The Brit Awards & Scots Metallurgy?

Tomorrow British Road Race Championships in Glasgow are gong to be incredibly tough, there’s a large number of world-class riders in both races. Our home-grown riders are going to have to pull off an extraordinary ride, plus have lots of luck on their sides to sneak near a podium. A circuit such as this, with plenty of crunch points, can mean that if there’s a group left at the finish with some of our home-grown riders in it, anything could happen. The men’s race is probably going to be an impossible task to podium for any domestic pro, but our riders can still pull off an incredible ride. The women’s race is likely to be more level, with the top riders not having such an extensive international calendar to ride, so the difference should be less.

The Ladies

Who are the Scots?

  • Jane Barr : Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
  • Anne Ewing : Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
  • Eileen Roe : Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
  • Laura Murray : Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team
  • Katie Archibald : City of Edinburgh RC
  • Claire Martin : Edinburgh RC
  • Jennifer Taylor : Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers
  • Julie Erskine : Granite City RT
  • Charline Joiner : MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling
  • Gemma Neill : Pedal Power RT
  • Anda-Jay Burgess : Sandy Wallace Cycles
  • Claire Thomas : Unattached

The Scots quartet from the Breast Cancer Care Team are all very strong riders, but as I’ve suggested on Twitter, I think Eileen Roe is going to thrive in the rainy & slippy conditions tomorrow. A strong cyclo-cross rider, skilled in many disciplines & able to handle a bike in slippery conditions, Belgian sprint finishes & icy cross races, she should be able to use less energy during the race to hold position, I’m tipping her for a great ride tomorrow, top Scot on this course, in these conditions. The full podium from the Scottish champs in May will be here, with champ Jennifer Taylor & Julie Erskine riding. I’ll be really interested to see how Katie Archibald gets on, she seems like a robust rider, but potentially lacking some road racing experience, this race should help, but she will be fast & able to handle pace changes, which this course will throw up relentlessly. Charlene Joiner is another to watch, she’s been improving her road racing recently from her track background, her turn of speed in the finish could surprise others, but she has to get there first. The race will be invaluable for next years Commonwealth Games for these riders, not just for the course, but also for experiencing racing in front of large crowds, which domestic based riders will rarely have seen.

The Gents

Who are the Scots?

  • Michael Nicolson : Doltcini Flanders
  • Alex Coutts : Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
  • Gary Hand : Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
  • Robert Hassan : Ibaigane Opel
  • David Lines : MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling
  • Andrew Fenn : Omega-Pharma – Quickstep
  • James McCallum : Rapha Condor JLT
  • Scott McCrossan : Rock to Roll Cycles Ltd
  • Ross Edgar : Team IG – Sigma Sport
  • Evan Oliphant : Team Raleigh
  • Robert Wardell : Trek UK
  • *Update – Craig Adams : GJS Cruise Racing (added from reserve list)
  • *Update – Andrew Whitehall : Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers (added from reserve list)
  • *Update – Peter Hale : GJS Cruise Racing (added from reserve list)

We also have a few other Scots who you can also adopt, but could ride for other parts of the UK if they choose, so I’ll not label them if they perhaps don’t want labelled. Ali Rutherford (Wheelbase/Altura/MGD) has ridden the Commie Games for Scotland previously & was on the podium at the Scottish road champs last year, his dad Jimmy, may be known to many of you. David Millar (Garmin Sharp), Malta born with a Scottish father, lived as a toddler in Forres, a teenager in Hong Kong and then global jetsetter, will be fiercely named as a true Scotsman if he gets a podium. Our newly adopted Scotsman, but not quite officially yet as he’s not quite lived in Scotland long enough, is Ben Greenwood (Team Hope Factory Racing), the popular rider who recently rode on a Scottish national team at the Ras. Don’t be surprised if he’s quite rightly one of us in the Commonwealth Games next year.

It’s unlikely the Scots will ride as a team, they’re pretty much fragmented across a wide variety of teams of different standings, although you may find a few lone wolves clubbing together to try to get something out of the race. Recent Scottish champ Gary Hand is undoubtably in form, but part of a strong team, so he may be involved in getting a result for one of them, the same with the other Scottish champs podium riders James McCallum & David Lines. McCallum has been racing visibly up front in a large number of televised criterium races recently, so his form is there, but perhaps not had time to gain the endurance for an event of this length after running about the UK for the last few weeks. Uber talent Hassan is an unknown, he’s been racing in the Basque country, the prolonged climbing in those races may not be ideal preparation for this type of event. Oliphant & Nicholson could do great rides too, Oliphant always has form, but again is racing with an ambitious Raleigh Team who will be wanting a big result. Nicholson could be a surprise to many, his diet of racing in Belgium isn’t too dissimilar from the style of course here, he has no team commitments either, so one to watch. Rab Wardell, the mountain biker is a classy road rider too, he’s been riding the world MTB circuit, including World Cup events. So not to be sniffed at & if you look at the amount of top-level road riders who have come from that scene and started performing in Grant Tours & Classics, Wardell should have some form & his social media shows he’s been taking the course preparation quite seriously.

We have two riders from the top-level teams, Millar & Fenn, I’ve got a hunch on Fenn. His teammate Cavendish is riding, so if Cav can force 2 or 3 Sky riders to destroy themselves early on to try & remove Cav, then the race gets onto a more even footing & Sky’s strength is diminished. So don’t be surprised if Fenn is left on his own by half way & the Omega Pharma quick-Step boys will be having a smile. Millar is always good, but I really don’t think it’s the course for him, if there’s a chance he gets to ride the Tour, he’ll also be riding on the more cautious side.

As you know from Champing At The Brits, I’m tipping Yorkshireman Adam Blythe for the win, after suffering through the Giro & having a rider of the quality of Cummings in support.

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