Capital cyclists Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh) and James McCallum (NFTO) will be looking to repeat previous successes when they line up for tomorrow’s Drummond Trophy road race at Strathaven.
McCallum took the honours in the 2008 edition and Oliphant emulated that success two years later in an event that is widely regarded as the most lucrative on the domestic racing programme.
Oliphant confirmed he is finding his form when he sprinted to victory in the second stage and tenth place overall at last weekend’s Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland, while McCallum has also topped the podium this season having dominated the Crit on the Campus race at Stirling last month.
They will be joined in a 70-strong field for the 89-mile contest by several competitors from England, among them McCallum’s colleagues, brothers Dean and Russell Downing.
Also looking to make an impression will be a clutch of established Scottish internationals and Commonwealth Games aspirants including Lothians rider Gary Hand (KTM Road and Trail.com) – the Scottish champion – and Davie Lines. (Starley Primal), who is another rider seeking a place in the Scotland squad for Glasgow.
Meanwhile, The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team has confirmed that Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish will not ride this year’s Giro d’Italia and instead will prepare for the Tour de France by riding the Amgen Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse. Cavendish has suffered with illness since Milan-San Remo.
He will ride the Tour of Turkey (April 27-May 4) before heading to the US. “My big goal this year is the Tour de France,” he said. “Especially as it starts in my native country.”