And the winner is …

After much eager anticipation we are thrilled to announce that  Walkers Cycling Club  has won a coveted award for its staging of Round Two of the high-profile Cyclocross National Trophy Series last October.

The event, which attracted bike riders from all over the UK to Irvine Beach Park, has been named Scotland’s Cycling Event of the Year. It was the first time that British Cycling had brought the high-profile  Series north of the border.

The six-round series is organised by British Cycling with the two-day event at Irvine in October coordinated locally by  the Walkers organising team along with the help of friends from other Ayrshire clubs.

The Event of the Year award was presented to the club at Scottish Cycling’s Roll of Honour ceremony in Stirling on Saturday. It was one of three events shortlisted alongside Glasgow’s Sprint Grand Prix and Linlithgow Cross Go-Ride Racing. Other winning categories announced at the Stirling Court Hotel were Coach of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Club of the Year.

So taken on by the Beach Park were the National Trophy committee that they are returning this year. The riders too loved the seaside location and the undulating grassy hills and sand patches that make the course all the more of a challenge.

Walkers CC’s cyclocross expert Scott Kerr, who lives in Irvine, has been the mastermind behind the development of the sport at the harbourside venue. Scott, who was presented with the event trophy at Stirling, said: “This is a great honour for the club. We were also proud to learn that the event is coming back in October.

“It would be hard to say this year’s effort will be bigger and better because we did pull out all the stops last time. It will be of the same high standard, for sure. I only hope the sunny weather does us a favour once again.”

More than 600 riders aged from seven to 70 participated over the weekend in October. The car parks at the harbour had to close temporarily to accommodate the riders and the event equipment.

Walkers’ chairman Brian McCutcheon,  said: “We couldn’t do this on our own. Thankfully many other clubs volunteered to help with the course and with marshalling duties over two full days of cycling competition.”

Brian, himself a cyclocross fan, thanked the many local sponsors who supported the event, including Billy Bowie Tankers, Stagecoach Buses, Malcolm Group, James Frew Ltd and Hillhouse Group. HSBC are the principal national sponsors.

North Ayrshire Council have played a major part in bringing top flight CX racing to Irvine, particularly this year when considerable advance planning was required.

North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson, who presented medals at the event, said: “Congratulations to all those involved in winning the Scottish Cycling event of the year award.

“I had the pleasure of attending the event at Irvine Beach Park and was hugely impressed by the number of people competing and the number of spectators cheering them on.

“The organisers did a fantastic job in staging an event of this size. I am delighted that British Cycling are coming back to our beautiful Beach Park.”

Irvine was first identified by Walkers Cycling Club as the perfect cyclocross venue 12 years ago.

Cyclocross, or CX for short, was lucky to have 50 showing up for a day’s racing in Scotland before that. Now every CX meeting is packed out with around 500 entrants travelling far and wide for an hour of racing.