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REPORT: Dick Longdragan Road Race

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Posted: 20 March 2014

Report: John Green


On a warm and blustery spring day, the first of Scottish Cycling’s National events start with the Dick Longdragan Road Race held on the new course at Strachan on the outskirts of Aberdeen. This race was well subscribed with a field of seventy three riders turning up for sign on, after a neutralised area for the first mile and a half the field turned onto the circuit for first of eight laps then the action started with a mixture of riders from Elite, First, Second and Third category riders, the first lap saw Lee Smith(Aberdeen Wheelers) gain a thirty second advantage on the peloton before being brought back into the group and four riders lose touch with the bunch such was the pace up to the turn at the foot of Cairn O’ Mount, on the second lap a group of three riders ( David Anderson Granite City RT, David Griffiths Glasgow Whls, Kenny Riddle Moray Firth CC ) opening up a small gap with three chasing before rejoining the bunch at the end of the lap.

Lap three seen things start to shape a bit as (David Lines Starley Primal Pro Cycling) and Finlay Young (The Racers) made a strong attempt to gain an advantage over the bunch with a further three riders chasing down these two with a gap of twenty seconds over the bunch,  by the end of the lap a further eight riders had been shed from the rear of the peloton such was the speed on the descent.

Lap four found David Lines and Finlay Young being joined by Ryan Fenwick (The Racers) Sean Noon (Edinburgh RC) Kenny Riddle (Moray Firth CC) Andrew Whitehall (Glasgow Wheelers) with Andrew Hale (Speg-Project 51) between these six and the bunch who had by now a gap starting to approach a minute which stayed constant until the end of the lap with the head winds from Strachan slowing the bunch.

As lap five started a further four had joined, Tom Arnstein (Sandy Wallace Cycles)Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) Philip Trodden (The Racers) Gavin Shuttleworth (Speg-Progect 51) making the six man break making a formidable ten rider group gaining a minute over the bunch as it approached the turn at Cairn O’ Mount with Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh) and James McCallum (NFTO (UCI Team) trying to bridge the gap to the ten man break, again the speed of the descent showed as a further two lost contact with the peloton and Kenny Riddle suffering a puncture losing contact with the break which was now reduced to nine.

Lap six, and the race really started to develop as the nine rider group extended their lead over the two chasers with a gap now developing to one minute and two minutes and three seconds to the peloton which was now starting to fragment under the pressure as riders realised there were only two laps remaining and as the sixth lap came to an end there would now be a further group Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo RT) Neil Scott (Dundee Thistle RC) Veli-Matti Raikkonnen (Granite City RT) Chris Harney (Velo Club Edinburgh) Scott McCrossan (Paisley Velo RT) Andrew Hood (Lesley Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique) and Benjamin Peacock (Paisley Velo RT) trying to bridge to the nine rider break now there was three groups and the peloton.

Lap seven and now the riders in the break kept the gap constant at two minutes nineteen seconds on the peleton and both groups chasing trying to make contact with the break and by the end of the lap another two riders lost contact with the peloton under the relentless pressure as the gap started to go out to three minutes five seconds.

Lap eight the final lap of the circuit and the break now had a gap of three minutes eleven seconds on the peleton and with a minute four seconds advantage on the first group and two minutes eleven on the second group with the gap increasing to three minutes thirty five on the peloton very quickly, and as the break passed the left turn at Strachan for the last time the advantage stayed consistent with the gap to the peloton at three minutes thirty four seconds as the turn for the finish was made into the headwind.

As the riders continued on a further six miles to the finish the pelton was fragmented as the uphill finish took its final toll with the last rider finishing twenty seven minutes down on the winner Philip Trodden (The Racers) winning time 2:34:30. 9sec Down Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace), 18sec down 3rd place Finlay Young (The Racers) 49secs down was 1st Junior Sean Noon (Edinburgh).