Last Davie Bell held by Ayr Roads

The last Davie Bell cycling road race to be organised by Ayr Roads Cycling club was held on Sunday in tricky conditions.

The race was organised by member Scott MacLean in its 50th anniversary year. Riders tackled a route from Alloway to Pennyglen via Dunure with 51 miles for the women and 85 for the men.

Twenty-three brave souls tackled the ladies race at 9am. The main bunch were intact for the first lap before four riders made a break, which including previous champions Jane Barr and Julie Erskine.

A decisive break, five miles from the finish saw Chloe Fraser (Team Rytger) use her bike handling skills in the Newark decent past the Brig o’ Doon to take her first National Road Race title. Silver and bronze medals went to Julie Erskine (IKON-Mazda) and Jane Barr (Velocity 44 Stirling) last year’s winner.

Local riders Lynne Wardrop and Janet Erskine did exceptionally well under the conditions with Lynne, already a Scottish National Gold Medallist for the 2015 ‘10’ Mile Time Trial Championship, winning the new Balminnoch Cup as the first Ayr Roads Lady.

In the men’s event at 1pm, weather conditions had improved greatly, although the strong wind persisted. Over 70 riders rolled off were flagged off by Yvonne Buchanan, grand daughter of “The Highwayman” himself.

As with the ladies race, lap one saw the the race intact. In lap two a group of 12 moved clear of the main bunch.

The fourth lap saw the lead group drop four riders, but on the final lap, last year’s winner, Evan Oliphant and another rider bridged the gap with a massive effort. The Croy climb after the Electric Brae, saw the decisive move by Steven Lawley (Neon-Velo Cycling Team) and within the space of two miles he gained a lead of forty seconds on the lead group.He coasted in to take the National title, with Jack Barrett (Team Moda-Anon) and Evan Oliphant (Raleigh GAC) winning silver and bronze medals with a bunch sprint to the finish.