Tour of the Campsies 2020 Race Report

7 September 2020

Aerocoach CTT Scotland Super Series - Alex Hendry Memorial Race: Tour of the Campsies 2020

I was strictly speaking intending on writing this yesterday evening, instead I decided to act out my evening like it had been written by Julian Fellowes, by picking plums from the garden, eating scones & drinking a G&T.

Tour of the Campsies, a race I was strictly speaking present at last year - I raced 99% of the course, I just missed out that really important 1% which was the start..... It could be seen as a jinxed race for me. What happened in 2020, ah, I was just shite. Could I use the excuse of organising a 9 event TT series across Scotland which due to Covid-19 has been truncated into 1 event? The despair, the heartache, the stress - all of this accumulating, filling my legs, zapping my motivation... I wish, unfortunately some days you are just a bit shit.

My first race of 2020 reminded me of the pre-race experience - driving across the central belt of Scotland with my skinsuit half on, feeling as if you need a wee every 5 minutes because the skinsuit is compressing your bladder. Compression sportswear is meant to be efficient; I just didn't envisage it meant that it converted my supposed 28 year old bladder into that of an 82 year old - this is not the kind of efficiency I was aiming for.

I had a couple of wins that morning - I woke up in good time, I ate well, I left on time, I didn't forget anything, I arrived on time, signed on successfully and actually made it to the start line with time to spare. Winning. That is where the winning feeling ended. Tell a lie, Sandy punctured, and I therefore beat him, so I did have a small victory - teaches him right for getting tyres from the Vittoria Translucent range.

I currently own a TT bike which is worth more than the whole economy of Venezuela and one of these days I'll do it justice. In a way I thought I was when I was going up Crowe Road - I thought smooth = fast. There is smooth and there's smooooooth. There's Wiggins pedalling smooth; flying off into the distance and Barry White smooth; where the world is going in slow motion, because you really are going in slow motion - 'can't get enough of your watts, babe.'

The 2020 edition of the race was seemingly defined by two things, pesky kids and pesky traffic. I think many a 'senior' racer felt like the villain in a Scooby-Doo cartoon - "I'd have broken the top 20 if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" No surprise that so many youngsters did so well, with "home-schooling" they've essentially been full time pro's since April.

Oscar Onley, a junior, was fastest up the Crowe Road and 2nd overall by the finish! At his age you wonder whether he flew up the hill on pure talent or he was told he'd get bonus pocket money if he got up in under 11 minutes. Methinks both, in a time of 10:57 he was over 20 seconds faster than Cameron Richardson and could have stopped for a brew before I made it up.

Talking of the hill climb element of the results, I think the majority of the top 20 is made up of individuals whose voice hasn't broken yet!

Becky Storrie of Synergy Cycles was the fastest woman up Crow Road in a time of 12:53 - again, she could have easily got a packet of rich tea biscuits ready & the kettle boiling before she'd have seen my sorry ass cross the line.

The second 'half' of the race was defined by rough tarmac, potholes & both Chelsea tractors and actual tractors. I'd like to claim a Mercedes M-Class held me up for minutes at a time, ruined my day and cost me a decent result. But that would be Boris level lies. With many cyclists out and about it meant there were some pinch points - cars were actually travelling a bit slower than those racing, which is of course frustrating but at least every car I encountered overtook with caution. Even if that bloomin' M-Class did hold me up for all of 10 seconds, and I may have had a little tantrum and swore out loud.....

Come the finish, thankfully it was still daylight when I (and all 99) finished . Oscar Richardson of RCCK was fastest in a time of 56:03, Oscar Onley was both 2nd overall and fastest junior finishing in 56:16 and the ever reliable and former winner Chris Smart was 3rd with 56:20. The top 3 also the only riders to go under 57 minutes and all within 17 seconds of eachother!

Becky Storrie of Synergy Cycles was the fastest female finisher with 1:04:12, Natalie Stevenson of Eat Pigs not Plants was 2nd with 1:05:47 and 3rd was junior rider Eilidh Shaw of ERC with a time of 1:10:20.

Of the 10 ERC racers, Alfie Atterton was the fastest with a time of 1:01:55, Alan Dean after being held up on Crow Road was 2nd fastest ERC-er with 1:02:47 and just 2s behind him in 3rd was Alife Ellen. Tied for 4th was Elijah ‘if I haven’t ridden 5,000km in a month then I haven’t ridden enough’ Kwon and Angus Joshi who both finished in 1:02:56. Less said about me the better…..

One thing to note as well - apparently some riders rode without a functioning rear light - this is breaking CTT regulations! Make sure whenever you take part at any CTT race you have a rear light on your bike!

Kudos and thanks to all those at Glasgow Wheelers - Robbie Martin and co. As well as the likes of Chris Smart at GTR. It has been great to have racing back and thank you for putting the event on and the likes of Chris being so proactive in enabling racing to return in Scotland.

Full race results can be found here: Tour of the Campsies Results

Remember also racing continues! Make sure to sign up to the ERC 15.5M TT at Tranent held on the 27th Sept CTT ERC 15.5M TT

Keep riding & keep safe