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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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!
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|