Joe Nally (www.Hardie-Bikes.com) and Shani Bloch-Davidov (Pedal Power RT) were the two main race winners as Stirling Bike Club and the University of Stirling staged another successful Crit on the Campus in Scotland on Sunday 3rd April.
The University’s beautiful setting again offered the perfect backdrop for the event, in its third year. With over 350 entries spread over eight races, the programme of racing on a technical 0.8 mile circuit promised to test the riders and offer an exciting spectacle for the crowd.
After a series of youth races in the morning, the locals had cause to celebrate, with Stirling Bike Club riders Gary McGuff and Vincent Jozajtis taking the wins in both of the 4th category men’s races which followed. The women's race then took centre stage in the afternoon, with a quality field hoping to take top honours, including Charline Joiner (Team Ford Ecoboost), Ellen McDermott and Sarah Bradfrord (Team Jadan).
Early in the race, Joiner and Bradford broke away along with Pedal Power RT rider Shani Bloch-Davidov. Around 25 minutes into the 40 minute race, Joiner and Bloch-Davidov left their breakaway companion, Bradford, behind, and it was clear these two were going to contest the win. In the sprint for the finish, the two riders were disrupted by the aftermath of a crash in the chasing group, and Bloch-Davidov took the win, with Joiner a close second, and Sarah Bradford holding her third place to the finish. The Olwyn Dobson Combativity Prize was awarded to junior rider Jess Millar (Johnstone Wheelers CC) for a spirited ride in the chasing bunch. The winner’s name may come as a surprise to regulars on the Scottish cycling scene, as Bloch-Davidov is an Israeli national who has only recently moved to Scotland. However, the fact that she is in the running to represent her home nation at the Olympic Games speaks to her huge talent.
Following the dramatic conclusion to the women’s race, the men’s Elite/1st/2nd/3rd category race rounded off the day’s racing. An impressively deep and talented field was led by riders such as Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh GAC), David Lines (Wheelbase Altura MGD), Steven Lawley (Pedal Power RT), and Phil Trodden, Jack Barrett and Fin Young (all Team Bikehaus by Ridley). Junior riders were also well represented in the race, with Joe Nally (www.Hardie-Bikes.com), Calum Johnston (Edinburgh RC) and Mathias Barnet (Spokes Racing Team) leading the charge. Once underway, the race split up fairly quickly, with a lead group forming after about 20 minutes, with Nally visible at the front of the race, along with riders from Bikehaus and Pro Vison. Local rider Richard McDonald (Pro Vision Cycle Clothing) tried a move off the front with a few laps to go but was brought back by the chasing group. The lead group then stayed together for a sprint finish, with 16 year old Nally amazing the crowd of spectators by taking the win from the experienced duo of Oliphant and Lines in his first adult race as a junior rider. Nally hails from Charlestown, Fife, races for Hardie-Bikes.com nationally and is also currently racing internationally on the British Cycling Junior Olympic Academy Programme, competing against the very best riders in Britain and abroad within the age category of Junior.
1 Joseph Nally (www.Hardie-Bikes.com)
2 Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh GAC)
3 David Lines (Wheelbase Altura MGD)
4 Angus Claxton (Glasgow Cycle Team)
5 Andrew Disley (Harry Middleton Cycling Club)
1 Shani Bloch-Davidov (Pedal Power RT)
2 Charlene Joiner (Team Ford Ecoboost)
3 Sarah Bradford (Team Jadan)
4 Ellen McDermott (Team Jadan)
5 Catherine Moulton (COG Velo)
Olwyn Dobson Combativity Award: Jess Millar (Johnstone Wheelers CC)