Published: 26 March 2013
Article by: Chris Bryant
The Scott Contessa Road Race Academy is a coach development initiative by Scottish Cycling aimed at raising the profile of female coaches within the cycling community. As the project’s name suggests it is supported by Scott Sports, a name famous within road cycling for equipping the Orica Green Edge pro cycling team and the UK based Scott Contessa Epic women’s team.
Our Scott Contessa Road Race Academy is now in its second phase and delivered a coaching and racing event last weekend. Read Chris Bryant's report here:
Bad weather across the country stopped a few riders from making it out of their drives so having riders travel from across the country to Edinburgh for Scottish Cycling’s first ever Scott Contessa Road Race Academy seemed unlikely. In the end two strong fields turned up to race with extra riders attending for coaching. Female Volunteer Coaches led the weekend. Saturday’s coaching followed by a Sunday of racing made for a busy schedule. Mark Durkin from Meedies Bike Club stepped into the breach when our Dumfries Galloway Coach Toni Macartney was stranded in South West Scotland. Despite the field being mostly new to road racing the competitive sprits were obvious as a tough seeding Time Trial prologue into severe headwinds failed to daunt enthusiasm. A special thanks has to go to our volunteers, especially Victoria Harris who co-ordinated so much of the proceedings and Allan Dunlop (Meedies Bike Club) who must have been standing still in sub-zero temperatures for most of the day.
Race 1: 24/3/2013. 1.30pm Licence holders. Women Only Criterium (band 4)
The race field gathered at the start for a brief moment before the chequered flag dropped – initially spurred on by a tail wind the peloton rounded the first hairpin and quickly fragmented into smaller groups. Evgenia Ilyinskaya (Edinburgh Road Club) looked strong from the start and was joined in the lead group by Emma Towers (Twickenham CC) and Anna Harris (Angus Bike Chain) a trio that would maintain good positions in the first group which eventually was led to victory by Anna Harris who made a strong sprint for the line. Emma Towers came home second with Evgenia Ilyinskaya. A special mention has to go to Elizabeth Adams one of our volunteer coaches who maintained a respectable 8th place despite losing contact with the first group mid-way through the race and riding a very strong solo effort into hard winds.
Race 2: 24/3/2013. 2.45 Come and Try. Women Only Criterium
After a mass start the group quickly split into several working groups which held their positions for the following 25 minutes. The girls of the East Sutherland Wheelers club worked well putting their new found group skills into action and looked like more experienced team working well to share the burden of the severe winds. East Sutherland Wheelers’ coach Melanie Macrae maybe sacrificed too much energy helping smaller groups on the course and finished just outside the top ten which was led home by SCRRA coach Diane Clayton on her debut road race. Kirsteen Torrance fellow SCRRA coach, also new to bunch road races, came home second just a couple of bike lengths back and Laura Philpot (East Fife Tri) claimed a respectable third.
This race was all about getting a first taste of road racing and in gruelling conditions it is amazing that none of the riders abandoned. Every single rider, in both races, completed their distances with such true grit and determination that many riders in the pro peloton would have been proud of.
All riders proved they have what it takes to compete in further road races such as the Glasgow Wheelers Women’s Road Race organised by SCRRA coach Sarah Barry.