We are pleased to confirm that the David Bell Memorial RR will continue into 2014 as Kenny Armstrong steps into the role of event organiser.
Kenny will be supported by a team of club members including Christopher Johnson, who has stepped down as organiser after 3 years to focus on other projects.
The race is expected to return to its usual June calendar slot (tentatively 22nd June 2014).
2014 will see the 49th edition of the Scottish Monument. Despite its reputation for a fierce parcours, the 2013 edition finished in a 14 -man sprint won by Evan Oliphant.
Kenny Armstrong is a familiar face on the Scottish racing circuit, and has considerable event organisation experience already having very successfully headed the organising team for the Scottish Team Time Trial in 2013.
More info to follow as it becomes available.
Oliphant wins his 3rd edition!
When Team Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant signed on in Girvan this morning, few would have bet against him to take the win. However, who would have predicted it would be after a 14 man sprint up South Park Avenue after 81miles of racing including six categorised climbs?
Oliphant was as pleased as he was relieved after just pipping Herbalife – LeisureLakesBikes .com’s Andrew Hawdon, with Scott McCrossan in third. Ironically, despite the reputation of the event for its tough parcours, Oliphant cited his experience of racing crits as the factor behind the win. ”I knew from racing the evening criterium in the Girvan 3 Day that whoever led round the last corner would not win – it is too far out. I held on as late as possible.”
The 48th edition of the David Bell Memorial kicked off at 11am with a ceremonial lap of Victory Park before the peloton rolled out of Girvan onto the main coast road and the racing commenced. The event was the climax of the Ayrshire Alps Cycling Festival, promoted by Ayr Roads CC and supported by South Ayrshire Council.
A number of riders tried to get clear on the run down to Lendalfoot, including Mark Stewart of ASL360. All were shut down by Oliphant who explained he didn’t want a break to get away before the climb of Carleton in case it led to a long chase. Coming at just 7 miles, the steep opening pitches of Carleton forced a split in the group as 15 riders lost contact. Oliphant and Team IG Sigma Sport’s Ben Greenwood summited first, but with over 70 miles to race decided not to press the advantage.
The second prime of the day at the Screws saw Oliphant take maximum points again ahead of Hawdon and Greenwood. Under a deluge of rain, David Lines made a daring solo bid, gaining more than 30 seconds on the bunch when the race passed through Girvan for the first of four laps of a touch fourteen mile circuit around the Byne and Tormitchel. Oliphant secured his victory in the King of the Mountains with a top three finish on the first passage of the Byne.
A lap later and Lines advantage had been cut to less that 15 seconds. A block headwind climbing the Byne neutralised attacks from the pack behind, but also made for a lonely race for out front. Paisley Velo’s Peter Murdoch bridged over to Lines on the third run through Girvan, and the two managed to extend their lead to maximum 58 seconds.
But come the bell lap it was all back together, with everyone expecting fireworks on the last lap. Realising their best chance lay in a setting up a sprint finish for Hawdon, Herbalife – Leisure Lakes Bikes.com neutralised the digs on the final passage of the Byne and it was a group of 14 that entered Girvan for the finishing circuit of Victory Park. A late move by two riders caused some brief nerves in the group, but on the final bend it was grouppo compacto and the assembled crowd were treated to a nail-biting sprint finish.
Twenty-eight riders in total completed the 48th edition of the race run under ever-changing weather conditions and over the challenging hill roads of the Ayrshire Alps cycle park area.
Andrew Sinclair of South Carrick Community Leisure was on-hand to present the winners with their trophies, and gifts from event sponsors William Grant’s & Sons.
Race winner Evan Oliphant thanked the organisers and community for another great race, and remarked ‘just one more’, referring to the wins he needs in the event to match David Millar’s record of four.
“It was a hard race. I average 275 watts over the event, which is higher than I have been doing in the Premier Calendars, but at the same time the course clearly wasn’t as hard as everyone was suggesting as that was a straight sprint at the end. I can’t remember the last time I contested a sprint like that to settle a Scottish race.”
When asked about his three victories, Oliphant joked “I shouldn’t have let (then teammate) Ross Creber win in 2009 or i’d have done it already!” Oliphant lines up for the Tour of Britain next month, and will be targetting stage wins.
Runner up Andrew Hawdon explained there was some confusion in his team as to the finishing position, catching up lead out man Martin Ford. ”This was definitely one of the races I was targeting this season. Its been a successful day for the team, but i’m obviously disappointed to have been beaten by such a small margin”.
The race was the climax of the Ayrshire Alps Cycling Festival, a weekend of cycling promoted by Ayr Roads Cycling Club. As well as the Davie Bell the club promoted the Highwayman Audax over 200km and 100km, and the SCCL Youth Criteriums.
|2||Andrew||Hawdon||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com||same time|
|3||Scott||McCrossan||Rock to Roll Cycles Ltd||same time|
|4||Ben||Greenwood||Team IG Sigma Sport||same time|
|5||Martin||Ford||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com||same time|
|6||Alastair||McCauley||Phoenix CC||same time|
|7||Andrew||Whitehall||Equipe Velo Ecosse/ Montpelliers||same time|
|8||Bradley||Stokes||Pedal Power RT||same time|
|9||Stuart||McCluskey||www. Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk||same time|
|10||Steven||Lawley||TheBicycleWorks .com||same time|
|11||Collin||Humphrey||Achieve – Skinnergate Racing||same time|
|12||Jamie||Kennedy||Paisley Velo Race Team||same time|
|13||Mark||Stewart||Team ASL360||same time|
|14||Alex||Coutts||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com||same time|
|15||Gary||Jeffers||East Tyrone Cycling Club||at 6:17|
|16||Peter||Murdoch||Paisley Velo Race Team||at 7:08|
|17||Richard||McDonald||Equipe Velo Ecosse/ Montpelliers||at 7:45|
|18||Greig||Brown||www. Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk||same time|
|20||David||Lines||MG Maxifuel Pro Cycling||at 7:53|
|21||Ian||Taylor||Ciclocostablanca .com||at 9:23|
|22||Sean||Gordon||Team Thomsons Cycles||at 11:07|
|24||Daniel||McShane||Glasgow Road Club||at 11:21|
|25||Stephen||Russell||East Kilbride Road Club||at 11:27|
|26||Gary||Hand||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com||same time|
|27||Keith||Laird||Team Thomsons Cycles||at 15:55|
|28||Chris||Smart||Paisley Velo Race Team||at 18:37|
|Savoy Park Under 23|
|Scott||McCrossan||Rock to Roll Cycles Ltd|
|Digital My Way King of the Mountains|
|First 3rd Cat|
|Sean||Gordon||Team Thomsons Cycles|
Brilliant. In the build up to promoting an event its easy to get caught up in the stress and details. However, moments like watching National Champion Ben Forsyth have to work very very very hard to deliver that awesome win on South Park Avenue remind us what all the work is for. That was truly thrilling racing!
The first SCCL Youth Criterium, part of the Scottish Power Youth Series, provided a great spectacle for everyone around Victory Park in Girvan.
We started with the Youth C/D events. Great to see a strong field stay together for so long, working had. The format was 25mins plus a lap. Jack Cruden eventually managed to get a gap and crossed the line a few seconds ahead of Youth D winner Callum Reid and Youth C Rider Eva Barnet. Nice work!
|Youth C Male|
|Youth C Female|
|Youth D Male|
|Youth D Female|
Then there was the Youth B race. Unlike the C race, this quickly became a war of attrition. Not least because of the devastating speed of Joseph Nally (Hardie Bikes). In just 11 laps he put 40 seconds into nearest challenger Sean Flynn. Local hopes were raised by young Cammie Black who delivered a fine sixth place for the new Ayr Burners Youth Cycling Club.
The format was 25mins plus 2 laps
|Youth B Male|
|Youth B Female|
And that just left Youth A. WHOOOSH, what a cacophony they made. Really impressive riding from a group who looked and acted the part. Really exciting watching from start to finish. Resplendent in those Blue and Red stripes, Ben Forsyth was a marked favourite. But he lived up to his reputation with a series of brutal digs early in the race. As the laps ticked by you could see him weighing up his opponents as they threw everything back at him. The finishing dual between Forsyth and Rian Hill was enthralling – a 250m straight out sprint that was in danger of requiring photo finish. A long sprint that required total commitment from both riders. Thanks for the show!
|Youth A Male|
|Youth A Female|
Would you have got out your bed this morning, pulled on a pair of shorts and set off for an epic 200km ride at 8am this morning in those conditions?
Can you believe 29 brave hardy souls did?
The weather was so grim that unfortunately our pics are somewhat poor…
Less than half the field turned out to ride, and every single one of those who completed the full course including the Raiders and Carrick Forest sections deserves a long lie tomorrow and their randonneur title!
And huge thanks to our catering dream team, Catherine and Niamh Fulton who were serving our gladiators right up until half eight this evening!
Congratulations to father and son team Allan and Alistair McGibbon – Allan completing 129 miles on his birthday too!
The weather had lifted slightly for the 100km starters, but even so the wind was howling around the start and blowing down the barriers.
There was some great sights to be seen though, such as another father-son pairing, Alan and Arnie Thomson.
Brilliant courage shown by all – fantastic
|Martin||Smith||East Kilbride||4hrs 15|
The Retro Bike?
We didn’t get the chance to award Bobby McGhee of Prestwick who presented his beautiful Holdsworth machine. But we’ll sort that out soon and take a proper look at his bonnie beast.
It is almost here… as nervous as we are? Relax, it will all be fine.
What to expect?
Our let of Girvan Academy starts at 0730. We’ll move in quickly, set up the tables, and start handing out the Brevet Cards from 07:45.
Riders will be set off at 08:00 as a group from the lower car park at the Academy.
The Raiders Road is the first off-road section. 10miles long, mostly downhill, it should be good fun. We recommend tyres at least 25mm wide, and inflated to at least 100psi. If you do get into difficulties, keep going until you hit the control at Loch Stroan. Our controller will have a track pump and tool kit with him including puncture repair kits if needed.
After the Raiders Road you go cross country to Moniaive. There are several roads you could use to do this, so pay attention to your route card to follow the official event route. Part of the Audax challenge is to navigate between controls so there will not be signs out.
The next excitment comes on the Carrick Forest Drive. At ‘just’ 6 miles this is shorter than the Raiders Road, and mostly uphill so with lower speed it is easier to pick a line. BEWARE though, at Loch Braden the CFD has a junction and you will turn left. For 200m the path is littered with some quite large chuckies. You might prefer to walk this section but can ride with care. At just 200m long it is not good enough reason to omit this fantastic passage from the 2013 Highwayman.
Back down to Straiton and flat roads back to Girvan. If you are expecting to be travelling close to the minimum 15km/h speed you should expect to be riding in darkness from 2030. You must carry lights with you if this is the case.
Riders will be able to collect Brevet Cards from 08:30 and will be set off as a group at 09:00. No off-roading on our 100km, but the section after the Knowe control to Bargrennan will give you a flavour of what you are missing!
The Academy has changing facilities and showers. We have use of the school until 10pm so even if you are running to a slow schedule the changing rooms will be open when you return.
The final control will be under the Railway Bridge on Coalpots Road – this is to prevent audax riders finishing in the afternoon coming into contact with the Youth Criteriums we have at the same time. A marshal will help you cross safely and please give the kids a big cheer!
NOTE: the roads around the school will be closed between 1400 and 18:00 for the SCCL Youth Criteriums. If you need away before then please do not park on the Victory Park circuit. We recommend parking at the car park marked B in the map below:
When you are moving please respect the highway code and remember this is NOT a race. If you go faster than the 30km/h speed you will just need to wait at the control until it opens to get your Brevet card stamped.
Our RetroBike spotters will be out with cameras when you start. If your bike looks ‘suitably-retro-to-a-fifteen-year-old’ you will be automatically entered into the competion! Last year Drew Agnew picked up a stunning trophy commissioned specially for the event, and a fine bottle of spirits from sponsors Wm Grants and Sons. Could this be you on Saturday?
We are helping Grant Young raise funds for the Ayrshire Hospice by supporting his ride across Europe along the Rhien and Danube rivers to Romania. A fantastic journey, but an even more fantastic cause. There will be no obligation to contribute, but donation buckets will be at the strip and every spare penny will be helping Grant reach his £2,000 fundraising target.
Have a great Highwayman, enjoy the ride and don’t let the forecast get you down!
Oh, and come back for more cycling on Sunday and cheer on the racers in the 48th David Bell Memorial.
Meet the riders lining up in Victory Park this Sunday:
|No.||Forename||Surname||Club / Team Name||Cat|
|1||Gary||Maher||Ayr Roads Cycling Club||2nd|
|5||David||Reed||Deeside Thistle CC||3rd|
|6||Stephen||Russell||East Kilbride Road Club||2nd|
|7||Gary||Jeffers||East Tyrone Cycling Club||A1|
|10||Richard||McDonald||Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers||2nd|
|11||Andrew||Whitehall||Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers||1st|
|12||Finlay||Young||Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers||2nd|
|13||Ryan||Fenwick||Gala Cycling Club||2nd|
|15||Ross||Clark||Glasgow Ivy CC||3rd|
|16||Daniel||McShane||Glasgow Road Club||3rd|
|17||Alex||Coutts||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com||2nd|
|18||Giles||Drake||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com||1st|
|19||Gary||Hand||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com||Elite|
|20||Andrew||Hawdon||Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com||Elite|
|22||David||Lines||MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling||1st|
|23||Marc||Mclean||Out Of The Saddle||3rd|
|24||Jamie||Kennedy||Paisley Velo Race Team||1st|
|25||Peter||Murdoch||Paisley Velo Race Team||Elite|
|26||Chris||Smart||Paisley Velo Race Team||3rd|
|27||Bradley||Stokes||Pedal Power RT||2nd|
|29||Paul||McInally||Rock And Road Cycles||3rd|
|30||Scott||McCrossan||Rock to Roll Cycles Ltd||Elite|
|32||Ben||Greenwood||Team IG Sigma Sport||Elite|
|33||Andrew||Hale||Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique||2nd|
|35||Sean||Gordon||Team Thomsons Cycles||3rd|
|36||Keith||Laird||Team Thomsons Cycles||3rd|
|39||Gary||Davidson||VC Astar Anderside||2nd|
|40||Lewis||Oliphant||Velo Club Edinburgh||2nd|
|41||Peter||Ward||Velo Club Edinburgh||3rd|
|42||Jack||Barrett||Velocity 44 Stirling||2nd|
This time next week we will know who the winner of the 48th David Bell Memorial is!
We’ve attracted a top quality field including all the best riders in Scotland and a team from Northern Ireland.
The Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes team are returning direct from a team training camp in Leadville USA, and will be looking to secure a good result for reigning Scottish champion Gary Hand.
Ben Greenwood of IG Sigma Sport is unlikely to go down without a fight. Second last year to South African Christopher Jennings, Greenwood knows the disappointment of missing out on the top spot and will be looking to make amends.
Team Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant should still be in jubilant mood after his magnificent overall victory in the Premier Calendar. Already a two-time winner of the event, a third would edge him ever close to David Millars record four.
Collin Humphrey of Achieve – Skinnergate Racing is yet another strong man, taking a very impressive solo win in the Billy Warnock Memorial race just a week ahead of the race.
And the list goes on…
Two Cycling Ireland Cat A1 riders are sailing across the sea for their piece of the £1,500 prize fund – Alastair McCauley and Gary Jeffers were both prominent in the Irish National championships back in June.
Local attention focuses on Gary Maher of Prestwick. Assuming he gets round the course Gary will lift the ‘David Bell Trophy’ as first rider from the host club, Ayr Roads CC. However, with a super run of form earlier in the year Gary is the club’s best hope of a top ten result since Gavin McDonald in the 1990s.
The fifty strong field will depart Girvan at 11am for the 81 mile race featuring the climbs of Carleton, Screws and Byne. Spectators should gather in South Park Avenue for the finish at 14:20.
For full information including up to date start list, race schedule and maps see the 2013 Event Handbook.