The Lapierre Scottish series kicked off in true Cyclocross style last Sunday with fast action, full-on competition and of course heavy rain.
Callendar Park, Falkirk was the venue for the first race meeting in the series. The course proved to be challenging, with the overnight rain already having turned large sections of it to mud before the first wheels were turned.
Yet for many of the competitors this is exactly what cyclocross is all about and they took to the course, with its mixture of flat grass, off-camber sections, hills, steps and wooded areas, in style.
In the early children’s races, Finlay Walker managed to stay on in the U 12s section to come in a creditable 38th over what was a tough course for the age group with some steep climbs.
Said Finlay, “It was quite a tough course but I loved it. I even managed to ride up the steep slippery section when everyone else was falling off.”
The adult races saw some 300 competitors step up to the starting line. With the mud becoming increasingly slippery, many riders came unseated at various points along the route. Indeed one corner in particular required riders to unclip one foot and steady themselves to the extent that it was nicknamed “One Leg Corner” by nearby spectators and very quickly renamed as “Long John Slither” on social media after the event.
In her first ever series race, Laura McFarlane had a decent ride in the Senior Women’s race. Despite coming off on a couple of occasions, Laura finished in 22nd position in the senior female category.
Club colleague, Fiona Walker, was delighted to complete the race with no mishaps. Said Fiona, “Against the odds, I managed to stay on my bike for the whole course. And I wasn’t even last, even if staying upright meant going slower.” She completed in 16th place in the Veteran Female rankings.
In the first of the Men’s races, Brian Mccutcheon and Russell Mowat put up a good fight against a very competitive field to come in 20th and 33rd respectively in the Veteran 50+ Men’s event. Further down the pack but making a valiant attempt was John Lumley who crossed the line in 70th place.
In the Senior Men’s event, Tim Dyer and Scott Kerr led the charge for Walkers CC. Scott held a steady position throughout the race to finish in 26th place with Tim completing the laps in 48th place.
Good results were also posted for dual Walkers and Elsewhere members Catherine Logan, Lorna Sloan, Neil Walker, Dave Walker and John McCracken. A special shout to Harry McGarvie riding in his first race as a Junior. Despite losing some ground (and allegedly the contents of his stomach) towards the end, Harry did well to take 9th place.
Enter the Dragon
Next Sunday the riders will of course be competing on home turf when Part Two of the Series comes to Irvine Beach Park. With several club members having already been down to clear and prep the course, the event promises to offer its now customary fun and fantastic cycling.
And with compere Alan Armstrong with his commentary and his choice selection of music now being located up at the Dragon, the event should be an entertaining way to spend an autumn Sunday.
Hopefully the weather will oblige with some sunshine rather than rain.