Good Day at Black Loch

West Lothian Clarion CC's Battle of Black Loch RR

words: Iain Elliot
photos: Scott Armour/In View Media

On a day which saw sun, rain, and lots of wind, Gregg O’Malley of Glasgow Couriers sealed an impressive solo victory in Saturdays Battle of Black Loch Road Race, hosted by West Lothian Clarion Cycling Club. Wind speed on the day often gusted to around 40mph, providing challenging riding conditions, however Gregg made a solo break on the 1st lap of the 5-lap race, and was able to stay ahead of the nearest chasing riders for the remainder of the race. Gregg extended his lead up to 1 minute at times, however finally finished the race in a time of 1:52:04, 36 seconds ahead of 2nd place rider Tom Merry (Edinburgh University CC), whilst Shaun Inglis (Hawick CC) finished in 3rd a further 2 seconds behind.

Speaking after the race, Gregg commented, “As the flag dropped, the road rises up, and it was going pretty slow so I thought I'd just set a steady/hard pace to see what happened. On crossing the finish line for the second time I decided to push really hard for a lap or so. By the third or fourth time, I realised that I had a pretty good gap, and I didn't see anyone when the road switches back on itself, so the confidence grew. On the final lap, I could see the bunch again, and had a mild panic moment, deciding I didn’t fancy losing at this point. From 300m out, I knew I had loads of time, and was able to sit up and finally enjoy it.”