The first round of the Scottish Women’s Road Race Series, the Sharon Argue Memorial, took place on 7th May – organised by Grant Thomson of Arria Wheelers.
The race was lucky enough to start with exceptional weather – hardly a breath of wind, clear blue skies and temperatures necessitating the use of sun block.
There were 41 riders who were brave enough to take to the start line for the TT prologue and road race, with 35 finishers; 10 of which had already competed in the Scottish National 10 mile TT Championships that very morning.
The winning rider in the prologue – and overall – was Jesse Mitchell of www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk. Jesse is a relative newcomer to the sport, having only just been made up to a 3rd cat rider on the Friday before the event. She won the TT by a convincing margin, being the only rider to break the 16-minute barrier for the approx. 6.5 mile undulating route.
In the afternoon's road race, Sharon Argue stalwart Ellen McDermott of EDCO Continental, out-sprinted TEAM 22 rider Sophie Enever and Jesse Mitchell of www.dooleys-cycles.co.uk to take 1st place, with the lead group having been splintered on the final pull up into Limerigg as a result of an attack by Joanne Thom of Sandy Wallace cycles, who finished 4th overall.
The event is all-welcoming and caters for not only the elite riders but also offers prizes for various categories from Junior, 4th cat and newcomer. The newcomer prize aims to encourage those riders who have not had road race experience prior to the current season in an attempt to boost numbers supporting the event as well as stimulating competition throughout the field.
Grant Thomson, Event Organiser said:
“I would like to give a special mention to those competitors [who competed in both the Scottish National 10 mile TT Championships and the Sharon Argue Memorial] who really pushed the boat out to support both events – the race would not have been the same without them. Of these riders, Genevieve Whitson of Isorex Cycling Team finished highest in 6th place overall, a mere 43 seconds down on the overall winner, Jesse Mitchell of Dooleys cycles. A very impressive performance after such a long day!
The format is unique in Scotland as there is no other standalone stage race for women; the circuit, whilst only 30 miles, offers enough of a challenge for hard and attacking racing at the front of the bunch whilst still being manageable for those riders newer to the sport. In addition to the above, the profits from the event are donated towards Strathcarron Hospice. This year, a donation of around £400 is expected to be made as a result of the running of the race.”
For full results from the Sharon Argue Memorial, please click here.
The next round of the Scottish Women's Road Race Series will be Tour de Gladhouse (incorp. Junior Women's Road Race Championships) on 3rd June.