Moray Stage Race

After a flurry of activity earlier in the season, where I profiled and reported on several amateur and pro/am races, things have died down a little on the blog. It’s a question of time, and I fear I would be making a rod for my own back if I tried to be a results service.

However, The Moray Stage race was held at the end of July, and as a new race I thought I would take a look at it. There are only a few amateur stage races in Scotland, and also being further north than what I am familiar with is also interesting. It is a cat2/3/4 event, giving the riders in the middle of Scotland’s pecking order a chance for glory and points.

The excellent photos come courtesy of Donald Mackay, a member of the Moray Firth CC and a helper on the day.

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It’s good to have a big local event for the Moray, Clach, Forres, Cromarty and East Sutherland riders – clubs I admit I don’t know much about.

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I don’t know what this structure is, but you’re in oil country up here

The first stage was a 4.3 mile flat prologue back into Cromarty, and it was won by Peter Ettles of Sandy Wallace, a strong time triallist whose name I have seen a lot on results sheets and websites elsewhere. He was maillot jaune going into the first road stage, a hilly 50 mile loop the same afternoon.

Prologue
1. Peter Ettles Sandy Wallace
2. Gavin Shirley Nevis Cycles RT at 0:15
3. James McLoughlin Forres CC at 0:16
4. Eddie Addis Equipe Velo Ecosse at 0:23
5. Barry McGurk Glasgow Couriers at 0:26

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Note the sponsor, Woodstock Timber Merchant, who came in to make the race financially viable. I hope they got a decent amount of publicity out of it- sponsors are always welcome.

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Stage 1- not quite sunflowers at le Tour, but still a beautiful scene

Stage 1 was 3 laps of a hilly circuit that took in two long draggy climbs with sprints and hill bonuses. Stirling’s Richard MacDonald got away to take the hill points, and there followed lots of attacks many of which didn’t stick.

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Richard MacDonald in the hunt for hill primes

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One move did get away only to be caught 2km from the line. The Nevis Cycles boys did a good job defending Gavin Shirley especially after Peter Ettles punctured on lap 2. Eddie Addis of Velo Ecosse gave the field a hard time on the 2nd lap up the long hill. The stage was won by Tim Blathwayt of new club VC Edinburgh (below).

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Winner Tim Blathwayt, Velo Club Edinburgh

Stage 1
1 Tim Blathwayt VC Edinburgh
2 Eddie Addis Equipe Velo Ecosse at 0:05
3 Ian Sargent East Sutherland Wh st
4 Richard McDonald Stirling BC st
5 Gavin Shirley Nevis Cycles RT st

Stage 2 on the Sunday saw two laps of a similar type of course but with one longer hill rather than two. Each lap went through Cromarty, which meant a good opportunity for spectating for locals. Again the field was whittled down a bit by the hills and there were several attacks with one move staying away for a while.

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First over the hill were Ali MacNicol, thebicycleworks, Finlay Young of Velo Ecosse and is that Jason Roberts of Glasgow Wheelers, the eventual KOM winner?

The break was caught at the top of the hill the 2nd time round, which left a large pack coming into the finish. The tension anticipating a sprint may have lead to a nasty crash, when a St Christophers rider veered into the verge, taking down a few riders with him, to the frightening crunch of carbon fibre upon tarmac. One rider said: Always a bit disconcerting to see this happen so close to the finish but you’ve just got to keep the head down and keep on hammering.

Euan MacPherson of Dunfermline CC opened his sprint about 200m from the line and Eddie Addis of Velo Ecosse kept his eye on finishing ahead of rival Gavin Shirley to win the overall classification. Second place on the stage brought Addis the winners jersey, while Shirley was 2nd overall and Couriers’ Barry McGurk held on to third owing to his strong prologue.

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Double celebrations, for Euan MacPherson of Dunfermline CC as stage winner, and Eddie Addis, Equipe Velo Ecosse for the overall stage race victory.

Stage 2
Pos No. Name Team Cat Time Pos
1 55 Euan MacPherson Dunfermline CC 4
2 32 Eddie Addis Equipe Velo Ecosse 2 st
3 35 Andrew Cox Thebicycleworks 3 st
4 44 Richard McDonald Stirling BC 2 st
5 12 Graham Doig Moray Firth CC V3 st
6 22 Gavin Shirley Nevis Cycles RT 3 st

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Final Classification
Pos No. Name Team Cat Time
1 32 Eddie Addis (above) Equipe Velo Ecosse 2
2 22 Gavin Shirley Nevis Cycles RT 3 at 0:04
3 28 Barry McGurk Glasgow Couriers 3 at 0:15
4 55 Euan MacPherson Dunfermline CC 4 at 0:22
5 16 Ian Sargent East Sutherland Wh 4 at 0:24
6 27 Jamie Kennedy Glasgow Couriers 2 at 0:25
7 57 Andrew Ralston Perth United V2 at 0:31
8 30 Lewis Oliphant Equipe Velo Ecosse 2 st
9 18 Rich Semple Team CycleLane 3 at 0:32
10 52 Ronald McWilliam VC Lincoln V3 at 0:34

Points Classification: Eddie Addis Equipe Velo Ecosse
King of the Mountains: Jason Roberts Glasgow Wheelers

From a Moray CC point of view, the race was a big success and there was good feedback from the riders, so all being well, expect to see this appearing on next year’s calendar. Mark Baugh, Stirling BC said: Well worth a visit again next year, only 2.5 hours up the A9 and the roads were really good and also quiet making for some nice safe racing.

Thanks again to Donald Mackay for use of the great quality photos. He has a great eye for a shot and for the finished presentation. Some of the race report came courtesy of Mark Baugh of Stirling- thanks also.