50th David Bell Memorial to be the Last

At their 2014 AGM the Ayr Roads Club Committee confirmed that the 50th Edition of the David Bell Memorial Road Race, scheduled to take place on the 14th June 2015, will be the last edition of the race.

Regarded as a ‘monument’ of the Scottish racing calendar, the Davie Bell is known for its tough parcours and the celebrated names that have taken victory.  In recent years the even grew in scale, as a National A event in 2012 and as a full weekend cycling festival in 2013.  The 2014 edition saw another tough edition, with Gary Hand claiming his second victory in an event where he first came to the fore as a espoir in 2002.

2014 champion Gary Hand has a long relationship with the race dating back 12 years

2014 champion Gary Hand has a long relationship with the race dating back 12 years

Despite the growth in the event’s status, organisers have faced challenges attracting full fields to race across the hills of the ‘Ayrshire Alps‘ known well to David E.T. Bell himself.  Bell was a founder member of Ayr Roads Cycling Club and a great supporter of all aspects of cyclo-sport.  He was a mentor to the late Harry Fairbairn but is best known for his writing under the penname ‘The Highwayman’.  The 2015 edition will mark 50 years of the race in his fond memory and has been identified as an appropriate time to finish.

However, this gives the host club, Ayr Roads Cycling Club, a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and put on one last magnificent edition of the classic race.

Scottish Road Race 2015

To mark the occasion the club has bid to host the 2015 Scottish Road Race Championships as part of the David Bell Memorial.  A new course has been proposed, starting and finishing by the Brig O Doon in Ayr and featuring  five laps of the 17mile Pennyglen Circuit for the Elite race with three laps for an inaugural women’s event.

2015 DBRR route

The club is now liaising with Scottish Cycling, Police Scotland and South Ayrshire Council to ensure all preparations are in place for a fantastic event and ensure the best possible field is assembled to contest the 50th and last David Bell Memorial.  A new organiser, Scott Mclean, has stepped forward to run the event supported by the club.

Looking forward

Ayr Roads have developed a reputation for putting on high quality events including the David Bell Memorial, National Time Trial Championships, the Straiton Struggle and more recently the Doonbank Trofee Cyclo Cross.  Whilst the club will bring an end to the ‘David Bell Memorial’, this will allow the opportunity to present a new and refreshed cycle event to the Scottish racing calendar.

The Davie Bell name will live on for Ayr Roads Club members who currently compete for the Davie Bell Trophy as fastest finisher of the event.  This trophy will be awarded to Ayr Roads members in an event to replace the David Bell Memorial Race.

The club look forward to welcoming riders, supporters and officials to the 50th edition of the event and make plans for a real festival of cycling that we can all remember.

2013-05-12 AACF poster 2

2012-02-29 Posterworkfinal

2011 Poster Final


49th David Bell Memorial Results

On yet another typical sunny South Ayrshire day 46 riders signed on the 49th David Bell Memorial.  Among the pre-race favourites was Commonwealth Games rider James McCallum (NFTO), 2013 Scottish Road Champion Gary Hand (KTM road and trail) and perennial strong man  Ben Greenwood (Leslie Bike Shop).  Both Hand and McCallum came into the race as former champions, in 2008 and 2011 respectively.

With 82 miles of racing in store, and over 6400ft of climbing, it was sure to be a tough day in the saddle.  Once again the South Carrick Community put on great hospitality to welcome the riders to the Ayrshire Alps.


Photo Credit: John Doig 2014

The racing kicked off inVictory Park, Girvan at 13:00, with a neutralised section up the Byne Climb before a long fast descent to Bargreenan, much of which was covered at 40mph!  Gary Hand and Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo) were instrumental in forcing the first move of the day, while a counter attack bridged the gap to create a leading group of 10 on the Glentrool – Tairlaw Road.

By the time the bunch had reached the Bell Memorial at Rowntree Toll the leaders had a 50second advantage.  What was looking fragile, coming down to 46 seconds on the slopes of Tairlaw Shalloch, quickly became a much more establish 1:30 by the time the group hit the Summit.  Hand was in dominant form, clearly snatching the prime in front of the assembled cycle spectators out enjoying the sunshine.

By the time the race reached Glenalla the gap was approaching 2mins for the first time.  All was not well in the chasing group as riders struggled to adjust to the gradient and there were clear arguements to be had between the riders on who was going to pick up the chase.

Photo credit: John Doig 2014

Photo credit: John Doig 2014

Come Barr and the Screws the leaders were now well over four minutes clear – the chase having really lost impetus on the valley floor road.  A fast approach through Girvan preceded the final circuit of the Byne – Assel Valley circuit where a number of digs whittled down the group to just 8 riders.  Again it was Hand who took top honours on the Byne Prime while McCallum and Murdoch were active protagonists on the descent, but noone get a clear gap until Hand broke away on the run into Victory Park, taking just Andrew Whitehall (Glasgow Wheelers) with him.  The rest looked to sprint star McCallum to chase, giving the leading duo an advantage into the uphill sprint finish.

After a day long dual it was Gary Hand who got to raise his arms aloft, while McCallum took the sprint for third.

Photo Credit: John Doig (Pedal Power RT) 2014

Photo Credit: John Doig (Pedal Power RT) 2014

A huge thanks from the organising club, Ayr Roads CC, to all the people who supported the event including South Ayrshire Council, all the event convoy team, marshals, first aid and NEG.

A huge thanks to John Doig too for kind permission to reuse his photos on the website.

2015 will mark the 50th edition of the race, and after a relatively ‘low key’ 2014 event, Ayr Roads CC are planning on coming back with something truly special to mark the occasions


49th David Bell Memorial Road Race 29th June 2014
Girvan, South Ayrshire
Promoted by Ayr Roads Cycling Club
Sponsored by South Ayrshire Council
Chief Commissaire: Paul Mullan
Race Organiser: Kenneth Armstrong
Overall Rider Team Time
1st Gary Hand KTM road-and-trail .com 03:12:44
2nd Andrew Whitehall Glasgow Wheelers ST
3rd James McCallum NFTO 00:04
4th Peter Murdoch Paisley Velo RT ST
5th Ben Greenwood Leslie Bike Shop / Bikes Boutique 00:05
6th Jack Barret Rigmar Racers ST
7th Mark Stewart Spokes Racing Team ST
8th Phillip Trodden Rigmar Racers 00:09
9th David Griffiths Glasgow Wheelers 04:30
10th Jason Roberts Glasgow Wheelers 04:33
11th Finlay Young Rigmar Racers 06:00
12th Bradley Stokes Pedal Power RT ST
13th Lewis Oliphant Rigmar Racers ST
14th Richard McDonald Velo Ecosse ST
15th Neil Scott Dundee Thistle 06:15
16th David Anderson Granite City RT ST
17th Jack Richards Deeside Thistle ST
18th David Reed Deeside Thistle ST
19th Jordan Doig Pedal Power RT 06:25
20th Kris Lindsay Edinburgh RC ST
21st Gary Davidson VS Astar Anderside ST
22nd Sean Noon Edinburgh RC ST
23rd Alister Watt Granite City RT ST
24th Mark Skilling Icarus Racing Team ST
25th Stuart MacGregor Dooleys Cycles .co.uk ST
26th Rob Cowie Aberdeen Wheelers ST
27th Greig Brown Dooleys Cycles .co.uk 06:30
28th Gavin Shuttleworth Speg-Project 51 06:32
29th Scott Johnston Bike Pure Lemond Aspire Velotec 06:40
30th Euan Pope Glasgow Road Club 06:42
31st Lewis Grieve Spokes Racing Team 10:16
32nd Alistair McNichol Dooleys Cycles .co.uk 10:27
33rd Mark Anderson Loudoun RC 11:51
34th Lewis Duff Glasgow Couriers ST
35th Malcolm Paterson Glasgow Nightingale 18:29
36th Andrew Bruce Kinross CC 19:52
37th Gavin Shirley Dooleys Cycles .co.uk 22:21
38th Mark McLean Out Of The Saddle 22:26
39th John Garland GJS Cruise Racing 22:35
40th Ross Clark Glasgow Ivy ST
Tairlaw Prime
1st Gary Hand KTM road-and-trail .com
Byne Prime
1st Gary Hand KTM road-and-trail .com
 Best U23
1st Jack Barret Rigmar Racers
Best 3rd Cat Rider
1st David Reed Deeside Thistle
Photo Credit: John Doig

Photo Credit: John Doig

Gary Hand wins again after 6 years!

Congratulations to the 2014 winner of the David Bell Memorial Road Race Gary Hand!  This was Gary’s second win in the classic Scottish road race, having last won in 2008.

Gary Hand (KTM Rock and Trail) led a clean sweep of both primes on the ascents of Tairlaw and the Byne, and initiated a late attack from the leading group of 10 to win the 49th edition of the race from Andrew Whitehall (Glasgow Wheelers).

James McCallum showed he is still king of the sprints to take a fine third place.

A brilliant day of racing – full results and report to follow.

Top 5:

1 Gary Hand (KTM road-and-trail.com)
2 Andrew Whitehall (Glasgow Wheelers)
3 James McCallum (NFTO)
4 Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo RT)
5 Ben Greenwood (Leslie Bike Shop)


PS – unfortunately the official race photography team had to call off – therefore organising club Ayr Roads CC is appealing to anyone who has good images they are willing to share to please contact ayrroads@gmail.com


2014 Handbook Now Available

Click the picture to download the Handbook to the 49th Edition of the David Bell Memorial Race

2014-06-29 49DBRR Handbook v1 1_Page_01


2014 Race Handbook

49th Davie Bell Preparation Underway!

With less than two months until the 49th edition of the David Bell Memorial Road Race, preparations are well underway.

This monument of Scottish Cycling, run around the hill roads of the Ayrshire Alps Cycling Park, will take place on Sunday June 29th from Girvan.  The event is supported by South Ayrshire Council and promoted by Ayr Roads Cycling Club.  

Christopher Jennings wins the 47th South Carrick David Bell Memorial in Victory Park, Girvan

Christopher Jennings wins the 47th South Carrick David Bell Memorial in Victory Park, Girvan

This will be a ‘National B‘ event run as part of the Scottish National Road Race Series with a prize fund of more than £1000, a full race convoy and the same high organisation standard the race has come to be known for.  The event is open to Elite, 1st, 2nd and 3rd category riders.

This is the race that every Scottish cyclist wants to win, with an incredibly rich history and formidable reputation.  With a mix of grueling terrain a top competition, this is not a race for the weak!

The 49th edition of the David Bell Memorial Race will be run over a 130km course featuring the ascents of Tairlaw (Shalloch), Hadyard, the Screws and the Byne.  Based in and around Girvan, the race concludes with the now traditional lap of a circuit featuring the Byne and Assel Valley.

Known for being a hardman’s race, the 49th edition of the Davie Bell will not buck the trend with over 1400m of ascent.  However, with the 2013 edition finishing in a big group sprint the circuit suits the powerful rather than the pure climbers.

2014 DBRR route

With the riders passing by Victory Park in Girvan three times this should make for a great spectator friendly race.  Add to that the beautiful views by the Bell Memorial at Rowntree Toll and the fabled Ayr Roads post-race spread and we are guaranteed a grand day out.

See you there!

Davie Bell to continue in 2014

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.

Third in line, new organiser Kenny Armstrong is no stranger to the Davie Bell!

Third in line, new organiser Kenny Armstrong is no stranger to the Davie Bell!

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.

48th David Bell Memorial Race – Results

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?

Riders sign on at Girvan HQ

Riders sign on at Girvan HQ

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.”

Not until Hawdow congratulated Oliphant were we able to confirm who the winner was

Not until Hawdow congratulated Oliphant were we able to confirm who the winner was

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.DSC_0226

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.

Oliphant consolidates his lead in the DigitalMyWay.com KOM competition on the Screws.

Oliphant consolidates his lead in the DigitalMyWay.com KOM competition on the Screws.

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.

Crosswinds on the Byne led to mini echelons

Crosswinds on the Byne led to mini echelons

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.

The podium

The podium

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.

1 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh 03:27:51
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
19 Robert Friel Private 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
23 John Brown Private at 11:18
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
Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh
First 3rd Cat
Sean Gordon Team Thomsons Cycles
Oliphant addresses the crowd beside organiser Chris Johnson

Oliphant addresses the crowd beside organiser Chris Johnson


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