A packed weekend of racing action saw Becky Storrie, Isla Short, Rory McGuire and Phoebe Gale amongst the victors at British series events, while there were Scots in action at UCI World Cup events Germany and Belgium, as well as usual Scots Abroad section to report.
British DH Series
Phoebe Gale (Canyon Collective FMD) again showed her talent as she claimed the Junior Women’s win on Aonach Mor as the British Downhill Series visited the Fort. With a time of 5:32.636, the Scot was the fifth fastest woman on the mountain on Sunday. With an international class field attracted, it just goes to show how promising a talent the young Scot continues to be. Black Isle MTB riders Aimi Kenyon and Beth McCully finished second and third.
The only British rider able to go faster than Gale was hometown hero Mikayla Parton, who claimed an excellent fourth with a 5:31.540, which is an encouraging result before the UCI World Cup comes to town on the 28th and 29th May.
In the Men’s Elite event, a top-quality field was also in action, including World Champion Greg Minnaar of South Africa. The World Champion finished in seventh place, just one spot ahead of the top Scot on the day, Greg Williamson (100% Commencal), who finished the course in 4:41.489, with Jamie Edmondson following close behind in ninth.
There was also a good finish for Luke Williamson (555 Raaw Gravity Racing) in 13th place; meanwhile Scottish champion George Gannicott came home in 19th, and former World Champion Reece Wilson rounded out the top 20.
There was a podium in the Junior Men’s race with William Brodie in third, while Douglas Goodwill (555 Raaw Gravity Racing) came home in sixth position.
Congratulations to the Scottish Downhill Association for once again organising such a fantastic event, this time as part of the British Series.
British XC Series
Lochore Meadows in Fife played host to the latest round of the British Cross Country Series, organised by the Scottish Cross Country Association (SXC), with support from an army of volunteers and marshals, particularly from the local Meedies Bike Club and Outdoor Education Fife.
There was no shortage of home success in the Women’s Elite race as Isla Short (Hunt Bike Wheels) led home a Scottish 1-2-3-4 on the podium. Short, the British Champion, fought a great battle with series leader Elena McGorum (Peebles CC), but was eventually able to ride away to the victory on the fast and dry course, as she ramps up her recovery from COVID. Jane Barr (Velocity 44) continued her good form with a fine third place, whilst Joanne Thom (Ronde) took fourth.
Perth’s Rory McGuire claimed victory in the Men’s Elite Race as part of a Scottish 1-2. With several of the men’s elite field away in Germany for the World Cup in Albstadt (read more about that below), McGuire (Leslie Bike Boutique) made the most of the opportunity, riding clear early on and never looking back. Local boy Rab Wardell (Wahoo) enjoyed a great battle for the runner-up spot, one in which he prevailed for some valuable UCI points.
McGuire has now built clear lead in the overall series standings, with Wardell in second. With only the best four results counting, however, the chasers led by Cameron Mason (Trinity) and Charlie Aldridge (Scott Racing) could still claw back the deficit to McGuire in the final two rounds, but one thing is for certain, it’s going to be a battle of the Scots!
The past few months have shown the class of Emily Carrick-Anderson (T-MO Racing), and Sunday was no different. The multi-discipline rider dominated the Junior Women’s race once again to claim her third win on the trot in this series, a very impressive start to the junior ranks for the Scottish Junior Cyclocross Champion. There was another impressive ride in the junior men’s ranks from Sam Chisholm (The Cycling Academy), as he battled all the way to the line, winning the spring for fourth.
In the Youth Girls, Daisy Taylor (Royal Albert CC) once again showed her class by winning the event by over two minutes. The Scot now leads the series having taken maximum points from the opening three rounds.
Albstadt World Cup
The second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup took place in Albstadt, and with three Scots in the U23 Men’s race, there was plenty to shout about. Charlie Aldridge (Scott) recorded an excellent top 10 in his first World Cup of the year, which sets him up nicely for the rest of the season.
Arguably the ride of the day though came from Cameron Mason (Trinity Racing), who produced a fantastic ride to come from a grid spot of 104th to finish in 14th place, passing over 40 riders on the opening lap in the Alps. A stunning fourth lap saw the Linlithgow-native clock the third fastest lap, as he moved from 22nd position to 16th, moving up further to eventually finish 14th. Fellow CX rider Corran Carrick-Anderson produced another respectable ride to come home in 37th position in his first World Cup event at U23 level.
In the Women’s U23 race, Anna Flynn rode to a respectable 42nd place in her first World Cup appearance.
What's the Storrie? Lincoln GP Glory
Scottish national road race champion Becky Storrie (CAMS-Basso) came off the back of an excellent eighth in the Ruta Del Sol in Spain to ride to a fantastic solo victory at the Rapha Lincoln GP.
On the penultimate 13.3km lap, Storrie forced her way to the front up the famous cobbled Michaelgate climb and quickly gained a half a minute advantage. Despite the efforts of the chasers, Storrie was able to hold her advantage on the final ascent and take victory in the opening event of the National Road Series.
The best U23 rider was Beth Maciver (Alba Development RT) in a fine fourth place, a big breakthrough at this level. The Highlander finished at the front of the reduced bunch, with fellow Scottish U23 Beth Morrow (CAMS-Basso) just a place further back in fifth.
Speaking to The British Continental after the race, Storrie said: “It stayed together more than I thought actually, so I had to make it count when I was going to go, so I’m glad I did!
“It’s a great start to the National Road Series for us as a team. We worked really hard and a lot of the girls did a lot of work - I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m really pleased to have started the season this way.”
The Men’s race was ridden in a similar fashion with no definitive break making a large enough advantage over the 167km course.
Continuing his amazingly consistent run of form, Finn Crockett (Ribble-Weldtite) finished in third place, behind the US Criterium Champion Luke Lamperti (Trinity), and Canadian Ben Perry (WiV Sungod).
Gold again for Graham
Fin Graham won two golds in the C3 Road Race and Time Trial at UCI Paracycling Road World Cup in Ostend, Belgium. The Highlander, who went to the same school as Crockett, won the road race by over two minutes, before storming to success against the clock with a 27 second victory in the TT.
Meanwhile in the Women’s B Road Race there was success for Jenny Holl as she piloted Sophie Unwin to a fantastic gold medal, as well as picking up a silver medal in the Time Trial.
Scottish and Northumbria League Speedway
Fife Cycle Speedway staged the second leg of the Scottish & Northumbria league, with the Fifers fielding two teams and two riders guesting for the Glasgow squad. A great, family friendly meeting saw 32 riders in total taking to the track.
A very tight affair saw the first Fife squad claim victory from their Forth rivals Edinburgh by two points, with the second Fife squad just a point further back. It’s great to see the form the Scots riders are in before the home international in a fortnight’s time in Dunfermline.
The CAMS-Basso duo of Becky Storrie and Beth Morrow raced the UCI 2.1 Vuelta á Andalusia Ruta del Sol in Spain. National Road Champion Storrie rode to a magnificent eighth in the overall general classification after an impressive 12th on Stage 2, a summit finish to Mijas, and 10th on the final stage, after making the breakaway that gained three minutes on the peloton. Teammate Morrow put in a magnificent effort to chase back into the main group on Stage 2, despite a mechanical issue, and will be pleased with how her form is building after a disrupted winter.
There was another impressive showing from Oscar Onley (DSM Development) to finish in the top 20 at the 1.2 Flèche Ardennaise race in Belgium, whilst in France, Alfie George (Vendeé-U), finished in 27th in the Essor Breton stage race, with a great third in the individual time trial stage, as the Dundonian set-up his teammate for a second place in the overall general classification.
Also in France, Eilidh Shaw and Morven Yeoman were in action at the Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie. Shaw was in contention on Stage 2 but was taken out in the final sprint and missed out on the top five result she was looking for.