These photos come courtesy of Marian Lamb of the www.cyclingulster.com federation web site, via Dany Blondeel, Founder of the Belgian Project.
Michael Nicolson wins a stage of the Tour of the North, an international stage race in Northern Ireland, last weekend. He was competing for a Scotland team that included Jack Barrett, Taylor Johnstone and Rab Wardell.
Michael won stage 3 at Magherafelt, putting him in 3rd place on GC in the 4-day event. He was 8th after the three-quarter mile prologue, two seconds back and after the 72 mile second stage had moved up 1 place. His teammates were able to help defend the time gained on stage 3 and he moved up into 2nd overall on the final day- great result.
This is just what I have been able to piece together quickly from the results sheets but there is a fuller report of the terrain and the race evolved on VeloUK.
February sees the first time trials of the season, the Ice Breaker 2-up, followed by the 3-up in Musselburgh in March- both races can be windy and cold affairs and the shelter of a team-mate or two to draft behind is essential. These team time trials open the year, with 10 mile races dominating the calendar in March and April before the longer 25s and 50s come in. Early on there are a couple of mountain TTs with the Knockhill Mountain Time Trial and the Tour of the Meldons, amd then much later in the season a couple more classic hilly TTs: the Tours of the Campsies and Trossachs, and finally the hill climbs starting around September. We have a lot of time trials.
The good news for any Scottish amateurs who have invested in top-end kit in the past few years, is that. Scottish Cycling won’t be adopting the new UCI regulations for the specification of time trial bikes. The bad news is that they will be phased in over the coming years. So a bike like with the Specialised Shiv nosecone below wouldn’t be allowed.
The UCI now specifies some pretty restricive technical regulations about time trial bikes, and as Scottish Cycling is the internationally recognised governing body for cycle sport in Scotland it would normally be subject to the UCI technical regulations for time trial bikes.
I did a short post on the great VC Moulin jersey design, a club that specialises in cyclocross, and got some good feedback. Then I noticed the jersey had been picked up by WTFKits, an American blogs that celebrates ‘bad kits and bad-ass kits’. VCM comes into the latter category.
Image Trina Ritchie
‘Tis the season for ‘Top 10’ style lists, so here’s a brief rundown of some of my highlights of 2011 where Scottish racing is concerned. I certainly haven’t watched everything closely- these are just the things that stand out, off the top of my head. Please contribute your own ideas in the comments.
in no particular order
Arthur Doyle’s 19:45
Arthur is pretty much the best time triallist around, particularly in 10s and 25s and this blistering time at Westferry at the end of August was brilliant. Check out this discussion on Braveheart which looks at other 19 minute rides.
Having had a successful racing season so far, with strong results at international as well as national events, Endura Racing are now in the final stage of their preparations for the Tour of Britain which will start in Peebles, Scotland on September 11th.
I’m disappointed not to be watching the Scottish stage of the ToB this year, having enjoyed being a roadside spectator in 2008 and 2009, but the start in Peebles is sure to be a spectacle, with the borders town having fully embraced the race over the past few years.
Endura’s Jack Bauer, former NZ champ
Congratulations to Jane Barr and Evan Oliphant, womens and mens road race champions respectively for 2011.
Through a combination of tweets and text messages from friends I was able to bring you a brief report on how things went down, and have now added a bit more detail once full results and reports were published.
The women’s race kicked off in the morning and Jane Barr won an uphill sprint to retain the championship. 2nd and 3rd place went to Sandy Wallace riders – Gemma Neill and Claire MacAulay. A particularly strong ride from Gemma, who had punctured and had to chase to get back on. A mention for my clubmate Lettie Chambers (Stirling) who did very well to place highly as well as Jay Burgess (Sandy Wallace) and Katie Wylie who I had mentioned in my preview.
Claire Macaulay (Sandy Wallace Cycles), bronze medal, and Jane Bar (Velocity 44) winner
A sneak peek of the unofficial Scottish champion’s jersey to be presented to the winners of the Road Race championships this weekend.
It has been designed by Tom Worthington, including all the details down to the blue piping on the stitches. The Saltire is subtly included, but the design veers away from overt National flag motifs as these are already present on quite a few club jerseys. The top band is blue, and the bottom band is much more purple than it appears in the photo. See the design artwork below for a better idea of colours- the purple (in real life) is similar to the Scottish Commonwealth Games kit.
The design went through a few phases and then reverted to a classic champions style with horizontal bands- a timeless design.
Here’s an opinion piece on the upcoming champs- please bear in mind this blogger has been following Scottish cycling for a mere 3 years, so if you think I’m wrong, please post a reply and share your thoughts!
The men’s event is littered with top class riders. When you look at the field in the context of the last couple of years there is lots of interest.
pic: Granite City RT
Last year’s champion Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) is back to defend his title, and is sure to be one of the favourites. I’d recently speculated that he perhaps wasn’t in the form of last year- however this has been shown to be armchair punditry, as when he’s raced in Scotland he has done well. Hewill be in great condition after racing down south and abroad but will of course be a marked man.
The Scottish Cycling Road Race Championships are this Sunday 22nd May 2011, with Race HQ based in Balfron.
Vortex Race Team is organising its first Scottish Championships and it looks to set a new standard. The ‘Endrick Valley’ circuit will be used for the first time, a course befitting a Scottish championship, located around the historic town of Balfron which lies between the Campsie Fells and the Trossachs.
It’s a little after the event but having done a post on days 1 and 2 of the Tour Doon Hame it’d be a shame not to finish it off. Again, couldn’t get hold of any free-to-use pics but there are plenty of links here for you to explore.
The race on the road
There’s little point recapping live race tweets and incident when Ed Hood’s roadside report is up on Veloresults. He has the contacts and gift of the gab to get interviews, quotes and snaps of all the top riders, as well as an insightful view of how the race panned out on day 3.
Zak Dempster took the overall after he took bonus seconds in a sprint and his team controlled it after that. Jack Bauer kept hold of a podium spot and the King of the Mountains which was good for Scottish fans.
Also brilliant was Robert Hassan’s top 20 GC finish. He has been strong all year.