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Author Topic: Eastern Promise -The Director's Cut  (Read 3506 times)

neilmuir

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Eastern Promise -The Director's Cut
« on: June 13, 2008, 07:54:34 PM »
Eastern Promise-The Director’s Cut

This race has enjoyed some bad weather over the years, but 2008 was probably the worst yet! Torrential rain from start to finish produced flooded roads and made ridings conditions miserable. But as defending champion Micky Mallen and KC and the Sunshine Band said “That’s the way I like it!

Sure enough, Mallen, who always goes well in this event, was to feature in the usual early break, going away with Gary Hand and Rab Wardell in the tough miles before Leadburn. This was a strong group but over the next 10 miles they could not assert a telling gap over lively bunch.

However as the bunch cleared Howgate on the second lap, Hand’s team-mate Gordon Murdoch put in a devastating attack. Either his opponents were caught unawares or they could not respond, as by Leadburn he had closed to 19 seconds of the break with the peleton already a further 30 seconds back. Such was Murdoch’s power that by the left turn off the main road he had caught the leading trio (perhaps Pedal Power riders are using radios or was it telepathy!). Behind them the bunch had now responded under strong riding by erc riders, and closed the gap to 32 seconds.

The second ascent of the climb took its usual toll of riders but the bunch was still over 20 riders strong and active with several riders trying to go clear. At the Muur of Toxside the break’s lead was 40 seconds and this had increased by 4 seconds by the Upperside junction,

Andy Matheson got clear of the bunch and was joined by Paul Newnham and Paul McInally. At Howgate these three were just 10 seconds up on the bunch but still 50 seconds down. Matheson sat up or blew, and it looked like the chasers’ chances had gone but the cavalry arrived in the shape of four strong riders – James McCallum, Derek Smith, and Magnus Chapman with David Lines of Pedal Power protecting his team-mates up the road.

By Leadburn they had clawed themselves 17 secs clear of the bunch but were making no inroads into the leading four. As they took the climb for the last time, both the bunch and chasers had closed slightly on the leading four who were readying themselves for the finale. Pedal Power played the “old 1-2” to perfection, attacking in turn before both getting the jump on their breaksway companions. They quickly established an unassailable lead while behind Mallen dropped Wardell with the six chasers some 40 seconds back. And so it remained over the final rain-sodden miles to the finish where Murdoch and Hand crossed the line together. Mallen took a well-deserved 3rd place with Wardell holding onto 4th. McCallum showed that he is making a good recovery from his shoulder operation by taking the sprint from the chasing group, from Lines, Newnham, Smith, McInally and Chapman.

Aidan McIlroy and Tim “bigring”Blathwayt were both unliucky to puncture whilst in the bunch on the last lap. A great ride by Paul Newnham who had been off the bike for 3 weeks with an injury. Congratulations also to Andy Brown, Ross Crook and Ross Spence who all finished in the bunch.

Well done to Stephen Roy on organising a faultless race. Thanks are also due to Lothian and Borders Police who protected the race in fine style in the squad car.

 

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