Posted: 15th May 2013
Report: Craig McCulloch, SC Regional Development Officer
The EKRC Evening Saunter race was due to be the second race in the WoSCA Road Race Series but due to the torrential weather of 2013 the first event had to be cancelled and so the anticipation for the race was high. However 2 days before the race disaster strikes with some random road works on the course rending the circuit un-race-able. A frantic 48hours and a hundred phone calls later and a new route had been devised and risk assessed. The new route included a 5.5 mile circuit that took in the prison climb as used on the original Drumclog circuit and a new longer but shallower climb.
The race kicked off in sunny Sandford – a wee town outside the cycling hot spot of Strathaven, South Lanarkshire. Rolling out at just after seven pm down the Old Roman Road the bunch was lively and keen to race. The flag dropped and immediately the stomping style of Paul McInally began a series of attacks over the first couple of miles lining the bunch out. After just ten minutes of racing the riders hit the steep slope of the ‘prison’ climb for the first time and the bunch just exploded! Riders out the back, riders off the front, riders everywhere. The decent of the main B743 followed and allowed some regrouping but the major damage was done and a front group of 28 riders had established a gap on a second chase group of 11 riders that were to going to eventually contest the race.
With the front group still too large the pace was kept high and second time up the climb saw Terence McMahon of Glasgow Ivy CC and another rider go clear. The front group itself was in pieces with riders scrabbling to make contact on the decent. The testing circuit was dictating the race and proving a real challenge for the riders. Thankfully we had decided beforehand to keep it short and do 4 laps instead of initial 5.
Round again and the riders were beginning to feel the burn and began to settle into a slightly slower pace. With two laps to go the front group had been reduced to 17 riders with 6 chasers at 30 seconds. The Last lap and final time over the climb the race had three distinct groups - 20 in the front, 6 chasing, followed 2 groups of 5 and 6 chasing and rest riders scattered somewhere over the course. What a race!
In the finish Stuart Munro of East Kilbride took to the front too early and in the end Gary Maher of Ayr Roads timed his sprint well to take a well-deserved win. Sean Gordon of Team Thompson Cycles did a great ride to come in 5th overall and first Junior. Notable mentions include all the juniors and particularly the newer, younger guys who stuck got in and chapeaux to the women that raced and in doing so will encourage others to follow their lead.
All in all a great start to the Series and a massive thanks must go out to Gregor and East Kilbride RC for digging deep when the chips were down, what a team!
The only thing left to saw is see you next week for the VC Glasgow South WoSCA Race on the 26th.