Oliphant shifts focus from series to defend Scottish Road Race crown

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Capital cyclist Evan Oliphant will take time out from a gruelling racing schedule in the Halfords Tour Series to defend the Scottish Road Race title at Balfron in Stirlingshire tomorrow.

Oliphant dominated last year’s race on the same course – the event will be contested over 12 laps of an 11 kilometre circuit – coming home more than a minute clear of erstwhile Endura team mate Gary Hand, who is now riding for Pedal Power and looks likely to challenge again this year.

Oliphant, who is seeking his sixth title, this time in the colours of Team Raleigh, also faces a tough test from James McCallum (Rapha Condor-Sharp) and Robbie Hassan (Herbalife).

Meanwhile, Dale McCallum will have a strong squad from the Edinburgh-based Bicycleworks team supporting his bid to win the junior title.

The women’s race, over six laps of the same course, looks to be wide open. With holder Jane Barr currently competing in Holland, City of Edinburgh rider Kayleigh Brogan, who has just returned from two tough races in Belgium, looks set to come into the reckoning, while her former team mate Eileen Roe (Ibis Cycles) has also made the trip back from the continent and will start as favourite.