I was talking to Dundee Thistle’s David Martin today ahead of this weekend’s Dundee Stage Race about who the favourites might be.
The only amateur stage race in Scotland starts on Saturday with a hard hill climb prologue that will suit the mountain goats and the strong.
Stage 1 is mostly flat in the fertile area to the west of Newtyle. Click the link to the prologue and scroll down for more information. It finishes with a steadily steepening climb that might either sap the legs of a tired breakaway or suit the strong man who times his final sprint right.
Sunday’s Stage 2 takes in some rolling roads and some long climbs, and is another very selective stage.
So who are the ones to watch? Being a Category 2/3/4 event the Endura boys won’t be there- many of them will be getting started with the Tour Series- which will give an opportunity to some of Scotland’s strongest amateurs.
Last year’s winner, Rob Wilkins of Stirling is my pick. Nothing to do with the fact that he’s a clubmate- he’s a strong climber and took 2nd at the Trossachs Road Race last weekend behind Endura pro Evan Oliphant.
David suggested Super6 leader Graham McGarrity of Dooleys RT, along with junior rider Matt Hamilton and Glasgow Wheeler Kristoff Askness.
I would add Dougie Young to the mix too as he is a strong climber, and the Glasgow Wheelers have been riding well individually and as a team this season, with results from David Smith and Robbie Hassan, and some impressive tactical work.
Good luck to everyone entering and I hope this blog post is not the kiss of death for anyone!