Girvan double for Rapha

Rapha Condor Sharp made it two years in a row when Christopher Jennings of South Africa soloed across finish line of the 47th South Carrick David Bell Memorial. A frantic last lap of a fifteen mile circuit around the Byne climb decimated what had been a leading group of ten down to five at the end of a fantastic day’s racing around the hill roads of South Carrick.

Now a National A event, the South Carrick David Bell Memorial is the biggest day-race in Scotland and despite the late scheduling clash with the Smithfield Nocture in London, attracted the strongest calibre field in the event’s history.

The action kicked off in Girvan at 11am with local schoolchildren William Ratchford and Megan Crowhurst waving the riders off accompanied by a piper. With just seven miles before the first spring at Dailly the Scottish teams seized the initiative and got a quick gap opened up off the front, with Peter Murdoch of Cyclelane overpowering Andrew Whitehall (Velo Ecosse) and Andrew Cox (TheBicycleWorks .com).

On a short and lumpy circuit close to the old race HQ in Straiton a big split in the field formed, giving 20 riders a clear run up the first GPM of the day at Glenalla. Kit Gilham of Herbalife outdid Michael Cumming and Luke Grivell Mellor (both Rapha Condor Sharp), no doubt quick to escape what judging teams cried a ‘midge epidemic’.

The race high point, the ascent of Nic O Balloch did little to disrupt the rhythm of the leaders and the chasers. Michael Cumming took full points at the William Grant & Sons GPM before the race passed the memorial to David Bell at Rowantree Toll and the long descent to Bargrennan.

A lead group of established itself on the road to the second Sprint at Barrhill. All four Rapha Condor Riders, Hassan, Gilham and Hawdon (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes), Greenwood (Vanillabikes), Gary Hand (Pedal Power Endura Forme) and Liam Glen (Wheelbase /MGD). Andrew Hawdon took the prime, amassing enough points to take the South Carrick Community Leisure Sprints Trophy.

Meanwhile the pursuiters were holding the gap at under four minutes as riders challenged for the big prizes and points on offer to 20th place. The final GPM of the day at the Screws saw Gilham take top honours for the William Grants and Son’s King of the Mountains.

And so began the first of two tactically played laps of the Byne circuit. Heavily outnumbered, Greenwood of Vanilla Bikes put in a number of efforts to whittle the group down to five who had established a lead of over 1min by the last lap. Sadly for Greenwood both Rapha Condor Sharp and Herbalife Leisure Lakes had two men. Racing down the Assle Valley, never dropping below 30mph, Christopher Jennings was able to break clear and entered the final circuit of Victory Park with a clear view behind. A very hotly contested sprint for second was just rewards for Ben Greenwood who animated the race so much. Richard Handley trailed home King of the Mountain winner Kit Gilham who took 3rd.

Meanwhile the anxious Girvan crowd waited with baited breath for the remains of the peloton containing local riders Mark Skilling and Kenny Armstrong, both vying for the host clubs ‘Davie Bell RR trophy’. A huge cheer went up the finish straight as the bunch sprinted for the line, Skilling just pipping Armstrong.

Having doused his opponents in Champagne on the finish podium, victor Christopher Jennings was very gracious in his speech, praising the level of the racing and his opponents, and thanking the Girvan crowd for the great hospitality and sunshine!

And so concluded a fantastic weekend of cycling in Girvan, with more than 100 amateurs completing the 100km Highwayman Challenge on Saturday, nearly 80 volunteers aiding the passage of the race on Sunday, and close to £1,000 raised for MS Society Scotland.

Organiser Christopher Johnson praised the support host club Ayr Roads CC had received for the event. “It is thanks to our local sponsors and community that we’ve achieved what we have – South Ayrshire Council and South Carrick Community Leisure have given us fantastic help all along the way. We’ve seen the employees of William Grants & Sons go above the call of duty, taking to their bikes en masse yesterday in the Highwayman Audax and assisting all day today. It’s incredibly humbling to see the work and commitment put into our event, and we thank the racers for putting on such a great spectacle”.

Ayr Roads Cycling Club are currently bidding for Premier Calendar status in 2013. A full race highlights video prepared by Eventfilms.org.uk will be released later in the month.

47th South Carrick David Bell Memorial Race

10th June 2012

Girvan, South Ayrshire

Promoted by Ayr Roads CC / Harry Fairbairn BMW

1

Christopher

Jennings

Rapha Condor Sharp

04:02:05

2

Ben

Greenwood

Vanillabikes .com

00:46

3

Kit

Gillham

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

st

4

Richard

Handley

Rapha Condor Sharp

st

5

Robert

Hassan

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

02:53

6

Andrew

Hawdon

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

st

7

Gary

Hand

PedalPower Endura Forme Racing

04:21

8

Michael

Cumming

Rapha Condor Sharp

07:28

9

Luke

Grivell-Mellor

Rapha Condor Sharp

08:30

10

Liam

Glen

Wheelbase / MGD

10:39

11

Kieren

Banlin

Vanillabikes .com

10:45

12

Neil

Taylor

Edinburgh RC

st

13

Jamie

Kennedy

Glasgow Couriers

11:21

14

Harry

Grey

Vanillabikes .com

st

15

Alex

Coutts

RTS Racing

11:25

16

Alastair

Kay

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

11:42

17

Peter

Murdoch

Team Cyclelane

11:44

18

Alistair

McNicol

TheBicycleWorks .com

11:54

19

David

Lines

PedalPower Endura Forme Racing

14:02

20

Edward

Addis

Equipe Velo Ecosse /Montpeliers

st

21

Tim

Blathwayt

Velo Club Edinburgh

14:12

22

Karl

Denton

Blumilk .com

14:51

23

Liam

Cowie

PedalPower Endura Forme Racing

14:52

24

Simon

Baxter

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

15:11

25

Matt

MacDonald

Equipe Velo Ecosse /Montpeliers

st

26

Lewis

Oliphant

Equipe Velo Ecosse /Montpeliers

st

27

Russell

Bayliss

GS Metro

st

28

Craig

Adams

GJS Racing Team

st

29

Richard

McDonald

Dooleys-Cycles .co.uk

st

30

Mark

Skilling

Ayr Roads CC / Harry Fairbairn BMW

st

31

Andrew

Whitehall

Equipe Velo Ecosse /Montpeliers

st

32

Kenny

Armstrong

Ayr Roads CC / Harry Fairbairn BMW

st

33

Rob

Wilkins

Equipe Velo Ecosse /Montpeliers

st

34

Jack

Barret

Beste Aide / S.C. Duranguesa

21:32

South Carrick Community Leisure Sprint Champion

Andrew

Hawdon

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

William Grants & Sons King of the Mountains

Kit

Gilham

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

Ayr Roads Davie Bell Champion

Mark

Skilling

Ayr Roads CC / Harry Fairbairn BMW

Dailly Sprint

Peter

Murdoch

Team Cyclelane

Andrew

Whitehall

Equippe Velo Ecosse / Montpelliers

Andrew

Cox

TheBicycleWorks .com

Barrhill Sprint

Andrew

Hawdon

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

Christopher

Jennings

Rapha Condor Sharp

Richard

Handley

Rapha Condor Sharp

Glenalla GPM

Kit

Gilham

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

Michael

Cumming

Rapha Condor Sharp

Luke

Grivell-Mellor

Rapha Condor Sharp

Nic O Balloch GPM

Michael

Cumming

Rapha Condor Sharp

Kit

Gilham

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

Robbie

Hassan

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

Screws GPM

Kit

Gilham

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes .com

Michael

Cumming

Rapha Condor Sharp

Ben

Greenwood

Vanillabikes .com