Scots not Short of success in Plymouth

Scots not Short of success in Plymouth


This weekend saw the return of the HSBC UK National Cross County Championships on England’s south coast, with no less than four Scots returning north donning the stripey jersey of the National Champion.

As predicted, the recent heat wave sweeping the country made the course extremely fast and dusty, with the riders that mixed physical strength with technical finesse being the ones that produced the results.

Two such riders were Isla Short (Orbea Factory Racing) and Kerry MacPhee (Bike Trossachs), finishing on the top two steps of the podium in the Senior Women’s Championships. Short followed up on her impressive form, which included a win at the National Series and an impressive 11th place at the UCI World Cup event in Les Gets, to dominate proceedings on her way to a first British XC title, and will now have the honour of wearing the bands for next 12 months. MacPhee won the battle for silver, despite minimal course practice due to a flat, whilst Jane Barr (Velocity 44) also had a very strong ride for sixth.

Further Scottish success was seen in the Junior Women’s race, with Tweed Valley’s Elena McGorum (Peebles CC) winning an epic sprint finish to taste victory on Sunday morning – cheered on all the way by her Mum in what was arguably the most exciting climax to a race over the weekend.

The Junior Men also saw a sprint finish decide the outcome, Corran Carrick-Anderson (T-MO Racing) taking gold, which would usually mean the family bragging rights would be with him, but younger sister Emily also won out in Youth Girls event the previous day, to ensure that a number of new jerseys will be needed in the Carrick-Anderson household.

Speaking of the successful weekend on the south coast, Scottish Cycling Mountain Bike Coach, Paul Newnham, said:

“There were some great results from Scottish riders, with no fewer than four Scottish champions crowned, which shows the strength in depth across the different categories. There was some really exciting racing, with two exciting sprint finishes where Corran and Elena came out on top, so that was fantastic for everyone to witness. It’s been a long time since we had a British Champion in the Senior Women’s race, so Isla’s victory capped off a great weekend.”

The younger sister of Elena, Christina McGorum came home in 12th in that Youth Girls race, with Daisy Taylor and Beatrix Kiehlmann just ahead of her in fifth and 11th respectively.

There was some cruel luck in the Men’s Under 23 event when favourite Charlie Aldridge (Scott Racing) suffered a puncture, but that did not deter him as he still held on for a great second place finish, whilst just behind him in the bronze medal position was Rory McGuire (Leslie’s Bike Shop). Whilst there may have been slight disappointment for them to have missed out on the gold medal, it is great to see the continued development of the two Scots that impressed on the international stage in recent weeks.

In the Women’s equivalent, Anna Flynn (Edinburgh RC) rode her way to a great third place finish in an extremely strong field, with Mieke Kalmijn (Glasgow Riderz) also having a strong race to finish fourth.

The Men’s Elite event also saw some decent performances from the Scots, Rio Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games representative Grant Ferguson (Hope Tech Racing) finishing seventh, with Rab Wardell only just behind in eighth – a great achievement in his first British Champs since 2014. Gary MacDonald (Nevis Cycles) also finished in a very respectable 13th place – especially after his silver medal in the Masters Championship the day previous, first in his specific age band.

Innes McDonald (Edinburgh RC) won a bronze medal in the Boys’ Juvenile event, with Lacey Holmes (Lanark Race Team) was first Scot in seventh in the girl's equivalent. Rounding off an excellent weekend for Scots, Reuben Oakley (Edinburgh RC) was sixth in the Boy’s Youth race.

Full results from the two days of action can be found here. Next up for the riders is the latest round of HSBC UK National Cross Country Series in Bournemouth on the 15th August