The Grampian Grand Prix

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The Grampian Grand Prix

Grampian Grand Prix, Alford, Aberdeenshire August 29, 2009

A new event on the racing calendar this year is the Grampian Grand Prix (Scotland). Here Andy Duncan offers a view of the event in his unique style.

The Grampian Grand Prix? Well I have some highlights in mind.
The prologue was interesting and some of the so called lesser known riders really put on a show. Adam Robson's wild style and courageous cornering put him right up near the top of the leader board. Young Charles Fletcher was outstanding with his fastest time and Liam Cowie looked very very good on the bike, gliding through the tight bends and ramping it up along the straights - excellent.

Obviously have to make mention of Colin Allanach. Hopefully Colin will be fit and back on his bike soon, looked a sore one but if nothing else, proved he was giving it some stick out of that bend.

The bunch racing was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I thought it might be a bit stale with just two straights and two hairpins but I was wrong! The first group race was mental fast with an attack every 300 metres or so. Liam Cowie was putting on the hurt and some of the fast guys looked to be toiling at times. Jon Copp showed his class with his late surge and special mention goes to Bill Dallas who must have been a Moto GP rider in his past life as he came careering round the final bend on several of the laps, on the inside over (or under) taking numerous riders - wild!! And great to watch.

The Group 2 races were excellent as well, even with a controlled pace (which seemed quite fast at times) the racing was good with some good learning points like trying to keep the wheels, especially when hitting the head wind sections. The second Group 1 race was a cagey affair but the stand out was Chris Whittle with a beautifully timed jump over Jon Copp and Liam Cowie into the final bend, which took some bottle and a very fast sprint out of the bend and over the line for the win, when it looked like Copp would do the double.

I enjoyed the tussle between Shelley Farrar and Morag Eagleson for the women's event with Morag really showing some promise in her bunch riding, ripping it up in a 3 up sprint with Shelley and Martin Flynn from Elgin to take the points by about a tyre's width only to lose out by a small margin on count back to the prologue - if her gears hadn't skipped at the start of the prologue she could have taken the title, unlucky for Morag.

The pursuits were a novelty which I think was a really good set piece race, which could be rolled out on a shorter format for all the riders to have a go, really good racing.

Finally what about the kids in the Go-Ride events - DIFFERENT CLASS!!!
I have a new cycling hero in Amy Ryan (Grampian Tigers) who mixed it with the boys, nearly crashing but showing off her bike handling and launching big attacks and sprints just at the right time - what a star. (the socks were ace as well!)

Duncan Raitt (Discovery Juniors) with a clean sweep in his races was very impressive but young Liam Monaghan ran him close and was maybe just undergeared when it really mattered – would be interesting to see them up against one another on the same gear ratio. Lewis Lyall and Daniel Ewing put on a good show with some close racing but to be honest, it is unfair to pick out too many individuals in the youth races because with a bit of handicapping and Devil take the Hindmost race formats they looked like they could all have won each of the races at varying points.

I think as long as the kids enjoyed the day that was the main thing. I certainly thought that they did from the level of enthusiasm they showed, so hopefully we can do some more of this type of thing. Count me in anyway, because I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

(Courtesy Malcolm Grant)

Prologue TT- 0.25 miles

1 Charles Fletcher (Junior) (Cairngorm CC)
2 Liam Cowie (GCRT)
3 Adam Robson (Ythan CC)
4 Neil Fraser (Forres CC)
5 Jonathan Copp (Sandy Wallace Cycles)
6 Calum Smith (Junior) (Deeside Thistle)
7 Neil Raitt Angus Bike Chain)
8 Mike Spalding (DTCC)
9 Bill Mackie (Ythan CC)
10 Chris Whittle (DTCC)
11 Bill Dallas (Ythan CC)
12 Steve McIntosh (GCRT)
13 Neil Kinninmonth (DTCC)
14 Gavin Clark (Ross-shire Roads)
15 John Hunter (Ythan CC)
16 Martin Flynn (Elgin CC)
17 Duncan Warwick (DTCC)
18 Andy Cowie (MFCC)
19 Sean Monaghan (GCRT)
20 Graham Ward (Ythan CC)
21 Chantel Clark (DTCC) Jnr
22 Shelley Farrar (DTCC)
23 Morag Eagleson (Ross-shire Roads)
24 Hugh Walton (DTCC)
25 Ellen Thornell (DTCC)
Colin Allanach DNF

Stage 2

Group 2 Points
1 Andy Cowie 12
2 Sean Monaghan 10
3 Duncan Warwick 8
4 John Hunter 6
5 Shelley Farrar 4
6 Morag Eagleson 2
7 Martin Flynn 1
8 Gavin Clark 1
9 Graham Ward 1
10 Chantel Clark 1
11 Hugh Walton 1
 Ellen Thornell DNF

Group 1 Points
1 Jonathan Copp 12
2 Liam Cowie 10
3 Chris Whittle 8
4 Mike Spalding 6
5 Charles Fletcher 4
6 Bill Dallas 2
7 Calum Smith 1
8 Neil Raitt 1
9 Steve McIntosh 1
10 Neil Fraser 1
11 Neil Kinninmonth 1
12 Adam Robson 1

Invitational Pursuit- 1mile (4 laps)

Morag Eagleson 02.51.24 bt Chantel Clark 02.57.07
Sean Monaghan 02.46.31 bt Duncan Warwick 02.47.39
Jonathan Copp 02.33.90 bt Liam Cowie 02.35.36

Stage 3

Group 2 Points
1 Sean Monaghan 12
2 Duncan Warwick 10
3 Adam Robson ///
4 Andy Cowie 8
5 Martin Flynn 6
6 Morag Eagleson 4
7 Shelley Farrar 2
8 John Hunter 1
9 Gavin Clark 1
10 Graham Ward 1
11 Chantal Clark 1
12 Ellen Thornell 1

Group 1 Points
1 Chris Whittle 12
2 Jonathan Copp 10
3 Liam Cowie 8
4 Mike Spalding 6
5 Calum Smith 4
6 Neil Fraser 2
7 Neil Raitt 1
8 Neil Kinninmonth 1
Charles Fletcher DNF

Final Overall

Group 1
1 Jonathan Copp 22 Points - Gold Medal and Grampian Grand Prix Trophy
2 Chris Whittle 20 Points - Silver Medal
3 Liam Cowie 18 Points - Bronze Medal
4 Mike Spalding 12 Points
5 Charles Fletcher 5 Points (1st Junior on count back from Prologue)
6 Calum Smith 5 Points (2nd Junior)
7 Neil Fraser 3 Points
8 Neil Raitt 2 Points
9 Neil Kinninmonth 2 Points
10 Bill Dallas 2 Points
11 Steve McIntosh 1 Point
12 Adam Robson 1 Point

Group 2
1 Sean Monaghan 22 Points - Gold Medal
2 Andy Cowie 20 Points - Silver Medal
3 Duncan Warwick 18 Points - Bronze Medal
4 John Hunter 7 Points (Placed on count back from prologue)
5 Martin Flynn 7 Points
6 Shelley Farrar 6 Points (Placed on count back from prologue)
7 Morag Eagleson 6 Points
8 Gavin Clark 2 Points
9 Graham Ward 2 Points
10 Chantal Clark 2 Points
11 Ellen Thornell 2 Points
12 Hugh Walton 1 Point

1 Shelley Farrar - Gold Medal
2 Morag Eagleson - Silver Medal
3 Chantel Clark - Bronze Medal

1 Charles Fletcher Gold Medal
2 Calum Smith Silver Medal

Go Race events

Under 16
1 Daniel Ewing – Deeside Thistle CC
2 Lewis Lyall – Forres CC
3 Cameron Flynn - Forres CC

Under 12
1 Duncan Raitt – Discovery Juniors
2 Amy Ryan – Grampian Tigers
3 Liam Monaghan – Unattached

Overall winner Jonathan Copp