On Sunday 15th I raced Falkirk BCs Billy Warnock Memorial Road Race. This year it was part of Scottish Cycling’s Sup6r Six series and was split into A and B events with full fields of 80 riders in each.
The A is for Elite to 3rd category riders and took in 6 laps of a flattish course. It was won by Scottish Champion Evan Oliphant of Endura, after breaking away from the bunch in the final mile or so. The only one who could go with him was Robbie Hassan of Glasgow Wheelers, who by my reckoning is one of the only amateurs to have beaten Endura riders in big road races in Scotland this season. Apologies if I have forgotten anyone there.
The B event was my main concern though, taking in 3 laps over 45 miles. From the gun I was simply not ready, not having raced for over 6 weeks. I was totally caught out by the scramble into the first corner and the ensuing pace and spent the rest of lap 1 trying to work my way back up without bursting myself and incurring the wrath of the commissaires. For the 4th cat, juniors, women and V60 riders the steep wee hill at Cowie maybe posed more of a challenge and the bunch was whittled down a bit. I was surprised to find myself not going backwards for once on a climb. Falkirk were active on the front with various riders pushing the pace, and my clubmates Ian King and Graham Moore both had forays off the front.
In the last lap I was feeling OK and reckoned I would be able to get up to the front for the final. However a crash at the roundabout coming into the last couple of miles made the vibe a bit nervous. My teammate young Malcolm Gibson went down- shame, he is a strong rider. I jumped on the wheel of Martin Lonie of Dooleys, who was tipped to win the sprint (and did). I was in the top 20, when in a moment of madness, I instinctively followed the attack of the rider directly in front. I’d seen a break win the race the previous year, and thought a few riders might come. But it was just the two of us, and after a minute, or probably less, we were pulled back. I was now gubbed for the sprint and rolled in at the back of the bunch in 54th. However that was my first proper attack in a race so I was happy to have had a go. Progress.
Full results of Billy Warnock A and B race on Braveheart
A race photo: Alister Watt (Granite City RT)’s other half- thanks
B race photo by son of Bruce Fullerton (Falkirk BC)- many thanks.