, spurred me on. I got out of the saddle, and pushed, but my arms wouldn't work due to the effort, so I sat back down, passing one or two riders, to collapse in a panting heap, at the finish line.
I'd given it my all, and after taking several minutes to catch my breath, spoke to Andy who had set off before me, and was pleased with his ride. We watched a few handy-looking riders crest the hill, including Kristoff; beating the course record by 9 seconds! After congratulating my team mate, I sat down, but began to feel ill. I felt sick, and almost passed out a few times, and quite a few guys pointed out how white I looked!
I got a lift back to HQ with Andy and after putting on a jumper and eating, felt better and waited for the results.
Unfortunately, the course record had been broken again, by Scottish Time Trial champion Arthur Doyle, so Kristoff had to settle for 2nd, still an excellent result. I was overjoyed to find we had won the team prize, gaining my first ever medal, but even more so when the results were read out. I finished 4th overall, 2 seconds from Jamie Kennedy and a podium finish! The mammoth effort had been worth it!
1 Arthur Doyle Dooleys RT 06:48
2 Kristoff Aksnes Glasgow Wheelers 06:59
3 Jamie Kennedy Glasgow Couriers 07:32
4 David Griffiths Glasgow Wheelers 07:34
5 Craig Wallace Deeside Thistle 07:38
10 Andy Underwood Glasgow Wheelers 07:46
Falkirk Team Race - 'For The Jersey' (by Kristoff Aksnes)
Date: 12th Sept 2010
The Glesga Six terrorised the opposition to grab 'the jersey'. Once more the Fawkirk have our admiration as the most committed and generous volunteering cycling outfit in the country. Cheers lads, maybe time though to take a look at that kit design. Kristoff reports on the action.
With a jam-packed weekend of racing the executive decision was taken to put on a show at the Scottish Team Road Race Championships rather than tackle the hilly classic that is the club's very own tour of the Campsies. We had a full 6 man squad turn up at Grangemouth Rugby Club for this unique race format. It's not a case of getting 1st place as an individual but for your team as a whole to have the best overall placings. Weather was quite good but windy so echelons were expected. This is a mainly flat course with one small power climb and is about 10miles long per lap. We were to complete the lap 6 times.
After the usual flurry of attacks, one stuck as we turned left towards Cowie hill on the first lap. Rab was is this break and as we approached the climb Dave and Robbie move up towards the front and both powered up and made it in to this break as well. I knew that I needed to follow them but lacked the explosiveness so decided against it. The remaining 3 of us were in the bunch and thought that that would be it for the day but after a lap and a half the guys were in sight. There was a slight lull when they were caught but soon after Rab and Dave attacked together. I was near the front at the time and shot of after them on my own so as to not drag riders with me. Tactically, we slowed to let a few other riders including Dougie to join us. So we had 4 in the break but the problem was there was only a few others helping as well and riding into the wind proved difficult. It was a case of making the right moves but lacking the fire power needed to hold it out. With a lap or so of slowly being reeled back in Eddie Addis (Stirling BC) and Dave were off the front before the bunch caught us. They rode together for the final lap and a half. Eddie won, with Dave getting 2nd. We now had to rely on good placings in the sprint finish which we got with both Robbie and Rab in the top ten. We won the event with Falkirk a close 2nd.
This was a great team effort as there was always one of us at the front of the race. A more convincing win seemed possible but it was always going to be hard as we were limited to 4 of us maintaining the gap in the break while the remaining teams in the bunch worked to reel us in.
1 Glasgow Wheelers
2 Falkirk BC
4 Stirling BC
5 Edinburgh Bicycle Works
7 Johnstone Wheelers
Lammermuirs Road Race
Date: 11th Sept 2010
Another win for Robbie Hassan in this hilly classic hosted by Edinburgh Road Club.
The wheelers team for today was Me (Robert Hassan), Rab Wardell and Dougie Young. The course was 4 laps of the Gifford super six circuit then a 20 mile hilly lap then finishing on the Redstone Rigg accent.
Right from the gun we were all getting into breaks but nothing was sticking well. It was only in lap 4 that a large group got away. Starting the climb from Redstone Rigg Gifford side, the group started to split up. On a steep section of the climb, I managed to get away with John Kermode.
We stayed away through the 20 mile lap, gaining a lead over a minute from Davy Lines. A bad head wind, made it really tough for everyone. 500 metres to go I jump Kermode, finishing ten seconds ahead and 1 min and 27 secs ahead of Davy Lines. Dougie did a fine ride to come into 6th place.
It was a well organised race, thanks to the organisers and helpers.
Perth 2 Up (by Jon Clarke)
Date: 5th Sept
After a disappointing result at the Scottish TTT, Kristoff and I were determined to make amends at a new open 2-up TT event hosted by Perth United Cycling Club. We had been riding well together in training and so headed through to the 16 mile course at Bridge of Earn with a sense of optimism. It was a perfectly calm sunny morning and after several coffees (our new pre-race regime) and a fairly long warm-up we set off towards the back of the 23-team field. The first section involved a long steady uphill drag prior to an undulating section with several sharp corners into which I was slowing a lot more than Kristoff. Still need to re-build my confidence following crash 5 weeks previous. The second half of the course had some shorter, steeper climbs which we both stubbornly managed in big rings as neither of us wanted to be the first to change down. I suspect we would have gone quicker in smaller ring and a cadence in double figures! Kristoff had no cycle computer and when I told him ‘4 miles to go’ he heard ‘1 mile’ and so decided we should ‘smash it up’. Possibly the hardest 4 miles I’ve ridden, mainly into a headwind that slowed down what would have been a very fast final decent. Our final effort earned as 3rd overall (by 2 seconds!) behind 1st placed pairing of Stuart Moran and Steve Cairns from the home club who did well to pip the Granite City duo of Veli-Matti Raikkonen and Ali Watt by 4 seconds.
This was our first 2-up pairing and on reflection we were pleased with how we worked together; Kristoff tended to lead most of the climbs, I would mainly lead the decents and the flat sections were shared. We would both like to build on this for next season and with some more TT-specific training I suspect we could have a respectable pointy-hat contingency within the Wheelers. Have even heard rumours that Keith may be staging a TT comeback!
1st Stuart Moran Steve Cairns Perth United CC 00:36:45
3rd Jon Clarke Kristoff Aksnes Glasgow Wheelers 00:37:38
Roabie Robertson 10ml TT - West Ferry (by Craig Dick)
Date: 29-30th May 2010
For many this was to be the last 10 of the season, and for Jon and I it was to be the final showdown of the Pat McCabe trophy – a contest that has had more intrigue, back stabbing and underhand behaviour than can be found in Tony Blair’s memoirs! The Pat MCCabe trophy – more like Shakespeare’s MacBeth, or I should say the ‘Scottish play’:
So, with the theatre full we headed to the West Ferry on an evening that was somewhere between balmy and fresh. The course was feeling fast, but mid-week testing is the art of the retired or students and those with 9-5 (or worse) commitments looked a bit more haggard than their usual Saturday morning selves. I arrived suitably early, having only just made the start of last weeks 25 by 12 seconds, and gave Kristoff a hand to blow his tyres up (a tactical error on my part). I couldn’t find Jon at the start – he had obviously been content that daily texts and emails were enough to get the psychological edge. In the hope of salvaging some mental strength I headed over to talk to Eric, the club mind-setter, and he didn’t let me down, although he did seem a bit annoyed that I was suggesting that I was attempting to pace myself and lift it in the last 3mins. I was left with the impression that 10mile TT pace is the equivalent of getting yourself up to a speed which should feel like you are hanging by your fingertips from a window ledge and then hold on for the next 20–odd minutes. Elaine’s approach was to get out and enjoy it, an attitude that was to serve her well tonight. Again I missed Isobel at the start, but had it on good authority that the form of old was on its way back.
After a good warm up on the turbo I headed out to the start and got myself together, only to see Kristoff arrive just before I was leaving. Had I been a seasoned tester I’m sure I could have worked out the significance of this, but it was beyond me at this point. 3,2,1…off I went on to the West-ferry window ledge, and indeed it did feel fast. Perched out here on the end of the saddle with the clyde dominating the vista, there was a slightly eerie, but pleasantly diffuse hazy light and it was on the right side of feeling cool; you could see the back of summer and feel the breath of autumn. As always happens after the first short minutes the horizon narrows and you concentrate on clinging on to the turn, hoping that there is a tale wind. Well, I’m not sure there was, but there certainly wasn’t a head-wind either, and after coming up for air I gave it everything I had on the way back, barely able to gasp out my race number.Well, what can the Wheelers take out of this – good times on the night, although Isobel was disappointed by 1 second, and Jon will have to console himself with the Pat McCabe (due to Kristoff coming in before me) while he sells his cycling kit on e-bay; I quote ‘If I don’t get under 22minutes…..’. Eric has a had a wee run of bad luck and things not quite clicking for him in the last couple of events and I truly feel for him, given that he always seems to pull a PB out of me just bychatting to me before the start – hopefully I shall return the favour next year. Elaine had a stormer and cracked the 25mph barrier I would have had this as ride of the night, and it still might be, but Kristoff’s performance is truly remarkable and deserves a bit of analysis. 1) He was held up at a roundabout or two and was only few seconds from the winning time, 2)He must weigh about 60kg, 3)In order to go this fast he must be putting out around 330-340W for 20minutes, 4)If you do the analysis this puts Kristoff in the power to weight ratio of a domestic pro! The facts speak for themselves.
We should all take heart from this years TT performances and try and build solidly on this over the winter. Almost everyone has got better as the season has progressed and as one old hand pointed out to me – most people in his club got their PB’s on the last race of the season, suggesting that there are too few races to get the best out of us. Therefore, I think a bit more focus on lactate threshold in the early pre-season is required from some of us so that we hit the Correiri Classic running, but it’s easy to say this as the nights draw in and midweek 10’s are replaced with mid-week bottles of red! Next stop – the club dinner, is that a year already?
Battle of the Braes (Stirling Bike Club Race Report)
Date: 28th August 2010
Stirling Bike Club organised the first 'Battle of the Braes' Road Race on Saturday. The hilly 54 mile course began at Maclaren High School in Callander and headed south towards Thornhill, before turning towards Port of Menteith. At a hill by the Lake of Menteith, the first King of the Mountains points were contested, which were taken by John Kermode of Dundee Thistle. The mountains prize was sponsored by Scottish Woodlands. The race looped back around to Thornhill with several riders beginning to feel the pace on the short, sharp hill there.
Then followed three very tough laps that took in the 'Mini Braes' and Braes of Greenock climbs. At the top of the Braes of Greenock, King of the Mountains points were awarded on lap 1 and 2. Several riders broke away from the bunch to contest this 'race within the race', which was won overall by Veli-Matti Raikkonen of Granite City Road Team, from Aberdeen.
On lap 3, Stuart MacGregor of Dooley's Cycles tried to break away from the bunch and to solo to victory but the difficult course made it tough for an individual to stay away and he was caught. Alistair McNicol and Andy Matheson counter-attacked and only just stayed in front of the peloton until the finish, where McNicol won the sprint by less than half a wheel. The marauding bunch were right on their tails though, and had the race been 200m longer the top three places might have looked very different. As it was, veteran John Kermode took 3rd. Jason Roberts wasn't far behing with a solid 6th place finish.
Scottish Team Time Trial Champs - Eglinton (by Jamie Drever)
Date: 23rd August May 2010
The Wheelers were able to field two squads for this annual team event. With a stiff breeze, conditions were challenging, especially for those with heavy legs after the poorly scheduled national crit champs the day before. In this category were Robbie Hassan and Jason Roberts, both members of the A team along with the fresher Grant Stevenson and myself. While the rest of the team calmly and patiently continued their race prep, Grant worked up a sweat looking in vain for his race license (later found in his car!), the panic enough to raise his heart rate nicely to threshold. The pre-race practice sessions were definitely proving their worth as we worked nicely as a quartet, sharing the pace fairly evenly. If Robbie felt the Scottish crit in his legs, it didn't show. His enthusiasm was reined in more than once with a couple cries of "steady" during the 30 miles. I definitely needed all the aerodymnamic help offered by my pointy hat and disc wheel to keep pace with Dumbarton's young prodigy. Undoubtedly one of the Club's strongest climbers, Grant powered the team along a number of draggy sections towards Kilmarnock, taking longer spells at the front. The strongest however was definitely Robbie though. A good team effort netted 5th overall with Sandy Wallace Cycles bagging a fine win from the all-conquering Endura outfit. If we'd actually all been on TT bikes who knows what time we'd have recorded.
The B team also looked a strong contingent with in-form testers, Jon Clarke and Andy Underwood combining with top climber, Kristoff Asknes and promising junior Sam Matthews. For Sam this may have been an event too soon after an early season broken collar bone and he struggled for pace, dropping off from the remaining three riders after 15 minutes. We know there is however much still to come from Sam, still aged 17. Being well matched the guys worked well together until a broken spoke on Jon's front Zipp wheel disrupted the rythm and then hampered progress as the wheel started to rub against the brake shoe forcing Jon to sit at the back. This left Andy and Kristoff to effectively ride a 2up time trial to the finish and clocking a time which in no way reflected the team's ability.
Billy Warnock Road Race (by Nicky Cronin)
Date: 15th August 2010
With the B race over subscribed and the A race lacking numbers I decided to give the latter a shot for the first time. My own objective was just to get round in the bunch…….and take the sprint at the end!!! Seriously, I was out to enjoy the day, get round and try and build a bit of form….and perhaps top up the holiday tan as well. Not quite the race mentality I’d hoped for at this time of year but hay ho!
The Wheelers had a team of 6 entered for the A race with Davy Lang doing the over 60 category in the B race. I know… check that man’s birth certificate! In the A race was Jason, Grant, Robbie, Kristoff, Tommy and myself. The race started pretty quick with lots of attacks but finally an excellent piece of riding saw Robbie and Jason get into a move of about 10 riders. This left the rest of the Wheelers sitting in the bunch chasing down moves before the bunch got organised and started chasing down the break.
As the break got caught towards the end of the race I think Evan Oliphant attacked and made a committed attempt for the win. During this time Robbie and Jason were back in the bunch but in a cracking move considering his efforts earlier, Robbie attacked on his own and caught Evan before the finish. From what I saw of the finish Evan took the win by a midge’s…..width.
The rest of us finished in the bunch. Tommy looked pretty comfortable all day and finished strongly. Kristoff had made an earlier attempt to bridge the gap to the leaders so he would have been feeling the legs at the end. Obviously in good form, Grant looked like a caged animal in the bunch but he said the legs weren’t up for the sprint at the end. A good thing really because Jason and I were looking to try and set him up for the finish. Yes, there we were limbering up the neck muscles ready to \“Glesga kiss\” anyone who dared to get in the way of our \“train\” and no Grant to be seen. Well you could just see him, the only problem was he was up the front and his lead out train was at the back. It’s the thought that counts right?
Date: 11th July 2010
A fine 2nd place for Grant Stevenson on a wet and wild day around the Eaglesham moor. Grant lost out to regular Premier Calendar top finisher Matt Kipling. An exceedingly good ride Granty boy! Here's his review of the race -
The start sheet had 55 (or so) brave riders for The 60 Mile Road Race on the familiar A77/ Stewarton circuit. For the sharper guys amongst you, you will have noticed the distance was 60 miles with 20 miles over the 3 laps and the finish up the Ballageich. Everyone who rode this race will certainly remember the ‘neutralised’ section up and over the moors towards the A77……..the strong cross wind, the driving rain and little shelter on the moors, it felt harder than many races and that was before we’d even started. There was even a rider who had enough and turned back after he got hit by a strong gust of wind on the neutralised section. So, to the race. Firstly, you’ll need to forgive me for the lack of detail. My memory is not great at the best of times, never mind 10 weeks ago.
Right from the word go, there were individual attacks throughout the race but nothing that managed to stay away. It wasn’t until 2nd lap that an attack took place by Dooleys that broke the group up. At a guess there were 20 riders in it including EK, Dooleys, all the Wheelers (Rab, Jason, Graeme, Jon and me) and Mat Kipling. It wasn’t until the 3rd lap on the climb from the Stewarton Rd to A77 that the group split up again. A dig went on the hill by Mat and no one went with him. I decided to give it a go myself and was lucky enough to stick with him. With 2km to go, Mat dragged me along but I was struggling to contribute and had to bail out and settle for 2nd. EK had other ideas however and big Gordon and Stevie were chasing me down and managed to catch me at the foot of the Ballageich. They continually attacked me but I hung in there and made a counter attack with 300 meters to go and got 2nd. A hard fought battle took place behind with the Wheelers getting 6th with Neagle, 8th with Rab and 14th for Jon. Jason, apologies, I can’t remember what happened to you, if you got a puncture or not?
All in all, a great result for the Wheelers with only 20 riders finishing out of 55 on a wet and windy day.
Report: Arthur Campbell Memorial Race (70 miles) by David Lang
Date: 26th June 2010
The 3rd running of the Arthur Campbell Memorial Road Race, on Sat., resulted in a fantastic win for young Robbie Hassan and his Glasgow Wheelers team-mates. This year’s race, held over 4 & a bit laps of the tough A77 circuit from Newton Mearns, proved to be a real team effort for the Wheelers. As soon as the flag was dropped on the Stewarton Road, Alan Thomson (Glasgow Couriers) surged away from the peleton. Surprisingly, no-one gave chase, and within the first few minutes, Alan was 200 metres clear, before we saw any reaction from the bunch. However, by the time Alan had reached the top of the climb up Bannerbank, he had been joined by Robbie Hassan, Dave Smith, Rab Wardell (all Glasgow Wheelers), Rob Wilkins (Stirling Bike Club) & Rob Friel (Team Raleigh). This group formed the winning breakaway and working well together, established a gap which went out to approx. 1 minute 20 secs by half distance.
Despite determined efforts by the chase group which had also broken clear of the peleton, they could make no impression on the leaders, due in part to the policing efforts of Jason Roberts & Grant Stevenson. Into the last lap, with the remainder of the peleton back together and the breakaway group of 6 still intact, the gap had risen to just under 3 mins. Once they turned onto the A77. the Wheelers trio then set about trying to drop their breakaway companions, but into the wind it became an impossible task and the pace soon dropped. By the time they reached the left hand turn onto the Stewarton Road, the gap to the main bunch had by then, been reduced to around 45 secs. Then the attacks resumed, with Rob Wilkins effort up the first drag, seeming particularly painful. However, with 3 Wheelers present, it still looked sewn-up, and so it proved, when Robbie launched the winning break about a mile from the finish. With both Dave & Rab sitting on, the steam had gone out of any chase and Robbie rode away to a clear win up the finishing climb, with Dave Smith 2nd and Rob Wilkins 3rd.
Event reports from MARCH TO MAY 2010.