Tour Doon Hame day 1

A round up of tweets, links, pics and thoughts after Day 1 of the Tour Doon Hame.

The weather
After the glorious week of weather both Scotland and the rest of the UK had, the riders might have been a bit disheartened to wake up to a grey, rainy and relatively cold day. Not Magnus Backstedt though.

Tour Doonhame 2011

The pics in this post, courtesy of Natalie on Flickr, show just how rank the weather was. It’s due to be better tomorrow however.

Tour Doonhame 2011

The race coverage
I followed the race on the Tour Doon Hame twitter, and was impressed – regular updates on conditions, punctures, breaks, and the key action in the last 10km or so. Twitter in general is ideal for this sort of thing- there are a host of riders, fans, mechanics and associated people talking about it and you can pick up a great deal of information and atmosphere.

Tour Doonhame 2011
Scottish champ Evan Oliphant in what looks like a brutal race

Have a look at the Links at the bottom for BC’s report, and the pro photographers’ coverage.

The amateurs
It sounded pretty aggressive with what seemed like constant attacks in the early hours. The conditions made for many punctures. With a bunch following attacks, keeping must have been hard for the amateurs (who I am rooting for), and quite a few failed to finish or were eliminated. People can puncture, crash, feel ill or just run out of gas, but reading the list on the race site, there are some pros who are out, some of whom I’m told were looking cooked after the repeated climbs, so well done to all of the ams who hung in and finish. Even a puncture can finish you off, as chasing back on to a bunch full of pros can be impossible. All five Velo Ecosse riders completed the day safely which is good for their team.

Craig Adams, rider with new amateur team GJS racing said: Well that wasn’t easy!! at the #Doonhame. Wet + cold. Managed to finish reasonably well only 7mins down. Chuffed, but tmo is a diff story
“Bunnet” to him- good ride, same goes for Jamie Kennedy (Couriers) at and Rob Wilkins (Velo Ecosse) – stage 1 full results here.

Tour Doonhame 2011
James McCallum, Rapha Condor Sharp (right)

The sharp end
Hats off to Robbie Hassan though, riding with Endura / Pedal Power, he beat Jack Bauer of Endura Racing to one of the KOM sprints (below), and finished in close contention 70 seconds back in 15th. Dave Hamill gave me his view from the side of the road, noting that Hassan was comfortably near the front both times up the first climb, as well at Wanlockhead. He looks to have come into good form for this race and to be climbing well. If Bauer is focused on the overall, Hassan might well have a shot at the mountains points, thought Dave.

One of my picks, Zak Dempster of Rapha Condor Sharp, finished 2nd to Matt Cronshaw of Team Raleigh. Endura Racing’s Jack Bauer (who finished 2nd overall last year) was 3rd on the stage. In my limited knowledge I wasn’t sure if he had form, or had been either hiding it or just building up for this race. Pleased to see it was the latter! Ian Bibby was the other pick from this amateur pundit and he is 15s back, 4th on GC.

Tour Doonhame 2011

I have a really busy family day tomorrow- not sure if I’ll be able to do another round-up, but will if I can. Enjoyed putting this one together. Good luck to all the riders for Sunday and hopefully the conditions will improve. Watch those cattle grids!

Links
British Cycling day 1 report
British Cycling day 1 photos
Larry Hickmott’s photos (TBC)
Cheryl King’s photos
Velo Ecosse rider Rob Wilkins’s view from inside the bunch