With the Scottish winter weather at its best (or worst), all eyes were on Sunday’s opening round of the 2018 Super Quaich Series in Ayr.
The youth races were held early in the day before the relentless overnight rain managed to turn the course into a mudbath. It was quickly churned up after lunch when 200 adult riders were forced to dig in for grip or trundle over the muck with their bikes on their shoulders.
The Ayr Burners-organised event, known as the Doonbank Trofee, is modelled on classic European cyclocross races where huge crowds turn up to watch the action. The Scottish weather rarely disappoints in bringing this kind of event down to size – and Sunday’s experience proved to be no different with a big turnout of riders but few spectators. It was either wet or muddy or wet and muddy depending on which bit of the course was in view.
The Trek-sponsored Super Quaich competition does away with the age and gender splits of the earlier race meetings in the Scottish series, and mixes similar abilities into two races – an A event and a B event. The entry formula is said to be a secret known only to the organisers but participants reckon the seeding is pretty near spot on. The main rule to bear in mind is that the top five from the B race get promoted and the last five in the A race get demoted.
In the first race, the B event, Walkers Cycling Club were well represented by Russell Mowat, John Lumley, Lindsay McGarvie, Fiona Walker, John Walker and Darren Ridout.
Russell led the Walkers riders for most of the race but on the last lap Lindsay show his running expertise to overtake him and hold that lead to the line, by the slim margin of two seconds.
The going was really tough for the riders, with Darren suffering three mechanical problems and having to retire after one lap. For the remainder of the riders who lasted the distance it was a slog from start to finish with the deep, wet mud sapping energy with every turn of the pedals.
Some of the riders were fortunate to have two bikes and a pit crew to clean and check equipment, giving them the advantage of having de-clogged bikes every one or two laps.
In the second race, the A event, Walkers CC were represented by Scott Kerr, Brian McCutcheon and Neil Walker.
The club’s results were:
B race (72 entries) – 9th in cat, 23rd overall, Lindsay McGarvie (vet 40-49) 6 laps, 1.07.53; 5th in cat, 24th overall, Russell Mowat (vet 50) 6, 1.07.55; 11th in cat, 28th overall, Scott Alexander McKendrick (vet 40-49) 6, 1.09.03; 11th in cat, 46th overall. John Lumley (vet 50) 5, 1.02.59; 14th in cat, 50th overall, John Walker (vet 50) 5, 1.05.20; 5th in cat, 63rd overall, Fiona Walker (vet female) 4, 1.07.07
A race (89 entries) – 5th in cat, 15tyh overall, Neil Walker (vet 40-49) 7 laps, 1.13.01; 10th in cat, 25th overall, Scott Kerr (vet 40-49) 6, 1.04.13; 9th in cat, 52nd overall, Brian McCutcheon (vet 50) 6, 1.13.57
The Super Quaich series consists of three events over three weeks. The next round is at Irvine Beach Park on Sunday, February 11, and the organisers, Walkers CC, have promised an all-new course for CX fans.
The third and final round is at Rouken Glen, Giffnock, a week later, on February 18.
Pictures courtesy of Kenny the Gent Girvan