With an impressive 350 riders already entered online from Scotland and beyond, race organisers and local Falkirk racers Franco Porco (Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique) and David Lines (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) have upped the ante of Scottish Cyclocross this year and made some challenging changes to the fast and flowing course, with plenty of new features to test the cream of Scotland's and indeed the UK's best riders, as well as offering a course that will suit newcomers alike.
With this being the first event in a season long competition to crown the Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series across the various categories, David and Franco have attracted international and Championship riders such as professionals in the shape of James McCallum (NFTO), who is able to concentrate on cyclocross this term. Rab Wardell (Orange Monkey Pro Team), who has raced globally in World Cup Mountain Bike races and who now one of the leading lights in race coaching in the UK. These riders will face an 80 strong grid that also includes a sprightly Jack Ravenscroft of (Team Thomsons Cycles), and co-organiser David Lines who smoked the opposition in a host of races last year, and is surely heading for a step on the podium at his home event.
The Veteran 50/Women/Junior race will see the return of Isla Short (Team Thomsons Cycles), the pocket rocket is the reigning Scottish Champion, and has been racing internationally all year, her opposition will include Maddy Robinson (VC Moulin) fresh from a podium at the Three Peaks Cyclocross race last weekend. Expect some fast and furious racing from the women who race against the seasoned Veteran 50 riders in the shape of West Lothian's Bill Young (Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique) and his team mate Billy McCord, and reigning Champion Brendan Roe.
The Vet 40 class has the Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique trio of Porco, John McCaffery and Scottish Champion Gary McCrae, who will be under attack from a very strong Glasgow United team of James Melville, Hans Fourhaug and Stevie Jackson, but well worth a look out could be local racer from Falkirk Alan Lamont (Leslie Bike/BB) who is more than capable of a podium at his home event.
With a full day of races on including events for kids and youths, the hope is a noisy and large crowd will come along to the park and make a day of it. As always Scottish Cyclocross is free to watch, and there will be a host of stalls and food emporiums to visit.
The organisers would like to thank series sponsors Ridley, Lazer and Madison for series support, and a special thanks to Falkirk Council and Community Trust who support races in Central Region.
These sponsors along with Sufferfest Training, Wheelsmith, Andrew Wilson at Visual Fit. Soigneur Embrocation and the Grange Kitchen, will surely make a fun day in the park a go to event this weekend.