Dooleys Take the Honours at Inaugural Team Road Race
New event captures the imagination of clubs around Scotland
Paul Rennie led the Dooleys R.T. team to victory in the inaugural "For The Jersey" team race on Sunday 13th September. The event, which introduced a new dimension to Scottish road racing, consisted of teams of six riders competing not for individual glory but for their team in Falkirk Bicycle Club's newest event on the calendar.
Eleven teams of six contested the event with the top four from each team scoring points towards their team total. Clubs from throughout Scotland were represented in what proved to be a hard fought contest to decide who can lay claim to being Scotland's strongest road club.
Contested over a short but hilly circuit, the bunch soon split with a group of three pulling away on the first ascent of the main climb. A fast chasing group meant the composition of the initial break soon changed with Paul Rennie, Jason Roberts and Liam Cowie taking on the chase. The bunch pace remained high and with Cowie suffering mechanical problems the break appeared to be coming back. Rennie didn't wait to take his chances with the bunch and with a little more than two laps to go consolidated an impressive lone break, taking his advantage up to 40 seconds and staying away to finish just 14 seconds clear.
A number of punctures in the latter stages started to impact on the team results with two of the home club's riders, amongst others, being delayed by flats. In the closing stages it became apparent that it wasn't going to be the first man over the line who was going to prove critical to the overall team results but the finishing places of the top teams' remaining riders.
With a mile to go Dooleys R.T, Leslie Bike Shop, Falkirk Bicycle Club and Aberdeen District C.A. were all still all capable of an overall win. As the bunch strung out over the final climb, Aberdeen C.A. and Dooleys R.T. kept their teams to the fore with Falkirk Bicycle's riders split two to the front of the bunch and two trailing in just behind. Despite a tremendous sprint by Falkirk's Neil Cameron and Craig Adams to take second and third respectively, Dooleys took 10th, 13th and 20th places to add to their 1st place giving them the overall win.
Aberdeen C.A. were led in by Alister Watt and Keith Robertson, closely followed by Chris Whittle and Mike Spalding to give them 2nd place. Falkirk Bicycle Club, reduced to four riders in the bunch by the earlier two punctures, fought it out with Leslie Bike with Gary McCrae, Graham Barclay, Andrew Brierley and John McCaffery keeping it going all the way to the line only to tie on points and split 3rd place with the home club.
Bicycleworks' Andrew Davies did his team mates proud by minimising his losses despite being on the wrong side of an early split to come home just in front of Glasgow Couriers, again proving those further down the field had a real impact on the overall team result.
Being a new style of event, it was uncertain how the result would go but all the teams showed a pride in their club, keeping themselves going right to the line, some as much as 15 minutes down knowing that they had to finish to give their team a chance.
At the prize presentation Falkirk Bicycle Club's founder member Rab Williams, who came up with the concept and provided the generous prize fund, thanked the riders for their support and presented the Dooleys team with a trophy which it is hoped will be as well contested for many years to come.
Report courtesy Derek Simpson