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.
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.
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.
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|
|1st||Gary Hand||KTM road-and-trail .com||03:12:44|
|2nd||Andrew Whitehall||Glasgow Wheelers||ST|
|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|
|1st||Gary Hand||KTM road-and-trail .com|
|1st||Gary Hand||KTM road-and-trail .com|
|1st||Jack Barret||Rigmar Racers|
|Best 3rd Cat Rider|
|1st||David Reed||Deeside Thistle|