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Author Topic: Eastern Promise Road Race  (Read 5150 times)

neil muir

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Eastern Promise Road Race
« on: June 13, 2007, 04:00:00 PM »
Eastern Promise Road Race
This race again produced a classic evening of racing around the testing Howgate circuit. A full field of 60 riders including a sizeable entry from Erc had signed on to put their fitness and resolve to the test.

And test it was from the moment the neutralised flag was withdrawn by Assistant Commissaire Ken Whitson. There were attacks immediately, stringing out the bunch on the sapping roads up to Howgate. The scramble for wheels produced a crash at the back of the peleton, bringing down several erc riders including Andy Brown, Tom Ward and John Duncan. It was game over for Andy but Tom and John bravely elected to continue.

By Leadburn the race winning break of 5 was clear and behind the bunch there was a veritable plane crash with half the field strung out in ones and twos. It was a break of some quality with the big sponsored teams well represented –McCallum, Woodward and Hand along with Mick Mallen of GS Metro and Paul McInally of Pedal Power.

Unfortunately all the erc riders had missed the move but they were present in the chasing bunch with no fewer than six riders. By the turn off the Peebles road to West Loch the break had 20 seconds and with most of the favourites, it looked inevitable that they would just ride away.

But it was not to be! The gap slowly increased but the break never got out of sight. It peaked at around one minute but the bunch, which was now only 20 riders, still had some fight in it lead notably by some of the erc boys and Andrew Davies whose team had also missed the move. Though the break was working well, the gap slowly came down until on the last lap approaching Leadburn it was down to 20 seconds. The cars were withdrawn from the gap in anticipation of the inevitably catch but again it was not to be. The break confounded this Commissaire by again stretching out the lead.

Over the moor went the break with the plaintive cries of the curlew being matched by the screaming of the legs at the back of the bunch. Up the Mur of Toxside the attacks started with McCallum pursued by Mallen. These two forged a small gap with Hand and Woodward chasing and McInally unable to respond. There was still plenty of fight in the bunch and Magnus Chapman (“Not been on the bike for months!”) led the charge up the Mur.

The smart money was on McCallum with legs honed on the British elite scene. But the harsh and lumpy roads had taken their toll and it was strong man Mick Mallen, reared in the Tyneside shipyards, who came in a clear winner by several bike lengths. Hand and Woodward finished about 15 seconds later followed by McInally. Stuart McGregor stole away from the bunch at precisely the right moment, just after the turn at Mount Lothian, to take 6th with Ross Crook winning the bunch sprint for 7th , first erc and winner of the coveted Eastern Promise Lantern.

In his victory speech Mick Mallen, who always seems to go well in this race, paid tribute to the course in the most glowing terms. “I love this race and will come back as long as you are prepared to run it.” His smile said it all and it wasn’t just down to the bottle of 15 yo Glenkinchie kindly donated by the local distillery that he was clutching.

1.   Mick Mallen   GS Metro
2.   James McCallum   PCA
3.   Gary Hand      KFS Special Vehicles
4.   Jack Woodward   SIS
5.   Paul McInally   Pedal Power
6.   Stuart McGregor   Velo Ecosse      First Vet
7.   Ross Crook      Edinburgh rc/The Bicycleworks/Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor
8.   Richard Chapman    Unattached
9.   Dominic Hines   Edinburgh rc/The Bicycleworks/Hilton Edinburgh Grovenor
10.   Jon Kelly      GS Metro
11.   Andy Mathieson    MRCC
12.   Andrew Davies   The Bicycleworks

First woman Pippa Handley   Edinburgh rc/The Bicycleworks/Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor
First Junior      Blair Gibb Pedal Power
« Last Edit: June 13, 2007, 04:00:00 PM by neil muir »

scott

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Eastern Promise Road Race
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2007, 04:00:00 PM »
This was my first attempt at the Eastern Promise. What a race circuit? hilly & technical with a very strong field. The crash at the race start held a few of us ERC's up and by the time we regrouped the main bunch was out of sight, so Eric Easton, myself, Tom Ward, Mark Findlay and Jonny May with half a dozen others set about chasing down the stragglers who were getting dropped frequently by the ferocious pace in the bunch. Richard Allen was an early retirement with what looked like a puncture. I unfortunately also punctured at the 1/2 way stage and there my story ends. I will definitely race the eastern promise RR again as it's a cracking course except for the road surface in parts.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2007, 04:00:00 PM by scott »

 

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