Saturday 19th June saw road racing make a welcome return to the Scottish roads in the North East, as some 60 plus riders contested the Spokes RT Scottish Road Race Kickstarter.
Spokes RT, who have already been hosting hugely popular closed circuit races at the Fife Cycle Park on Thursday evenings, did a wonderful job of getting racers back on the open road in a COVID safe manner.
With the health of the nation still the number one priority, a physically distanced outdoor sign on was used, with the need for a physical signing on with a pen removed, these measures still allowing the racing community to return with a real buzz surrounding the event.
Contested over 69 miles, including four times up the infamous Suie climb, where the race would ultimately finish, this return to racing wasn’t for the faint hearted. With the bunch all together after the first time over the climb, Alistair Merry from Dundee Thistle went clear on his own and built a 90 second advantage before being reeled back in by the bunch a lap later.
Going up the Suie for the penultimate time the race split to pieces, with groups all over the road, meaning this attritional affair would be fought out by a select group. As they hit the foot of the climb for the final time the podium finishers were decided, Sheffield Cycling’s George Wood securing a narrow three second victory ahead of Wheelbase CabTech Castelli’s Finn Crockett, with Wood’s teammate William Harding taking third some 20 seconds further back.
Of a successful return to racing, Scottish Cycling’s Events Manager, Morven Brown, said:
“We are extremely grateful for the support of everyone who allowed road racing to return at the weekend, particularly Spokes RT and the North East and Grampian cycling communities.
“Despite a short lead in time the event was extremely well run, taking into consideration all of the extra guidelines and mitigations that now have to be implemented, and a strong start list showed just how hungry riders are to race. Hopefully this will pave the way for more organisers to come forward and host events throughout the rest of the summer.”