Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Plean Race Report

The Scottish Cyclocross train rolled into the town of Plean, Stirling. Followed by its army of 200+ riders, this week’s racing was lining up to be an epic before even a crank was turned. Plean, a SCX classic, hosts a course offering some beautiful / contentious single track, wide open sweeping fast paths and the two big tests; a short, steep bank and the long, lung-busting, leg-buckling climb. The course was superbly laid out by the Striling bike club and to top it off they had a burger van too.

Stirling supplied a dry but cloudy day – that didn’t dull the spirits of the competitors. In fact as the Under 12 race kicked off with a massive field of 45 the atmosphere was certainly starting to heat up!

Under 12s - Even in the large numbers lining up on the start it was clear The Johnstone Wheelers Jets had a large contingent. With a big age range in the field, from the whistle the riders soon spread out around the course. The lead riders; Michael Hastings, Calum Shackley & Andrew Merry (& lead girl Rhona Callendar) powered off round the course as the main bunch was chased down by Jefferson Keir (& his Mum). A competitive field produced some excellent racing around the relatively long special course. After the allotted 15 minutes duration and some intriguing battles Calum Fernie took the win.

Thanks to Wallace Warriors for U12 prizes, Revolutionary Bikes and The Bike Wearhouse, Also to Kenny Wilson who made some spectacular medals & trophies for all classes

Just as well there were a lot of kids as there were a lot of spot prizes!


Under 8 boys:
1. Callum Reid (Wallace Warriors)
2. Rory Duncan (Wallace Warriors)
3. Sam Chisholm (West Lothian Clarion)

Under 8 girls:
1.Fern Blundell

Under 10 boys:
1. Josh Grahame (Peebles CC)2. Hamish MacLaren (Johnstone Jets)3. Robert Fernie (Edinburgh RC)

Under 10 girls:
1. Rhona Samphier (Wallace Warriors)

2. Abby Stewart (Glasgow Riderz)
3. Sarah Thompson (Glasgow Riderz)

Under 12 boys:
1. Calum Fernie (Edinburgh RC)
2. Sean Flynn (Edinburgh RC)

3. Michael Hastings (Port Mor Wheelers)

Under 12 girls:
1. Rhona Callander
(Stirling Bike Club)

2. Katie Allen (Stirling Bike Club – Wallace Warriors)
3. Jenny Hill (Wallace Warriors)

Youths: I am personally glad I wasn’t racing this lot! The start alone was enough to put you off – it was what could only be described as a rapid start from the whistle into the start / finish straight and on to the first corner. Even with such a fast start all 28 riders negotiated the slippery first switch back and the race began…

Ross Wilcox led out the field with Tom Arstien closing him down with every pedal stroke. Soon Tom took the lead and left Ross, Stuart Wilcox and Ian Paton to battle out the podium positions. Although Ross had pushed to the front of the race the battle following was not too far behind. Tom kept a cool head and proved his off from last week, which cost him his win, was behind him. Despite the pressure Tom crossed the line in the lead to take his first

win of the season. In the girls race Louise Borthwick, Cathrine Angus and Jenna Fenwick quickly found their rhythm and maintained their positions throughout the race.


Under 16 boys:
1. Tom Arstein (Velo Ecosse)
2. Stuart Wilcox (i-cycles)
3. Ian Paton (Square Wheels)

Under 16 girls:
1. Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC)
2. Catherine Angus (Carnegie Cyclones)
3. Jenna Fenwick (Jenna Fenwick)

Under 14 boys:
1. Matthew Peters (Wallace Warriors)
2. Hamish Carrick (Kelso Wheelers)
3. Edward Fletcher (Cairngorm CC)

Under 14 girls:1 .Erika Alan (Stirling Bike Club – Wallace Warriors)
2. Emma Borthwick (Edinburgh RC)
3. Isla Short (Glentress Riders)

Juniors/Vets/Women: With another large and eager field of 62 riders only pinned back by the start line and the readily awaited whistle, tension filled the air. After the fast start of the youths’ race the “older” generation had something to prove… Unfortunately, the eagerness of some riders caused a pile up in the first few meters. The lead half of the race got away smoothly but it left a number of riders calling for new wheels and bikes as they neared the pits. Hannah Ferguson got caught up in the turmoil and was dragged along the track for a section. Two riders were also reported to have been taken to hospital for checks but no serious injuries were reported. Hannah, bravely & and in true cross style got back on her bike and continued with her race! Unfortunately for some left at the start the “generation of the past” had kept the pressure on the pedals. By the first time they crossed the stripe the top riders had gapped the field, albeit only by a few meters. Gary McCrae, Steve Nicholson, John McCafferty, Ian Nimmo and Mick Nally had created a splinter group – the battle was on. By the third lap Stevie,

Gary & Mick were in involved in some tight racing coming across the line although John & Ian were not far behind and chasing them down. Throughout the first half of the race the front places kept swapping but Gary soon fought into first position and stretched out a commanding 30 second lead ahead of Stevie, Ian, John, Mick who were starting to gap each other in the chasing group. Gary and Stevie maintained their first and second positions with Mick eventually winning the last place on the podium. John finished fourth with Ian coming in fifth. In a SCX exclusive I can also reveal that Mick and Stevie had been spotted doing some “sneaky training” on the course the day before… Preparation prevents poor performance I suppose.


1. Gary McCrae (Team Leslie Bikeshop – Right Move Windows)
2. Steve Nicholson (Dunfermline CC)3. Michael Nally (Dunfermline CC)
4. John McCafferty (Dunfermline CC)
5. Ian Nimmo (Squadra Porcini)

Juniors: A close fought battle between Scott Lindsay, Charles Fletcher & Jack Taylor with Scott edging ahead on lap 3 and holding his lead for the rest of the race. It looks like it's going to be a close fight through the season for these guys.

Hannah Ferguson recovered from her nasty crash to finish and claim the girls’ prize.


1. Scott Lindsay (i-cycles)
2. Charles Fletcher (Cairngorm CC)
3. Jack Taylor (Drumlanrig Rik’s Bike Shed)

Female:1. Hannah Ferguson (Glentress Riders)

Women: Dutch visitor Martina Verweij (riding for Endura and in her first ever cross race) lead from the start but Alexis Barnes never let her out of her sights. Brenda Callander and Lyndsey Carson battled for third, Brenda getting the better of Lyndsey on lap four – upgrading to a cross bike this year is obviously working well for her. Martina and Alexis came across the line together, Martina just pipping it on the post but Alexis was later relegated to last place for a technical infringement. Brenda also took the first women vet prize of a field of five – this is the best turn out of women vets SCX has seen so far and a brilliant sign of how popular SCX has become.

If the syle police were out they for sure would have given the top step to Jac Marquis and her fantastic socks! Awesome.

A special mention also has to go to Sian Tovey who suffered a broken chain on the last lap and had to go for a lengthy run – chapeau.

1. Martine Verweij (Team Endura/MI Racing)
2. Brenda Callander (Stirling Bike Club)
3. Lyndsey Carson (Velo Club Moulin)

Seniors: 54 riders lined up for the day’s main event. A clean start saw everyone filter onto the course rapidly. Even with half a lap gone, 6 riders had pulled away from the rest of the field. This group contained some of the SCX series lead contenders – this was going to be a battle to the end. Wheel to wheel, Craig Hardie, Paul Newman, Robert Friel, Davie Henderson, James Fraser-Moodie and Sean Clark tested each other with every dig, dismount and decisive line. Heading into the second lap Davie had taken the lead over Craig but with a muddy Cyclocross blanket covering the top riders nothing was set in stone. The riders could be seen eyeing up the strengths of their opponents, trying to exploit every

fraction of a second over this demanding and varied course. The lead changed hands again with Robert taking over before a puncture ruined his race chances and he dropped out. It was then left to James Fraser Moodie to take over, his strength on the climbs showing through as he created a big lead. Davie Henderson (Scottish mountain bike champion) battled hard and was making up ground over the last couple of laps but the damage had been done. The race strung out behind them with big gaps leaving Craig and Paul having a lonely time in third and fourth.

On the podium the racers recalled their day with James thanking the organisers for putting in the climb which played to his strengths. Craig responded with saying that James was ‘keeping him honest’ – a hard day at the office for Hardie.

1. James Fraser-Moodie (Pedal Power)
2. Dave Henderson (Pedal Power)
3. Craig Hardie (

Full results and more race info can be found on the Scottish Cycling web site -

Photos of the day can also be found at the official SCX flickr site -

A short video of the action can be found at –

Next weekend the SCX season continues on the west with a meeting at Strathclyde Country Park. With the season really starting to heat up it’s now time to come along and cheer on the riders or even hop on your bike for a quick spin! See you all there…

Team Turbitt (Steven & Ainsley and friends) SCX Race reporting.


Anonymous said...

Grear write-up guys, good video too!


Grant T

Anonymous said...

Can organisers advise if Strathclyde park race will allow under 5's to race and maybe some that require a little assistance over bigger bumps. you know in the good spirit it used to be..