Scottish Cyclocross Preview, Round One Auchentoshan

Scottish Cyclocross Preview, Round One Auchentoshan


Posted: 04th October 2013

Article by: Morven Brown, Scottish Cycling

The 2013 Ridley Scottish Cyclocross Series, in association with Madison, Ridley and Lazer, will kick off in style on Sunday the 6th October at Auchentoshan, West of Glasgow.  As is usual in the world of cyclocross, while there are some discipline specific riders, most racers will come from both road and mountain bike backgrounds. This creates racing that is fast and furious, with plenty of tactical decisions to be made!

Auchentoshan is deemed by many as a true classic of the Scottish cyclocross scene, with the mandatory hurdles and un-rideable steep muddy bank section. Following grassy, off-camber corners, designed to test the steering and bike handling skills of even the strongest riders, the course drops into the woods. A couple of large, muddy bomb holes and a short, sharp climb later, it’s onto the main feature of the course.  A steep descent, with cross-roots and plenty of mud leads down into the burn – with some riders entering the muddy river head first – before the inevitable cyclocross run up the steep muddy banking! A few more swoops, turns and off camber corners and its back around to the finish line to complete as many laps of the 6minute laps as possible.

The first races of the day will set off just before 10am, with the Bike Love Under 8s and Under12s taking on a shortened, but still challenging, cyclocross loop. With almost 40 young riders pre-entered, there is sure to be excellent competition between racers while keeping the atmosphere fun and friendly.

In the Thomsons Cycles Youth category, Joe Nally of Hardie Bikes will be looking to round off a very successful season on the road with a win at Auchentoshan. Finishing the 2012 SCX series in a strong position, Joe is one of the favourites for the event, alongside Sean Flynn (Edinburgh RC) and Calum Shackley (Glasgow Riderz). In the girl’s category, Amber King is returning from injury to compete against the likes of Anna Shackley (Glasgow Riderz) and the Strathdee sisters – Eleanor and Ishbel (Edinburgh RC).

The first of the senior categories will set off at 11.30am with the Thomsons Cycles Junior, Women and Veteran (50+) categories heading around the course for 40minutes, plus one lap. The Junior men’s category will be a true spectacle with the top riders from the world of road and mountain biking combining to see who will reign champion. Ever-present on the podium in 2012, Ruari Yeoman (EKRC) will be looking to take the win at Auchentoshan. He will face extremely stiff competition from top road racer, Ben Forsyth (Edinburgh RC) and Conor Nally (Hardie Bikes) who has been on the top step at each round of the Tayside & Fife regional MTB series.

In the Women’s category, a large entry already has some strong contenders with third place in the 2012 series Morven Brown (Dales Cycles) and Mona Petrie (Deeside Thistle CC) heading up the field. There looks set to be a few on-the-day entries too from some of the big names in the world of Scottish female Cyclocross racing, with those riders notable by their absence.

Also at 11.30am, the newly-formed Thomsons Cycles Veteran 50+ category will take on the gruelling Auchentoshan course, with the ever strong Brendan Roe surely one of the favourites to take the victory. Many riders improve with age, and despite being the eldest race category, they are every bit as competitive as the younger categories.

The largest mass start of the day will be in the Thomsons Cycles Veteran 40-49 category, with almost 60 riders pre-entered and many more set to pre-enter on the day. This is an extremely competitive category, with many strong riders who all, on their given day, could ride strongly onto the podium. The marked men will be the Team Leslie Bikeshop/Bikers Boutique duo of John McCaffery and Gary McCrae, with the former being the 2012 SCX Series Champion and the latter the 2013 Scottish cross-country Champion. Add into the mix the ever-strong and consistent Iain Nimmo, Kenny Kentley, Franco Porco and Gordon Traynor, and there will be an epic battle for podium positions in this 40minute race.

The final race of the day will be the Senior men, setting off at 13.30 for a whole hour of lap after lap racing. With many of the top cyclocross series riders from last year yet to enter, the race has been flung wide open, with many racers eyeing the top spot of the podium. Out of the 50 riders currently entered in the Senior field for Auchentoshan, only 15 entered the 2012 Auchentoshan race, creating an exciting and unpredictable category. Young, rising stars, Sean Gordon (Thomsons Cycles) and Finlay Strivens (Cairngorm CC) will be hoping that youth will triumph on the day, with stiff competition from the more experienced riders; Paul McInally (Rock and Road Cycles) and Douglas Shearer (Innerleithen MTB racing).One to watch will be Roger Campbell-Crawford of Thomsons Cycles, the newly-crowned Scottish Cross Country Champion, and never one to rule out in a sprint finish.

With wet weather forecast, there is sure to be plenty of ‘Splosh at the ‘Tosh’. This guarantees there to be plenty of fast, competitive racing to delight racers and spectators alike! Delicious catering will be provided on site by the Grange Kitchen, and race organisation is carried out by the brilliant Glasgow United CC.