ANGUS Bike Chain hosted the Nick Hardy Memorial Road Race on Sunday.
Nick was a member of the Carnoustie Cycling Club, which became Angus Bike Chain in 2003. He was an aspiring rider with some great talent on the road but while on a club pre-season training camp in Majorca in May, 1993, he sadly died in his sleep.
The cause of death was Sudden Death Syndrome, a condition that causes disturbance to the electrical rhythm of the heart. He was only 23 years old.
That year the club ran a race in his memory and it has been held every year since. Past winners have included many who have gone on to become top domestic bike racers.
Nick’s parents, Dick and Barbara have always supported the event and although it is always an emotional time for them they have said that they are immensely proud, honoured and thankful to the club for staging and growing the event into the biggest cycle road race in the area.
The latest race was held over 50 miles around three laps of a circuit around Monikie, Crombie, Wellbank, Kingennie and Newbigging, finishing after lap three on the south drive of Monikie Park.
Some 77 riders took the start and in the warm, sunny conditions with little wind, the pace was high from the off. Throughout the race the odd rider tried to clip off the front and gain an advantage but working well together the bunch snuffed out every attack.
Going into the last lap two riders, Neil Taylor, Edinburgh RC, and junior Peter Anderson, Deeside Thistle, worked well together and managed to hold off the pursuing pack, gaining a lead of almost a minute. With just under half a lap to go though, the pace went up even more and they were pulled back into the fold.
A mass bunch sprint seemed to be the order of the day. With the riders approaching the finish line like a multi coloured pack of wolves hot on the heels of a potential lunch, the photo finish camera then decided that it was time to shut down.
Some frantic re-booting and switching off and on and off and on again saw it cough back in to life as the first riders sprinting out of the bunch came into view on the south drive of Monikie Park. At the moment the camera operator pressed the red button with one hand to capture Richard McDonald, Stirling Bike Club, crossing the line arms aloft, he was wiping his brow in relief with the other.
McDonald was followed by another 15 riders over 11 seconds and a further 29 riders in the next 39 seconds. McDonald’s winning time for the 50 miles was 2 hours, 1 minute, 14 seconds which highlights the high pace for the duration of the race and why it was so difficult for any attack or break to succeed.
First junior rider to finish was Craig Wallace, Granite City RT, in an impressive seventh place. First lady home was Anne Greig, of Perth United CC.