If the day belonged to Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli, then the weekend surely belonged to team rider Tim Shoreman as he produced a fantastic burst of speed to secure the Scottish Cycling Road Race title for 2023, his second national title of the weekend.
The Aberdeenshire native, Shoreman came into the race as one of the favourites, after strong performances across the season including in the British Road Series and Rutland-Melton Classic.
Wheelbase CabTech Castelli brought a strong squad to Alford, with Logan Maclean, David Lines, Aaron King, Tom Merry and Lee Rosie all taking to the start – alongside Shoreman.
Craig Paterson and Cameron Adam were among the Spokes RT contingent, with Scottish national MTB XC champion Lewis Martin (Studio Velo) and fast finishing Ciaran McSherry (The Cycling Academy) among the riders looking to make a mark in the Champs.
The race was neutralised as the riders came down through Muir of Fowlis and onto the race circuit, but the flag was quickly in and racing began in earnest. An early attack of nine riders flurried off the front with Wheelbase stalwart David Lines among those animating the racing, on the first of six tours of the 20km circuit, but the group was quickly brought back.
Calum Moir (Zappi Junior RT) attacked on the descent on the far side of the circuit on the opening lap and built a sizeable advantage of over a minute, but was brought back by a restless peloton.
Next time around, the break hadn’t yet formed but this time it was Lines’s teammate Logan Maclean who was driving and causes some riders to struggle to hang on, with a smaller group further back.
Round again and on the steep switchback climb three riders were clear…David Lines, teammate Tom Merry and Hamish Armitt (unattached). A small group including Zappi rider Calum Moir was chasing with the bunch being led up the hill by Lee Rosie (Wheelbase).
More riders had fallen back and had joined the Brian Duncan (Sparta Breda) group, Duncan having suffered mechanical we presume because he had been off the back and had been chasing from halfway around the first lap.
Liam Scott Douglas (JG Cycles CC) and Calum Moir had joined up with the lead trio and were out in front in a group of five which alternated between being just ahead of the chasers and then gaining some time.
Maclean, who had spent the earlier part of the season racing with AG2R La Mondiale Citroen U23, made a fantastic effort to bridge across to the leading quintet, who had built an advantage nearing three minutes over the remainders of the peloton.
The second group was being marshalled by Aaron King (Wheelbase) with Shoreman on his wheel and Matiss Robertson (North Argyll CC) and Lewis Martin (Studio Velo), who had swapped his mountain bike for this weekend’s event, also present in the group.
An attack by Hamish Armitt on the Corkscrew climb was enough to distance David Lines and reduce the leading group to five with only 35km to go. It was some ride from the unattached rider who was a 4th Category rider only three weeks ago, prior to his victory at Falling Leaves Stage Race.
Last time around and the gap was coming down Ciaran McSherry (The Cycling Academy) and Tim Shoreman both looking in ominous form, with the Wheelbase team chasing hard on the front.
A late attack by Armitt and Maclean as the chasers came into view of the leaders, saw the duo retain a 20 second lead until the 8km to go mark, when they were caught by the peloton.
The finish was atop the Glax Hill – a long drag which steeper at the bottom, but too long for a pure climber to feel entirely at home, and a perfect springboard for an attack.
As the riders moved into view of the finish, it wasn’t one man but a whole bunch as the groups had merged and separated again with McSherry, Shoreman, King, Craig Paterson (Spokes RT).
It would come down to a sprint finish and Shoreman timed his jump to perfection to make it two from two and take home another Scottish national title, after winning the Criterium title in Fife on Saturday.
He finished ahead of McSherry in second with King taking the final podium position.
We caught up with the new Scottish National Men’s Road Race Champion at the finish:
“It was pretty hard, we raced pretty negatively as we had six guys in the race. We were quite far behind, me and Aaron King, and then we brought it back and were able to sprint, which was pretty good.”
The decision to chase down the break which had two teammates may have raised eyebrows but the result paid off and Shoreman suggested as much.
“It was a bit of an odd situation because we were still in the race, but no one was doing anything, so the three of us thought we’d chaingang round and see what happens. We committed and we ended up with two of ours on the podium.”
At the Race HQ in Alford, Scottish Cycling President Kathy Gilchrist presented the riders with their medals and Shoreman with his first of, what could be many stripy jersey for his collection.
Many thanks to all the helpers on the day and Spokes RT for hosting the race.
- Tim Shoreman – Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli
- Ciaran McSherry – The Cycling Academy @ st
- Aaron King – Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli
- Craig Paterson – Spokes RT
- Lee Rosie – Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli
- Logan Maclean – Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli
- Lewis Martin – Studio Velo
- Calum Moir – Zappi Junior Race Team
- Cameron Adam – Spokes RT
- Liam Scott Douglas – JG Cycles CC