News: Tour of DoonHame This weekend

Premier Calendar starts in Scotland with the Tour DoonHame three day stage race based around the Scottish town of Dumfries.

This Saturday, Britain’s Premier Calendar kicks off with one of the UK’s most prestigious cycle road races, the Tour DoonHame in south west Scotland ( Elite cyclists from over 15 different countries riding for 21 pro and semi-pro teams will compete in the three day cycle road race which will take competitors on a challenging 265 mile route, including a Hot Spot Sprint near Keir Mill, the birthplace of the pedal bicycle.

Race Updates: VeloUK will be at the race all weekend and will have some exclusive reports from the race as well as pictures. You can follow the race by clicking here …

Preview: The race, which evolved from the classic Girvan Cycle Race, is one of the most established events on the UK professional cycling calendar and it’s helping to cement Dumfries & Galloway’s reputation as one of the best places in the country for competitive and leisure cycling. Relocating from Girvan to Dumfries & Galloway last year to help it grow, the Tour DoonHame boasts a start list of 145 riders this year and has had to turn teams away. Billed as the race that’s bringing road cycling ‘hame’ (home), the route travels past both Kirkpatrick Macmillan’s smithy where he invented the pedal bicycle and past the resting place of John Loudon McAdam, inventor of modern ‘macadamised’ road making techniques, in Moffat.

Winner in Castle Douglas last year was Chris Newton who went on to win the Premier Calendar.

Who’s in Contention?
Last year Rapha-Condor-Sharp was a team riding to support an outright win for Chris Newton. With Newton now retired, other riders in the team get their chance to shine with some pundits tipping Zak Dempster to be ‘well up there’. The Australian’s recent purple patch continued with a win in Sunday’s CiCLE Classic international race in Rutland, his third win of the season in the top British events held so far.

Winners of the team classification last year were Endura Racing who are based in Livingston. Their riders, Ian Wilkinson and Evan Oliphant were both top 10 finishers, while Jack Bauer had a fantastic solo breakaway on stage 3 winning the stage and taking 2nd overall. The team has enjoyed considerable success on the continent already this year and will be keen to do well on ‘home turf’. Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago finished as 2nd team last year and could be dark horses for the outright team prize this year lead by seasoned pro Yanto Barker.

Motorpoint Pro Cycling concentrated on winning the King of the Mountains title last year with Ian Bibby and the Hot Spot Sprint title with Pete Williams. Both are riding again this year so expect them to be in contention provided Williams has fully recovered from injuries received in a recent racing crash in the Cinturón Ciclista Internacional in Majorca where an impressive Bibby took a stage, third overall and the points competion. Motorpoint also field former Girvan victor Marcin Bialoblocki. The Pole rode strongly to finish third in the gruelling CiCLE Classic international event on Sunday with team mate Jonny McEvoy in fourth spot.

Amongst several teams new to the race this year is Team UK Youth lead by 2004 Paris – Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt. The team concentrates on developing younger riders and includes former F1 star Nigel Mansell’s son, Greg who has made a phenomenal start to his cycling career with several wins to his credit already. Spectators should also keep an eye out for Alex Coutts from Leadhills who will be riding for a composite Giant Kenda/Felt Colbornes team. Coutts, who has spent all of his pro career racing in Asia, is a specialist climber and will be (literally) at home in the Lowther Hills which feature heavily on the 2011 Tour DoonHame route. Other Scots to watch are Ross Creber ( – Metaltek) and Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) both capable of stage wins.

In VeloUK’s exclusive preview of the season ahead in the Premier Calendar, Rapha Condor Sharp’s local in Scotland, James McCallum says of the event, “my memories from when it was called the Girvan is wind, rain and stories of how brutal it was. Last year, it was a lot better race, one of the closest weekends we’ve had because it went right down to the wire pretty much.”

“This year they have gone back to the old format to make it as brutally hard as they can! You look at the profile and it looks real hard but there are a lot of real good racing roads around there. To win this is going to take a strong man with a strong team and a team that works well together. Riders should not underestimate the course because it will bite you in the bum big time because the roads are just that way. One minute you‘ll be flying and the next you‘ll hit a crosswind section and its horrible and you’ll be on the back foot.”

“I think the race this year will surprise a few people. A lot of the race is on my old training roads and I know it like the back of my hand. I have tried to do two recces in the last two weeks and every time I have tried to do so, the wind is at 50mph!” You’ve been warned …”

Riders List (May change)

Rapha – Condor – Sharp
1 Dean Downing
2 Tom Southam
3 Dan Craven
4 James McCallum
5 Graham Briggs
6 Zak Dempster
7 Ben Greenwood

Endura Racing
8 Callum Wilkinson
9 Scott Thwaites
10 Evan Oliphant
11 Alexander Wetterhall
12 Jack Anderson
13 Maarten de Jonge
14 Jack Bauer
15 Rob Hayles

Motorpoint Pro Cycling
16 Ian Bibby
17 Jonny McEvoy
18 Pete Williams
19 James Sampson
20 Marcin Bialoblocki
21 Will Bjergfelt
22 Tobyn Horton
23 Malcolm Elliott

Sigma Sport – Specialized Cycling Team
24 Tom Murray
25 Simon Richardson
26 James Williamson
27 Tom Last
28 Steve Adams
29 Steve Lampier
30 Wouter Sybrandy
31 Kit Gilham

Team Raleigh
32 Ryan Parnes
33 Matt Jones
34 Phil Mooney
35 Matt Cronshaw
36 Richard Handley
37 Matt Kipling
38 Jamie Sparling
39 Liam Holohan

40 Yanto Barker
41 Rhys Lloyd
42 Jon Mozley
43 Chris Opie
44 James McLaughlin
45 Richard Meadows
46 Peter Johnston
47 Araya Medhin Dawit Haile

Team Corley Cycles РCerv̩lo РAlpha RC
48 Simon Gaywood
49 Matt Higgins
50 Richard Cartland
51 Ashley Cox
52 Chris McNamara
53 James Millard
54 Jake Hales
55 Jack Waller

56 Andy Lyons
57 James Whatling
58 Marcel Six
59 Gunnar Grönlund
60 Rafa Rodriguez Segarra
61 Andrew Griffiths
62 Mike Cuming
63 Daniel Shand – Metaltek
64 Ross Creber
65 Dale Appleby
66 Simon Wilson
67 Tom Barras
68 Richard Hepworth
69 Robert Smail
70 Ashley Finn

Sportscover – Strategic
71 Ashley Brown
72 John Tanner
73 Jake Tanner
74 Kevin Dawson
75 Duncan Moralee
76 Collin Humphrey

Team UK Youth
77 Magnus Backstedt
78 James Stewart
79 Niklas Gustavsson
80 Fredrik Johansson
81 David McGowan
82 Filip Rudenstam
83 Gruff Lewis
84 Steven Burke

Glasgow Couriers CC
85 Jim Cusick
86 Alan Thomson
87 Jamie Kennedy
88 Keith Laird
89 Barry Crumlish

Endura – Pedal Power Development Team
90 David Lines
91 Gary Hand
92 Robert Hassan
93 Dougie Young
94 Jordan Stokes
95 Scott McCrossan
96 Liam Cowie

Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers
97 Robin Wilkins
98 Eddie Addis
99 Finlay Young
100 Lewis Oliphant
101 Tom Fernie

Pasta Montegrappa – Zheroquadro
102 David Mclean
103 Daniele Santoni
104 Wojciech Szlachta
105 Rowan Dever
106 Alexander Ray

Forme Procycliste Sanlamere
107 Rob Orr
108 Jack Adams
109 Will Fox
110 Dexter Gardias
111 Adam Rayner

112 Alistair Rutherford UK – England
113 Paul Londors UK – England Python Racing Team
114 Junior Heffernan UK – England Primal Europe
115 Wayne Coombs UK – England Primal Europe
116 David Murdoch UK – Scotland Team Cycle Lane
117 Tim Lawson UK – England
118 Felix English UK – England
119 Anthony Moye UK – England CC Luton
120 Alastair McNicol UK – Scotland
121 Ian Brown UK – Scotland Deeside Thistle CC
122 Chris Whittle UK – Scotland Deeside Thistle CC
123 Richard Small UK – Scotland Team Icarus
124 Craig Adams UK – Scotland GJS Racing Team
125 James McPake UK – Scotland GJS Racing Team
126 Peter Murdoch UK – Scotland Team Cycle Lane
127 Gordon Murdoch UK – Scotland Team Cycle Lane

Teamwallis CHH Racing Team
128 Robert Crampton
129 James Gullen
130 Jacob Tipper
131 Calum Nicholson
132 Jade Wilmot
133 Daniel Davies
134 Julian Pearson
135 Jack Cousins
136 Adam Norris
137 Jack Pullar
138 Harry Grey
139 Martin Attwood

Giant Kenda / Felt Colbornes
140 David McCann
141 Alex Coutts (GK)
142 Dave Henderson
143 Richard Mardle (FC)
144 John Wager (FC)
145 Pete Wager (FC)