Scottish National Road Race Championships 2014

Scottish National Road Race Championships 2014


A report from the Women's Convoy. 

Sunday the 18th May was the date for the 2014 Scottish National Road Race Championships, held in Alford for the second year in succession. The sun was peeking through the clouds as the riders gathered at the Alford Community Centre for the Men’s 136km at 11am and Women’s 85km race due off at 11.15am.

The course was set over two loops, one a 53km route from Alford up to Insch, over to Kennethmont and then back down the A97 to Alford, the other loop a smaller 30km course which wound its way through Auchleven and then across for an ascent of the notorious Suie, a 2.1km climb with an average gradient of 8.2% and at parts nearly reaching 20%.

With a fairly strong breeze from the South blowing the riders away from the start, a reduced field of 45 riders set off at 11am for their race. From here I had to rely on what I have heard, since once they were away I didn’t see them until the finish.

Once the briefing for the small ladies field (unfortunately only 13 riders this year!) had completed, we also got underway at exactly 11.16am. Pulling away from the race HQ, we entered the neutralised zone, a few miles of road before we entered the circuit and the race was able to commence. The flag was pulled in at 11.40 and the race was on. The first few kilometres of racing were fairly steady, as the riders tested their legs before the first effort of the day, an ascent of the Brindie. The group stayed together for the majority of the climb, but it was on the descent, a long sweeping road where speeds reached at least 80kph, that a few gaps were made.

As the race continued over the rolling road up to Insch and beyond, the pace stayed fairly steady, but soon the group was reduced to eight, as a few digs off the front by Starley Primal Pro Cycling riders Eileen Roe and Jennifer Taylor. Soon after the road turned back towards Alford for the first time, a duo of Chloe Fraser and Rebecca Nixon escaped from the other six, but they never got more than 20 seconds clear, and the chasers were never worried, since they were always still just in sight.

Just after the start of the second small loop, at the foot of the Brindie for the second time, the eight were back together, but not for long, as it was halfway up the climb that Jane Barr (Velocity 44) made her move. Cresting the hill she had a small gap of less than five seconds on the bunch, but on the descent and the following 10km she began to pull out a sizeable advantage.

When the group turned onto the Suie Road, Barr now had almost thirty seconds, yet as the climb began she came back into sight, as the riders slowly fought their way up the steep gradient. Roe and Taylor were quickly shed out of the remaining group as the chasers became three, with Gabriella Nordin (Pedal Power RT) leading Julie Erskine (Velosport Pasta-Montegrappa) and Genevieve Whitson (WV Avanti).

At the summit, Barr still held the best part of thirty seconds over the chasing trio, and from here, the win was never really in doubt as she soloed her way down to Alford and a fine victory. Following behind, the trio were still closely together, with one sure to be disappointed, with three riders not going to fit on the remaining two podium places. With 150m to go, Erskine opened up her sprint from the front, and despite a brave effort from the other two, they were unable to come around here, with Whitson just pipping Nordin on the line for what was still a fantastic fourth place.

The rest of the field came over the line individually a wee bit back, with Ashleigh Fraser (Deeside Thistle) who in 10th place was the first junior, and thus Junior Women’s RR Champion for 2014.


Evan Oliphant crossing the line to take his sixth title


Once the last rider had crossed the line, the excitement and the crowd began to grow again, as radio traffic increased with the Men’s race reaching its climax, with news of an attack by Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh) filtering across the airwaves. Cresting the Suie alone, he descended like a stone, and held a small gap to a pair of chasers, finishing eight seconds ahead of James McCallum (NFTO) and Steve Lawley (The Rigmar Racers). It was Oliphant’s sixth National Championship win, and a good show of form as the Commonwealth Games approach.

 The clouds had disappeared as the race wore on, and it ended up an extremely nice day for a bike race. A great day was had by all, and big thanks go to the organisers at promoting club Velocity 44.   


Scottish Road Champions for 2014, Jane Barr, Evan Oliphant and Ashleigh Fraser.

Full Results

Men's Race

Pos No Name   Team   Cat Time
1 35 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh Elite 03:30:33
2 28 James McCallum NFTO (UCI Team) Elite 8
3 21 Steven Lawley The Rigmar Racers 1st st
4 43 Gavin Shuttleworth Speg - Project 51 2nd 11
5 31 Richard McDonald Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers 2nd 50
6 52 Andrew Whitehall Glasgow Whls Elite st
7 1 Craig Adams Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutiqu 1st st
8 37 Veli-Matti Raikkonen Granite City RT 2nd st
9 45 Bradley Stokes Pedal Power RT 2nd st
10 40 Kenneth Riddle Moray Firth Cycling Club 2nd st
11 2 David Anderson Granite City RT 2nd st
12 46 Philip Trodden The Rigmar Racers 2nd 02:28
13 34 Lewis Oliphant Velo Club Edinburgh 2nd 02:57
14 39 Jack Richards Deeside Thistle CC 2nd 03:05
15 22 David Lines Starley Primal Pro Cycling 1st 03:08
16 10 Ross Crook Edinburgh RC 2nd 03:13
17 38 David Reed Deeside Thistle CC 3rd st
18 30 Scott McCrossan Paisley Velo Race Team Elite 03:55
19 6 Andrew Bruce Kinross CC 2nd 04:46
20 20 Dominic Hines Velo Club Edinburgh 2nd st
21 48 Simon Van Bellen Aberdeen Wheelers CC 2nd 08:34
22 26 Tim Mackley Deeside Thistle CC 3rd 09:38
23 5 Greig Brown 2nd 09:48
24 8 Alex Coutts Edinburgh RC 2nd st
25 53 Brian Widdison Moray Firth Cycling Club 2nd st
26 32 Peter Murdoch Paisley Velo Race Team Elite st
27 19 Robert Hassan KTM 2nd 10:13
28 12 Ryan Fenwick The Rigmar Racers 2nd 11:53
29 4 Jack Barrett The Rigmar Racers 2nd st
30 16 Andrew Hale Speg - Project 51 2nd 16:19

Women's Race

Pos No. Forename Surname Club / Team Name Cat Time
1 1 Jane Barr Starley Primal Pro Cycling 2nd 02:28:38
2 3 Julie Erskine Velosport - Pasta Montegrappa 1st  
3 13 Genevieve Whitson WV Avanti 3rd  
4 9 Gabriella Nordin Pedal Power RT 2nd  
5 10 Eileen Roe Starley Primal Pro Cycling Elite  
6 5 Chloe Fraser Deeside Thistle CC 2nd  
7 11 Jennifer Taylor Starley Primal Pro Cycling 2nd  
8 7 Claire Martin Team 22 2nd  
9 8 Rebecca Nixon Dundee Thistle RC 3rd  
10 4 Ashleigh Fraser Deeside Thistle CC 4th  
11 2 Louise Borthwick Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 1st  
12 12 Lynne Wardrop Ayr Roads Cycling Club 4th  
13 6 Flora Gillies Speg - Project 51 2nd  

(Timing system had an error and gaps were not recorded)