Glasgow Nightingales on song for the cycling season

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LOCAL cycling club Glasgow Nightingales are gearing up for the forthcoming season. This is a report from member Stuart Rae on the recent Lake APR, an open event organised by the club.

The Glasgow Nightingale CC Lake APR Race, March 18.

This long established race, now in its fifth decade, took place in glorious spring sunshine to compliment the beautiful scenery which is the backdrop to the race circuit round the Lake of Menteith.

The high regard in which this race is held was reflected in two very strong fields with 79 and 36 starters in the Men’s and Feminine events respectively.

Lake APR Feminine

Groups one and two were working well as the race got going but the climb up to Thornhill took its toll on some of the riders resulting in group numbers dropping to four and seven riders in groups one and two respectively.

Group two were encouraged to find out that they had 3 minutes over the scratch group with 10km to go and they went on to catch three of the riders in the first group just before the final climb.

Into the final climb there was an attack by Gabriella Nordin (Sandy Wallace Cycles) which brought an immediate response from other riders in the group including Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC) who moved up from the back of the group to join Gabriella Nordin and Penny Phillips (Moray Firth Cycling Club) these three riders worked together to get in front of the group. As the climb towards the finish started Penny Phillips got clear of Borthwick and Nordin to clinch second spot and Louise Borthwick managed to hold off Gabriella Nordin to take third place

The Feminine event was well contested throughout, won by Rhona Grant (Dooley’s Cycles) in her first competitive road event with a time of 1:54:45. Penny Phillips (Moray Firth Cycling Club) was second with a time of 1:55:20, and Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC) was third at 1:55:25.

1 Rhona Grant (Dooley’s Cycles) 2 Penny Phillips (Moray Firth Cycling Club) 3 Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC) 4 Gabriella Nordin (Sandy Wallace Cycles) 5 Elizabeth Adams (Glasgow MTB Club Alpine Bikes) 6 Brenda Callander (Stirling Bike Club) 7 Claire Martin (Edinburgh RC) 8 Sandra Scally (Hervelo Cycling) 9 Sarah Gleave (Vortex Race Team) 10 Alison Neilson (Falkirk BC)

The Lake APR Men’s event

In the men’s race the groups duly set off and after 15 miles the scratch group filed alongside group four on the exposed drag of Flanders Moss. The combined group quickly absorbed group three resulting in a peloton of fifty plus riders as the pace went up. The peloton was making steady progress on the climbs into Killearn and through Balfron but an attack by Craig Dale (The BicycleWorks.com) Craig Adams (GJS Racing Team) and Finlay Young (Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpelliers) saw some riders lose touch and a small hard working group of six riders got away from the main field on the steep and twisty section out of Balfron.

The riders had their sights on catching group one which they did just a few miles before the final turn towards Killearn. they also caught Aidan Quinn (Glasgow Ivy CC) who had been riding strongly and had stayed away for several miles.

The six riders were now negotiating the fast twisting descent into Balfron, the road surface and corners testing the rider’s skills as the race entered its closing stage. Swinging right over the bridge just before Balfron the sprint for the finish began. Dominic Hines (Velo Club Edinburgh) pushed hard and got himself in front - but only for a few moments, as a strong surge from Gary Maher (Ayr Roads) and Craig Adams (GJS Racing Team) saw them finish first and second respectively.

A fine win for Ayr Roads Club Gary Maher in only his second season of racing with a time of 1:48:04 to follow up the same club’s victory in the 2011 event.

Well done to all the entrants in this year’s race and a special mention for junior rider Gavin Shuttleworth (Velocity 44 Stirling) who was a member of the Scottish Youth Cycling Team last season. Gavin, just seventeen years of age, requested a start in the scratch group at this year’s event and rode exceptionally well to finish in 6th place. Mention also goes to Glasgow Nightingale member Malcolm Patterson who also asked for a berth in the scratch group and also had a great ride to finish in 15th position. Well done to both riders

Glasgow Nightingale CC would like to thank race sponsors Solid Rock Cycles for their support, in particular Mark and Robin for supplying the mechanical service. Thanks are also due to the race organiser Alan McIlwraith, who in turn, would like to thank all the participants and everyone who helped to make the event such a success.

1 Gary Maher (Ayr Roads Cycling Club) 2 Craig Adams (GJS Racing Team) 3 Dominic Hines (Velo Club Edinburgh) 4 Finlay Young (Equipe Velo Ecosse) 5 Craig Dale (TheBicycleWorks.com) 6 Gavin Shuttleworth (Velocity 44 Stirling) 7 Lewis Hodgart (Glasgow Couriers) 8 Aidan Quinn (Glasgow Ivy CC) 9 Georges Avraam (Edinburgh RC) 10 Alan Dent (Nevis Cycles Racing Team)

Photographs and a short video of the events can be found on the Braveheart Cycling website.