A sunny Newton Mearns was the venue for the Scottish National Vets Mens Road Race Championships, incorporating the John Davies Memorial Road Race. Up for grabs were the titles, and winners jerseys, in the Vet 40 and Vet 50 category.
Hosts, VC Glasgow South, couldn’t have asked for better conditions, and the riders set out on the course just after 9.30am from the assembly point, heading west on the A77, crossing over the M77 before joining Malletsheugh Road. The riders then turned left onto the B769, continuing along the narrow undulating road for around 5 miles before another left turn onto Clunch Road, which they would follow for 3 miles before another left hander would see the riders re-joining the A77 northwards for around 8 miles where they would turn left back onto Malletsheugh Road to complete their lap. The race would consist of three full laps, with the finish line being at the end of a short climb, near the entrance to Bannerbank Quarry on the B769.
The first lap saw the riders set a good pace, and everyone was happy to stay in one big group, with nobody ready to break away too early. On the climb back up the A77 towards the end of the first lap it was Vet50 rider Gary McCrae (Leslie Bike Shop) heading up the main group.
It was on Lap 2, however, that James McCallum (Meta Bike Division) decided to break away. Following him was Andy Bruce (Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes), both riders quickly finding themselves over a minute clear. McCallum and Bruce were happy to swap the lead as they entered the final lap, where they managed to maintain their lead.
With five miles left, however, the peloton was closing in. McCallum had nothing left, which left Bruce to go it alone. Aware that the peloton were in pursuit, Bruce was forced to dig deep to keep his chance of winning alive. The peloton cut his lead to just over 20 seconds in the last mile but, as he saw the 300m marker, it was only a short climb to the finish line where Bruce would claim overall victory and the title of Scottish Vet40 National Road Race Champion.
By his own admission Bruce’s win was completely unexpected, however, judging by his beaming smile, he couldn’t have been happier.
The spectators didn’t have to wait long for the bunch to come into view, with a sprint up the short climb, which would see Martin Lonie (Nuun-Sigma Sports London RT) claim silver in the Vet40 category, the bronze going to Jason Roberts (Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes). Gary McCrae would maintain his strong position in the peloton to claim gold, and the title, in the Vet50 category, closely followed by Alasdair Watt (Musselburgh RCC) for silver, and Dominic Hines (VC Edinburgh) for the bronze. There was some consolation for James McCallum after missing out on a podium spot. As the highest placed Cat 3/4 rider McCallum was the winner of the John Davis Trophy!
The finish line quickly became a mass of racers, all with happy smiling faces, even if they were just a tiny bit out of breath after taking in 50 miles of beautiful countryside in glorious sunshine.
Many thanks to the volunteers and team from VC Glasgow South for all their hard work in making sure today’s race was such a success.
- #7 Andrew Bruce (Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes)
- #25 Martin Lonie (Nuun-Sigma Sports London RT)
- #40 Jason Roberts (Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes)
- #66 Gary McCrae (Leslie Bike Shop)
- #78 Alasdair Watt (Musselburgh RC)
- #57 Dominic Hines (VC Edinburgh)