Ferguson Beaches the Irvine Opposition



words: John McComisky
photos: Mark McGhee












“ I have always really loved the sand sections of this course, even when I was a Junior; it's a hard event, but I really enjoy coming back to race in Scotland when my schedule allows”
                                                                               Grant Ferguson


Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series Round 3: Irvine Beach Park


Scottish Cyclocross is not just about the racers pinning a number on and giving it full chunder when the gun goes; it is also the behind the scenes course preparation and organisation that make the events what they are today.


Challenging conditions but happy faces: all credit to Neil Walker and his team


In the most challenging of circumstances Neil Walker and his die-hard Walkers Cycling crew battled against every conceivable obstacle to put on what will be remembered as possibly the hardest event that many a 'cross rider can ever expect to clip-in and take a splintering, battering in the dunes and climbs of the Irvine Beach Park venue.


Riders braved the truly challenging conditions


With over 380 riders signed on and ready to battle in the most tempestuous of circumstances, Mother Nature well and truly spat the dummy out and puked rain, hail and gale force winds on all concerned for the duration of the third round of the Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series.

The dunes and slick off-camber sections are normally a test of strength enough for any bike rider, but the sight of racers shot out by the wind and squalor riding gamely into the gully of grimace, hunting to hold a wheel, forced some clever riding and a pack mentality that is very rare in a Cyclocross race.


Quiet man in the middle: Series leader Rab Wardell and Doonfoot winner James McCallum line up with super talent Grant Ferguson


While so many were flailing in the conditions, Scottish Cyclocross fans were treated to the oh-so-rare appearance of British Under 23 Cyclocross Champion Grant Ferguson (Brentjens), who lined up against Series hot shoe Rab Wardell (Orange Monkey Pro Team), James McCallum (trainsharp.co.uk) and a glut of competitors and fancied podium riders in the shape of the gritty Stevie Halsall (VC Moulin) as well as the young guns Calum Magowan (Alpine Bikes) and Harry Johnston (Team Thomsons).

Ferguson, a World Class Mountain Bike rider, was more than happy to take to the sand and a set of curly bars to give the Series regulars a master-class in beaching the opposition in a fraught and trying race.


International rider Ferguson brought the toughest competition that Wardell has faced in the Series so far


From the get-go, he was joined by an on-form Wardell, and the pair set about ripping the backside out of the race early on.

Wardell, who was well aware that grabbing Series points would be key to his race, clung on limpet-like in the early laps until Ferguson decided to drop Wardell's anchor and ride solo in the latter part of the race, sucking up not only his pursuers, but incredibly putting a lap in to all but the remainder of the podium boys by the time the chequered came around.


Class act Steven Halsall was the only rider other than Wardell to avoid being lapped by Ferguson


Wardell rolled home in a safe second ahead of Halsall, and a spirited ride from McCallum (last week's Doonside Trofee Winner) who was one of the first to admit the boy Ferguson is simply on another level.

After the race Ferguson, despite shivering in the wind and rain gave his take on the race: 

“I would really like to take in more events (in Scotland), and on a bigger scale had hoped to ride at the World Cup in Milton Keynes, but there is no class there for me, that is a real pity. I may be able to catch a few more races up here and the odd National Trophy before the end of December; the racing up here is at a really good level now”

There was the usual ego bashing and chest puffing before the start of the Veteran Forty class, with all of the usual Series riders on-grid, as well as a welcome visit to the dunes from Kevin Ashbridge (V.C Cumbria) to add a little more seasoning to the ninety-strong field.

Start line dash for the V40's


After the usual scrap from the start, Paul McInally (Evans Cycles) managed a full-on effort early doors to lead the main riders up the zig-zag climb, before the full effect of the omnipresent, heaving storm blew the pecking order to smithereens, and soon small cluster groups were forming all the way down the order.

Border Reiver Kevin Ashbridge brought the fight to usual fast men Stephen Jackson and Gary McCrae


Stevie Jackson (Glasgow United) is well worthy of merit for taking on the race and managed to batter his way to the front of the field in the early laps pursued by the combined efforts of the Leslie Bikeshop/Bikers Boutique squadron, Messrs: McCaffery, Porco, McCrae et al. These guys, along with Colin Bain (EKRC) and an impressive Ashbridge, would soon be hurling themselves, but not any abuse, into the midfield flotsam of the race by the time that last lap bell came a-clanging.

We're getting used to this sight: Glasgow United and Leslie Bikeshop fighting it out!


McCrae was first to falter after the last climb of the day when well positioned, and was seen sadly trying to unhinge his chain as the main group of five riders continued back into the brutally boisterous headwind and along the harsh foamy scab of sand before entering the arena. At the flag Ashbridge muscled out a win from a brave Jackson, who was running on empty at the line and a welcome podium from John McCaffery.

Fighting the course and conditions: Gary McCrae and Alister Watt


The Veteran Fifty Class again saw Brenden Roe (Leslie Bikeshop/Bikers Boutique) put the boot in early on, and he gapped the 30-strong grid to fight among the dunes and along the headland for the final poduim places. Roe who is never content just racing the Veterans was soon keeping the best Juniors honest in the shape of West Lothian Clarion's Jamie Mason and Fifer Conor Nally (Hardie Bikes). Mason more than did himself justice taking his Junior first win of the year, along with Roe who has now a trio of victories to show for his efforts.

A class apart: Brenden Roe took an early lead. It helps to have a newly-signed Wiggle-Honda pro' as pit boss. Chris Duncan heading back along the headland


The very harsh nature of the race meant that there would be plenty of last gasp lunging and diving to the line as riders circulated together for much of the race, sussing out weakness and sucking in the sea haar. Closest podium of the day went to Graham McGarrity (Dooleys) who swooped in ahead of Bill Young (Leslie Bikeshop/Bikers Boutique) to grab second Veteran on the day.

Faster and faster: Isla Short takes her first Elite win ahead of Anne Ewing and Maddy Robinson 


The hardy Women of Scottish Cyclocross who were in and out of the sand parcour with the men, often had to work hard to avoid the traffic and try and set a race up for themselves. Anne Ewing (WV Breda), who admits that she doesn't like technical courses, was riding gamely with Isla Short (Team Thomsons) at the helm of the race with erstwhile stand-in commentator Maddie Robinson (VC Moulin) unable to bridge over to the duo, who played it tough in the ruts and climbs. Short was able to dispense with Ewing by race-end with Robinson a solid third. The Veteran Women class continues to hold no fear for Sian Tovey (Dooleys Cycles) who racked up her third win on the bounce from a very impressive ride from local Walkers racer Lorna Sloan.

Sian Tovey has been untouchable in the Series so far and notched up three for three


Winning races and being at the top of the heap meant little to Isla on the day however, as she dedicated her win to the unfortunate passing of one of East Kilbride Road Clubs finest, John Gordon. I am sure all of you reading this will join in offering heartfelt condolences to the Gordon family at this time.

Maddy Robinson and Anne Ewing made sure that Isla Short had to work for the win, which she then dedicated to the memory of John Gordon


Let's show our respect to John's memory in the best way possible…by turning out in droves for the mudfest that is the 'Shan on Sunday. With more bad weather forecast for the weekend the mudslide is sure to be packed with on-lookers hoping for some out-of-control sliding action. Before that, we have the ghouls and ghosts of Hallocross on Friday evening at Dalkeith. With a prize list as long as Jimmy Mach's arm there'll be hot, scary competition through the woods of Midlothian.

See you there!

Mixed fortunes but another great Ridley Scottish Cyclocross event

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The Wrath of the Strath Fails to Stop Wardell


Words; John McComisky
Images: Mark McGhee

Lots of spectators and lots of riders on yet another dry day





Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series Round Two: Strathclyde Park

After all the fervour and success of last weekend's Falkirk race, the Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series moved westward to the second round held in the parkland and gravelly trails of Strathclyde Park.
The event organisers at the East Kilbride Road Club, have modified the course over the last few years to accommodate the larger entries that cross is now experiencing, as well as adding some technical features, with rooty adverse cambers and every conceivable change of surface to challenge the great and the good of the sport.

Rab Wardell is getting used to doing this: check out his r/h shifter


With a healthy 350-odd competitors signed on swiftly, the race card would go very much to plan. The organisers, should be credited with having to deal with errant dog walkers on the morning of the race, as well as a few nasty prangs, the biggest of which involved a curious deer, who hoofed its way onto the course and collected a rider (you know who you are John from Kinross) in the process, a first and hopefully a last for Scottish Cyclocross.

The biggest field of the day splashes towards the bottleneck


The main Ridley Senior race saw last week’s victor Rab Wardell (Orange Monkey Pro Team) take to the grid, but he was without the likes of David Lines and James McCallum, both of whom had prior commitments at home and abroad. He would however have a bunch of young Scottish development talent more than able to roll him for his dough, and the seasoned Senior hordes who circulate the lowers steps of podiums and who will grasp and grab any opportunity of a win.

Series leader Wardell, and some of the riders snapping at his wheels


From the arena and start area, the clunk and scream of the omnipresent helter skelter and funfair gave way to the crack of the gun and Senior race blasted out into the lower end of the circuit. Wardell was soon grabbing the race by the throat, and had dispensed with the attentions of a very impressive Mark McGuire (Bicycles.com), Callum MacGowan (Alpine Bikes) and Steven Halsall (VC Moulin).

Always there or thereabouts, the excellent Steven Halsall


With the gap stretching out to fifteen seconds, the gurgling chat at the Railway Bridge run-and-ride-up, was all about who would be finishing second, but by lap three Wardell seemed to be in some distress, and it was clear he had hit the deck smashing his r/h shifter.

If you've ever wondered what an Ultegra shifter looks like inside...


With only two gears and no front disc brake, the character of the race looked set to change. And change it did, and for the better with regard to Wardell; he set about blowing the race apart and was soon gapping the field by over a minute.

Rab Wardell puts time into the field as he heads for the finish


McGuire who had been riding gamely, also had an altercation in the woodland section but was back on it battered and bloodied, but by race-end he along with the rest of the young team had to give best to Halsall, a rider who is one of the most technically gifted riders in the sport up here, and simply revels in the ruts and roots of more traditional courses. The final step of the podium went to MacGowan; the young rider has shown well in the first two Ridley events this season and is one to watch for future success.

In hot pursuit: the chasers led by Halsall and MacGowan


Interviewed after the race, Wardell had this to say:

“There is never an easy Cyclocross race, it throws every variable at you, whether you are at the front or the back. After my crash, I just figured on getting the head down, I was getting good split information, and it worked, I don't know how the race would have went if Davie (Lines) and James (McCallum) has been in there, but am sure they will be back to keep me company at Irvine.”

 And quizzed on his plans for the year: 

“I am hoping to fit as many cross races in this year, I will be away at the end of the year to Paris for track coaching, so will miss events, but I really do love getting up on a Sunday and heading to a race, the sport is growing here, there are more and more spectators staying on to watch the action, and it is a good scene...I think it is time I tried to get over to Belgium” he quipped.

The Veteran class is the biggest supported class we have here in Scotland, and the battle for even a series point further down the ranks, is of as much interest to the onlooker as the sharp end of the race itself.

Leading from the front: Stephen Jackson was out for the win


Gary McCrae (Leslie Bikes/Bikers Boutique) was the man with the target on his back after drawing first blood on the plains of Callendar Park the week previous, but as the grid was forming amid the smell of frite fat wafting and hanging across the grid, he was well aware that the Glasgow United and it's three amigos James Melville, Hans Forhaug and Stevie Jackson would be cooking up a plan for him when the gun was triggered.

Marked man: McCrae was left chasing to get back on terms 


From the off, there was chaos at the bottom corner with McCrae entangled in a mess of riders and with this the United “Wrecking Ball” swung into action; before long this trio had smashed down the ramparts of the race.

United's Wrecking Crew: James Melville, Hans Forhaug and (bottom): winner Stephen Jackson


Jackson, so often the nearly man of the Veteran class, was in powerful leg ripping form, and his Swedish Shadow Forhaug was more than happy to keep the pace high alongside him. Melville had to make do with consolidating third place, and despite a gutsy ride from McCrae, to charge back through the traffic, he was going to have to re-group for the sand dunes of Irvine beach in a couple of weeks’ time.

Top ride from the Blue Train's Colin Bain saw him finish in 5th spot


Off the podium maybe but a spirited ride came in the shape of Colin Bain, the home club East Kilbride rider further changing the shape of the top positions in fifth place, and adding a new rider to watch for a possible podium in later events.

Onward to the Veteran Fifty Class and first round winner Brenden Roe (Leslie Bikes/Bikers Boutique) had the fastest pit crew in Scotland in the shape of British Women's Circuit Race Champion Eileen Roe who despite recovering from a bout of illness was on hand to keep her father on the right track, and also to keep an eye on her bike which he is using to great effect.

The all-conquering 'Brembro' aided by a National Champion


The classic motorcycle loving Fifer was truly revved up for this weeks race, and despite being run close the previous week, was soon ploughing his own furrow in the glore and leafy glades of the Strathclyde venue. 

Malcolm Dunlop and Mark Barnett filled out the podium


In his wake came a strong ride from Malcolm Dunlop (VC Edinburgh) who continues to go about the job of trying to wrestle a race win out of the series. New to the Veteran Fifty this year Mark Barnett (Leslie Bikes/Bikers Boutique) scored a first podium of the year in third, and is sure to be a proverbial thorn in the side of the main players. Mark has won at Scottish as well as British level in mountain bike racing, and put this experience to good use in the more natural setting of the Lanarkshire venue.

The three riders we're getting used to seeing on the podium: Maddy Robinson, Kerry McPhee and Isla Short


The Women of Scottish Cross never fail to put on a fine show in the Ridley Series, and the scene was further bolstered by the addition of Jane Barr (Velocity44) and the return of Isla Short (Team Thomsons) who both joined the proceedings for the first time this year. This pairing would have an on-form Anne Ewing (WV Breda), Kerry McPhee (Rock and Road) as well as 2013 Series overall winner Maddy Robinson (VC Moulin) to deal with however, and it was going to be a sort-out for even a podium position.

Jane Barr and Anne Ewing will be challenging for top honours


The early laps saw the cruel mistress that is Cyclocross, deal a deflating blow to Ewing though who was out of the running with a puncture. Up front there was a cracking battle between Robinson and McPhee, with this pairing knocking lumps out of each other for the race win. Robinson showed that she is well and truly back on form after her energy sapping ride at the Three Peaks earlier in the year, and was able to ride Kerry off her wheel for her first win of the year. The diminutive Short had to make do with the final step on the podium, but is sure to take a race to the girls as the series unfolds and can never be discounted.

Race winner Maddy Robinson chases back to Kerry McPhee after clearing her rear mech


The Veteran Female class again saw a strong performance from Sian Tovey (Dooleys Cycles), who looks like she is going to be a tough skull to crack this year, and proved it again by rattling to her second win of the year.

Sian Tovey wins the Vet Womens race and share the podium with Lorna Sloan who took 3rd


The youthful exuberance of the Junior class, again saw the boys ride off the front of the eighty strong field, and control proceedings for the duration of the race. Where most of the entry were off and running, these guys are blasting up the climbs, carving out the turns as well as descending with full-gas. You always have to double take at the lap times of these firebrands who are more than capable of taking a race to the Senior men. At the flag Pierce Somerville proved victorious on the day from Hardie Bikes rider Conor Nally.

Next generation: Pierce Somerville and Conor Nally


While we are on the subject of young talent showing a strong presence in Scottish Cyclocross, a vote for rider of the day, should go to Conner Johnstone (Leslie bike/Bikers Boutique); this lad is no quitter, and despite having to deal with punctures, a bike change and having to ride himself back into the race from sixth place only to puncture again on the run to the line, managed to snatch a fine win in the Youth Class, possibly his hardest day in the saddle to date.

(Top): Our man in the field cheers on Wardell, (right): tough race saw Franco Porco finish 7th in the V40


The Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series now takes a couple of weeks out before we head to Irvine and the nearest we get to Koksijde or Joksijde as the Cross fraternity name it up here. If you want to be part of the Dune race organised by Neil Walker and Walkers Cycling mob, you can get an entry here:


If however the last couple of lung burning series cross races have now, still got you gagging for more of the same, the Doonbank Trofee, superbly promoted by the Ayr Roads Club have a new to the fixture list non series event this coming weekend details here,


These non-series are the future of the sport up here, and need supporting, The Press Room will be there on the day to capture all the action.

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Wardell's Ridley Romp

It was the season opener and the rain held off all day. The racing was fast and furious, Jammie was in fine voice aided by Maddy Robinson, and The Grange sold every scrap of food they had. It could only be cyclocross and our man in the field, the Great McComisky, found time between races to cast his experienced eye over proceedings.

words: John McComisky
pics: Mark McGhee


David Lines and Robert Wardell were locked together for the first half of the race


Round One of the Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series ensconced itself to the already autumnal and very picturesque setting of Callendar Park last weekend (Oct 5th). Event organisers Franco Porco and David Lines, with the help of a strong support team, put on an incredibly fast and exciting course, with many additions to the previous year’s event, which featured switchbacks and drops, swoops and slick turns taking in the natural landscape of the Falkirk venue.

The Ridley Steps which riders had to run up each time around (except Gary McDonald who managed to ride them)


These features were mated with the new-for-2014 Ridley Steps which offered the riders the choice of running or in some cases riding the feature. Before the racing had even started in earnest, the organisers were proud to announce that a record breaking field of 469 riders, 89 of them female, had signed up for this Scottish Series event. The course held up well despite some overnight rain, and the scene was set for a race and venue that is more than capable of putting on British National and indeed International events in the future.

Riders prepare mentally and physically for the rigours ahead


In the Senior event, World Cup Mountain biker Rab Wardell (OrangeMonkey Pro Team) was soon at the thick end of the proceedings, along with event organiser Lines (Starley Primal); this pairing put the hammer down early on to shake off the attentions of an impressive Jack Ravenscroft (Team Thomson Cycles) and a fast starting Callum MacGowan (Alpine Bikes). The full-out riding of Wardell and Lines looked set to go down to a sprint finish in the sixty minute race until Lines un-shipped his chain on one of the many technical features and despite raucous support from his home crowd, was unable to make inroads to the on-form Wardell.

The podium winners: Wardell (1st), the talented Jack Ravenscroft (3rd) and co-organiser Lines (2nd)


Behind all this drama Ravenscroft secured the last step of the podium despite a mid-race collision. The fourth rider home saw a welcome return for James McCallum (NFTO Pro Cycling) who is sure to feature strongly in the upcoming series events this year.

Sean Clark and Lauri Peil (ERC)


The Veteran 40 class had the strongest field of the day with one hundred and ten riders taking to the grid, which included reigning Ridley Series Senior winner Colin May, who has moved up a category to take on the might of Gary McCrae, John McCaffery, Alan Lamont and event co-organiser Franco Porco (Leslie Bikes/ Bikers Boutique).

Stephen Jackson and co-organiser Franco Porco lead the V40's in a race that saw both finish in high positions


From the crowded and manic start, McCrae soon dispensed with the attentions of May and Glasgow United's wrecking crew of James Melville, Hans Forhaug and Stevie Jackson, and set into a race pace that saw him lap almost half the field before race end. Twenty seconds down was an impressive Colin May who divides his time between cycling and driving one of Edinburgh's trams, and a strong ride from Forhaug who was top United rider on the day.

(top): Race winner Gary McCrae. (bottom left): Colin May, (bottom right): Hans Forhaug and James Melville


The Veteran 50/Women/Junior race which is run as a split category saw Brenden Roe (Leslie Bikes/Bikers Boutique) have to work hard after a fall to see off the attentions of Alastair Dow (Ronde), who really took the race to the reigning Scottish Champion, and an impressive ride from Malcolm Dunlop (VC Edinburgh) secured the final podium spot.

(left): Joseph Fee, (right): Mike Lynch and Steven Halsall


The fastest Juniors though, would end up first across the line in this race in the shape of Andrew Vettraino, with local rider Jamie Mason having to give best on the day. Really worthy of note though are the lap times of these Junior riders; both of these lads are more than capable of riding in the Senior class with distinction.

Scotland International Anne Ewing (WV Breda) transfers her skills to the muddy stuff


In the Women’s class, Anne Ewing (WV Breda) added some International flavour to the race by putting the hurt into a twenty eight strong field who took to the parcour. Ewing, fresh from stage racing in Ireland was soon in charge of the class and finished comfortably in front of Kerry McPhee (Rock and Road), another rider with a fine pedigree in International racing both having represented Scotland at the recent Commonwealth Games, with the last spot on the podium going to the impressive Lucy Grant (Peebles CC), winner of the Tweedlove Sprint earlier this year.

clockwise from top: Iain McMullen, Paul McInally and Owen Philipson


In the Veteran Female category, a fine ride was had by former Scottish Time Trial Champion Sian Tovey (www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk) who is looking like a rider to watch this year for overall honours.

5 laps for George Stewart


The Kids and Youth events, also had a fantastic turnout in all the classes; it is such a heartening sight to see the future stars of cycling, having a safe and well organised arena to ply their skills in the setting of the park and Central Region.

clockwise from top left: Russell Duncan, Steven Halsall, Addy Pope and David Lines


After all the mud had stopped flying, the organisers were quick to acknowledge the continued support of Ridley, Lazer Helmets and Madison, who really have enhanced cyclocross in Scotland. Additional race sponsors on the day in the shape of Sufferfest Training, Wheelsmith, Andrew Wilson at Visual Fit, Soigneur Embrocation and Grange Kitchen are worthy too of mention in supporting grass roots cycling events.

James Melville remounts in style

There is also a lot of credit due to the team at Falkirk Community Trust who have liaised with a great team of ground staff to help put on what many see as the best ever event held in Scotland.

Next up is Round 2 at Strathclyde Park…see you there!

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SXC Round 4: Lochore Meadows

The Commonwealth Games have Rolled Out of Town and Morven Returns to Familiar Ground.


words: Morven Brown
photos: Alastair Ross


Rab Wardell keeps smiling despite the epic conditions


After a long summer break, the SXC returned to action on the 10th of August, taking the show to the Kingdom of Fife. The team at the Meedies Bike Club, coupled with the support of Fife Council had been hard at work for many months to develop a XC course at Lochore Meadows Country Park. The course was fast and flowing, and was highly praised by the racers. Starting off from the wide open field the riders flew out of the arena, much to the delight of the spectators. Climbing up through the dirt jump park, riders were tested on tight, steep corners before a final haul to the top of the hill, all the time dodging the resident herd of cattle.  After a short breather, it was time for the descent which was fast, rocky and rooty, with plenty of trees to keep the riders honest. Dropping back down to the lochside, cyclists were treated to copse after copse of tight, rooted and exhilaratingly fast trails.

Mud, glorious mud!


With the arrival of Hurricane Bertha imminent, the first racers of the day lined up on the start, with a wide range of ages and abilities all ready to set off for varying lengths of race. The first event of the day, as ever, goes to the Juvenile Boys, who sprint one flat-out lap of the course. Tim Shoreman (Deeside Thistle) continued his fine run of form to take the victory 25 seconds ahead of Perth City Cycles rider Craig Dobbins and Tam Munro-White (Ben Wyvis CC). Anna McGorum (Peebles CC) completed her lap in 24:07 to win the Juvenile Girls, with Emily Field (Stirling BC) and Megan Wilkinson (Peebles CC) completing the podium. In the Youth Boys competition, Conner Johnstone (Team Leslie Bikeshop) took his fourth win of the season, with visiting rider Calum Fernie (Nottingham Clarion CC) ahead of Perth City Cycles’ Douglas Carcherie. Johnstone also claimed the fastest lap of the morning’s competition with a time of 18:33.034. Anna Kay (Hetton Hawks) was first placed Youth Girl and Louisa Watt (Peebles CC) came home in second spot.

Anna Kay (Hetton Hawks) won the Youth Girl's category


The aptly named Jennifer Tough took victory in the Sport Women, with Anne Murray (Team Jewson) winning the Veteran Women ahead of Louise Allen (Mukyriderz). Anne was enjoying the course so much that she even undertook an additional fourth lap to continue her battle with Gillian Pratt (Team Leslie Bikeshop) who won the Elite Women’s race.

Epic conditions produced aggressive racing


Challenging each other from start to finish after riding clear of the pack, Mark Barnett (Team Leslie Bikeshop) and ever youthful Gregor Grant (Moray Firth CC) thrilled the crowds with a sprint finish, Grant coming out on top by 0.126 seconds! Brian Garriock (Perth City Cycles) was third. John Newton was another Leslie Bikeshop rider who has won every race this season, and again took the victory in the Super Veteran Men ahead of David McLean (Hetton Hawks) and Eddie Gronkowski (Mukyriderz).

Race faces to the fore...


Sue Hynd won the Taster Women’s event with a smile on her face, and Steve Field (Stirling BC) was the Men’s Taster victor.

Fast, flowing singletrack makes Lochore Meadows a great course


By the time the youngest riders of the day lined up on the start line of their specially designed, miniature version of the course, they were feeling the full force of the storm. With heavy rain, and lashing wind, these 50 young riders bravely battled on, for the most part, with smiles on their faces. In the Under 8’s race, where some riders totter along on pedal-less balance bikes, Gavin Gronkowski pipped Sandy MacKay to the finish, with Gregor Watt in third place. In the Girls, Heather Wilson finished over 30 seconds clear of Anna Birrell and Rhiannon Gourlay. The Under 10 Boys was a close fought battle, with Ruaridh Johnson finishing just ahead of David Cathcart and Jake Rennie. Emily Carrick Anderson was dominant in the girls, ahead of her teammates Christina McGorum and Holly Hobbs. Her brother, Coran Carrick Anderson again won the Under12 Boys race, ahead of Russell Brown, with Jamie MacKenzie working his way up from the back of the pack to finish third. Elena McGorum saw off her teammate Emily Wilkinson to win the Under 12 Girls event.

Coffees and cakes went down a storm


The final events of the day were reserved for the hardiest souls, as the hurricane bore down on the arena, and spectators huddled in the Meedies tent, where the cakes and coffees were going down a storm! With the Elite Men taking on five laps of the now rather muddy and slippery course, the crowds were poised to see some exciting racing. Mark McGuire took a convincing victory in the Junior Men’s event, sitting with the Elite leaders for the best part of the race. Calum Magowan (Peebles CC) took silver with third place going to Jamie Mason (West Lothian Clarion). In the Sport Men, Michael Bossard toppled series leader Graeme Warren (Velo Club Moulin) to take the win at Lochore, with Stuart Dun (Edinburgh University CC) in third. It was a resounding victory for Scott Logan (TheBicycleWorks) who rode clear of the pack on the first lap. A tasty battle ensued for the remaining podium positions with Trek Concept Store Glasgow rider Derek Shanks taking 2nd place, ahead of a delighted Craig Webster (Mukyriderz). Team Leslie Bikeshop specialise in Veteran men, and Lochore was no exception. Gary McCrae came home over 1:38 ahead of his nearest rival, Greig Walker of Velo Club Moulin. McCrae’s teammate Damien Slorach was third.

Gary McCrae in his usual position at the front


Finally, in the Elite Men’s event, Rab Wardell (Orange Monkey Pro Team) was unstoppable, riding strongly throughout the race to finish almost five minutes clear of his nearest rival. Rab also took the honour of completing the fastest lap of the day’s racing, winning himself a brilliant Garmin device, courtesy of Thomsons Cycles, in the process. Second place went to Rob Friel (Glasgow Whls), with Dougie Shearer (Innerleithen I-cycles) rounding off the podium.

Elite Mens winner Rab Wardell ties up another win before heading to Stirling


It was an exciting day of racing in all categories, and with rave reviews, the course looks set to become a firm favourite in the calendar.

To the victor, the spoils...


The series culminates in the final round of the 2014 SXC Series and Scottish Championships at Dalbeattie Forest on the 14th of September.


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