Monday, 21 October 2013

Callendar Park Cross is a Record Breaker.

Ferguson is G in the Park Victor.

Senior, Women/Junior/V50, V40 & Youths
U12s & U8s
Timing by myeventtiming

Round two of the Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series moved to the autumnal and picturesque setting of Callendar Park in Falkirk this weekend. 

Event organisers Franco Porco and a David Lines put on an incredibly challenging and exciting course, which crammed just about every conceivable obstacle in the way of the record breaking 388 rider field. The course held up well to heavy overnight rain and after a few pre race tweaks, the Park filled with up an enthusiastic and vocal crowd from all over Scotland.

In the Senior event, World Cup Mountain biker Grant Ferguson (Superior-Brentjens) was the man that everyone wanted to finish second to. Ferguson grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck from the get go, and proceeded to slam the opposition into the greasy, slippery parcour with a solid and intelligent ride. The fluidity of Ferguson was truly something to behold, and an example of how far Scottish Cyclocross has grown in stature over the last few years.

Behind all this display of cross genius came a hunting pack that had Iain Paton (Ben Wyvies Cycles) and a fast starting Simon Kirkness (Tri-Centre), dishing out the pain to the rest of the 90 strong field.
Paton faltered and this allowed Kirkness to steadily pull away from his rivals, in a mature and controlled effort to snatch second place by mid race.

But with one lap to go Paton recovered his zeal to take second spot on the podium from a delighted Kirkness, with solid riding from single speed devotee Colin May (Velo Club Edinburgh), and a returning from running Neil Walker (Walkers Cycles) who opened his season points tally with fifth

The Veteran 40 class also had a very strong field despite the no show of John McCafferty (Leslie Bikes/BB) who is still recovering from illness. His team mate Gary McCrae made up for all of this, and was able to race to the win in front of team owner Andy Hain, despite having raced to second in the “Hairy Coo” Mountain Bike event the day before, Gary and his legs did all the talking.

Always lurking and taking a race to the Leslie Bikes riders this year, Glasgow United filled the rest of the podium with James Melville and Stevie Jackson.

Of note was the ride of course organiser Franco Porco put in, who despite setting up the course from 7am, he still placed fourth.

The Veteran 50/ Women/Junior race was again the domain of Harry Johnston (Team Thomson’s Cycles), Jamie Mason (West Lothian Clarion) and Connor Nally (Hardie Bikes) .

The young wrecking crew safely managed to keep a truly inspiring ride by first Veteran 50 rider Brendan Roe, as well as his daughter Eileen!

With respect to the Women’s class, a record breaking thirty racers took to the line, which is an all time participation record for a Cyclocross race in Scotland. Eileen Roe (Ronde-Bicycle Outfitters) the current Scottish CX Champion, put in an impressive performance in her first cyclo-cross of the season and took the win by over 30 seconds. Despite finishing second, VC Moulin race ace Maddy Robinson did her series effort no harm at all by seeing off a very impressive ride from first time crosser Kerry MacPhee (Rock and Road), who had initially led proceedings until an untimely encounter with a course hurdle.

In the Kids and Youth events, a fantastic turnout took on the course in the morning, with the victory spoils in the Under Eight Class going to a fiery ride from Gavin Gronkowski who got a wriggle on right from the start, first of the girls came in the shape of Daisy Taylor, who also managed third overall. The best thing about the first kids races is they just give it their all on all manner and shape of bikes, a heartening sight to see for the onlooker.

In the Under 12 class, Jamie Johnston (Thomsons Cycles) simply owned it and put on a very mature display for the full race, this lad already has a skill set developing and was very impressive in lapped traffic, as well as taking on the challenge of the slippery knoll at the far end of the Callendar Park course. Niamh Docherty again posted a top ride amongst the boys with a fine win for herself placing ninth overall.

Wrapping up the full race schedule were the Youth events and a great top step from Joe Nally (Hardie Bikes), and a spirited ride from Emma Borthwick (Tri-Centre) who is more than capable of mixing it with the strongest Youth males in Scotland.

After all the mud had stopped flying, the organisers were quick to acknowledge the support of Ridley, Lazer Helmets and Madison in supporting the event. There is also a lot of credit due to Garry Nichol and his team at Falkirk Community Trust who liaised with a great team of ground staff to help put on for now a Scottish Series race, but possibly with an eye on bringing a National Trophy race to Scotland one day. Now would that not be a tantalising thought?.

Great photo sets here from Anthony Robson 

Words: John McComisky
Images: Martin Steele and Anthony Robson

No comments: