images: The Press Room
words: The Press Room
As the organiser Simon Stromberg said, “You’ve gotta’ be in it to win it” and so it proved as the riders lined up to take part in the 2018 edition of the Scottish National Youth Time Trial Championships. It may have been a slightly depleted field as some riders were competing at the British Omnium Championships, and others suffered logistical fails in getting to the start line, but it was still a quality field that set out to challenge for the medals.
Simon Stromberg had set a fearsome course around the Ythan river and the uplands on either side. Right from the off, the road climbed steeply out of the village of Methlick…and then continued to climb and climb again. With a crosswind it was hard going until the riders veered off at the Formartines café and set off down the valley with a tailwind.
Where’s there’s a tailwind, there’s always a headwind in the opposite direction…and sometimes a headwind whatever way you turn. The riders would push hard into the wind on the way back along the northern banks of the Ythan, the road constantly rolling and giving very little opportunity for respite, before finishing back on the main street in Methlick.
Hamish MacLaren (Sprockets CC) has won this title before, in the B category and riding for Johnstone Wheelers in 2016, but this year he stepped up and took the A title with a massively impressive 34:49, a time good enough to see him finish with the second fastest time of the day, only bettered by Mike Cheney (Deeside Thistle CC) in the open race with 33:43.
Ross Birrell (Edinburgh RC) knew he’d have a battle on his hands as his teammate was running three minutes behind him on the road. He set a time of 36:51 and it was looking good but Alexander Gibb blasted to the finish in 36:08 to get the better of his teammate on this occasion. This rounded out the podium but it was a decisive win for the Kilmarnock-based Sprockets Cycles sponsored rider Hamish MacLaren ahead of the ERC duo.
Retaining her title (and they may have to think about getting her a permanent one soon), Kate Richardson came home in a very impressive 39:40. Due to the aforementioned issues, her only competition came from Edinburgh RC’s Beth Morrow who posted 42:17 but they were both very accomplished times on such a sporting course.
In the B age grouping we only had one rider for the Girls but Evie White, riding for the host club Deeside Thistle, trail-blazed the course for the youth riders and set a time of 46:43. It gets her a gold medal and a Scottish National title and she’s part of that group of talented riders currently being nourished by the Deeside.
In the Boys race in the B category we began to see the dominance of the Edinburgh RC racers in their bright red kit.
Alfie Atterton and Archie Ellen have been pushing each other all year and Archie Ellen, running ahead on the road, would post a time of 37:52. However, Alfie Atterton was not to be stopped on this occasion and he blasted home in a time of 37:23 to take the title by just under half a minute. It was a closer battle for the final podium spot as Calum Smith edged his Deeside Thistle teammate Cameron Stromberg by just 4 seconds in 40:42.
There were no team prizes in the Girls races unfortunately due to the limited number of competitors but it was a sea of red in the Boys races as Edinburgh RC claimed the team prize in both categories with Alfie Atterton and Archie Ellen in the B category and Alexander Gibb with Ross Birrell in the A category.
Back to the hall for the very welcome tea and cakes provided by Sandy Wilson before the prizes were awarded and riders took to the podium on the grass outside the hall.
A super-successful event and now we move swiftly to the Scottish National Road Race Championships at Cromarty…a very busy weekend (the Ellon Crits also running on Sunday) so stay tuned for all the results and images.