Ya (Sand) Dancer!

A great day’s racing was just one of the plaudits afforded Walkers Cycling Club at the end of their annual cyclocross event at Irvine Beach Park on Sunday.
The six races attracted a record turnout of 375 riders in the fifth leg of the Ridley Bikes-sponsored Scottish Cyclocross Series.
But it wasn’t just the high number of entries that made for a great day’s CX-ing.
The weather was spot-on for November, the re-routed course got the thumbs-up and the spectators were applauded for the job they did in shouting encouragement from start to finish.
Even the catering tent run by cyclist Euan Clelland, owner of the Grange Hotel in Coatbridge, featured among the glowing comments on facebook in the hours after the event.
Organiser Neil Walker put in an 18-hour shift to set up the course and gather up all the marshalling poles and tapes at the end.
He said: “I haven’t heard one solitary complaint. This is our sixth year at Irvine Beach Park and I reckon it was easily the best yet.
“A lot of work was put in by members of the club – some were even out on the course as early as 6am. But the efforts are worthwhile when you see the big turnout and then hear the positive feedback from riders.”
Irvine is the UK’s only seaside location for cyclocross racing and it has become a must for many of the Scottish league participants at the end of the road season.
Sunday’s proceedings went without a hitch until the second last race when a male competitor took a tumble on a stretch of sand near the finish. An ambulance escorted the rider to hospital but he was soon allowed home, suffering from no more than a sore neck and a black eye.
As a result of the drama, and for safety reasons, the final race of the day was late in starting but the waiting had been worthwhile as an exciting event was played out among the country’s best cyclocrossers as the light began to fade.
From Walkers CC Robert Earp finished third in the vet +50 category while CX newcomer Martin Kuhn, having bike set-up problems, finished 22nd in the same section; Anna Walker finished fourth in the senior women category with Lorna Todd close behind her in fifth, while Fiona Walker and Fiona Peterkin finished 12th and 13 respectively in the same section; Lorna Sloan maintained her steady run in the vet female section with Catherine Logan close on her heels in third position. ; Scott Russell finished 36th in the vets 40-49 category while Russell Mowat was 48th in the same section with valiant rides from Stephen Fraser and Barry Garner; Charles Vincent finished 28th in the seniors category while Ali Turner was 53rd, Henry Peterkin 54th and John McCracken 56th , leaving brothers Calum and Darren Ridout to bring up the rear in the same section.
Next event on the SCX calendar is a non-series contest at Lochore Meadows, Fife, on Sunday, a warm-up for the Scottish Championships a week later at Foxlake in Dunbar.

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