Edinburgh Road club’s Gifford race signals start of home cycling season

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The domestic cycling season pedals off in earnest tomorrow when Edinburgh Road Club hosts the Gifford road race for the fifth time.

The day’s programme features two events, starting and finishing just outside the East Lothian village and covering a testing 8.1 mile circuit around undulating country roads.

The support race (starting at 10.30am) over five laps has attracted a field of 80 riders that comprises juniors, women and lower category males. Among the names on the start sheet is Charline Joiner (City of Edinburgh club), a Commonwealth Games team sprint medallist two years ago, who has now made the switch to endurance racing, while Ayrton Pellet of the host club should no doubt be a contender in the junior category.

The main contest at 1pm covers eight circuits and its popularity is underlined by the sizeable contingent of English riders that are making the journey north to compete for the prizes.

The inclusion of previous winners, Michael Nicolson, Robbie Hassan, and Gary Hand should ensure another highly competitive event, while Hand’s fellow internationalist and Endura Pedal Power Development Team colleague Davie Lines is another potential winner. Also worth watching will be youngster Dale McCallum of the Capital’s Bicycleworks outfit, and a strong squad from Edinburgh-based Equipe Velo Ecosse.