Isla Short and Cameron Mason claimed the British Marathon MTB crowns on Sunday, while Melanie Rowe became British Youth Circuit Champion – a great weekend for the Scots in British Champs action.
Marathon XC Champs
Isla Short and Cameron Mason were resounding winners of the National Cross-country Marathon Championships at Pippingford Park in Sussex. The championships saw riders in both fields tackle a challenging 80km course, filled with steep forestry climbs, flowing berms, open field sprints and tight singletrack descents.
In the Men’s race, after coming back from a puncture early on, Cameron Mason (Trinity Racing) made his move on the third lap of the four lap race, powering past his rivals to take the lead that he would not relent. The final lap saw Mason extend his lead to claim victory by nearly three minutes.
The women’s race saw Isla Short (Ghost Factory Racing) and Anna Kay (777) make an early bid for a breakaway, which was maintained throughout the race. By the second lap, Short and Kay were working their way through the men’s field as they battled it out to keep the lead. The two were glued together throughout the remaining laps, but Short found the power in the final lap to put distance between herself and Kay, ultimately crossing the line just short of four minutes ahead of Kay, to make it a double victory for the Scots.
In the Vet Women’s Joanne Thom (TORQ Performance) claimed victory from fellow Scot Jane Barr who came home in second position to cap a memorable day down south.
British Youth Circuit Champs
The British Youth Circuit Champs took place this weekend at the brand new Wyke Sports Circuit in Bradford, with a number of Scots vying for British honours.
After a silver medal in Scarborough 12 months ago, Melanie Rowe became the second Deeside Thistle rider in three years to become British Under 14 Champion, following Arabella Blackburn’s exploits in 2021. A late attack by Rowe on the final bend was enough to beat the field to the line on the uphill finish in Yorkshire.
Blackburn was in action in the Under 16’s race and claimed an excellent silver medal, made all the more impressive after having to dismount to fix a mechanical and chase back onto the bunch halfway through the race. Erin Boothman (East Kilbride RC) came home in sixth place having animated the racing trying several times to attack from the front.
In the Under 16 boys’ race there were strong showings from the Edinburgh RC pairing of James Sweeney and Struan Shaw, claiming seventh and ninth place respectively.
Anna Shackley (Team SD Worx) produced a number of excellent performances over the past ten days as she made her debut at the Giro Donne.
Riding in support of teammates, the Scot was part of the Dutch squad that won two stages, whilst she claimed 13th in the overall general classification, including third in the Young Riders competition. The Scot can celebrate that success by being named on the long list for the Great Britian team tackling the road events at 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland next month.
Aldridge in Anadia
Charlie Aldridge was in action in Anadia, looking to defend his European Short-Track title and fend for the U23 Cross Country honours. Two strong riders from the Cannondale rider saw him first take fourth in the short-track before bagging a bittersweet bronze in the Cross Country event, a puncture on the penultimate lap taking him out of the battle for the title.
European BMX Champs
A number of Scots headed to France to take part in in the European BMX Championships in Besancon.
Cameron Reid continued his return from injury to finish 45th in the Men’s Under 23 - its excellent to see the Scot bounce back to elite racing only three months since having surgery on a back injury.
Ride of the day came from Ian Archibald (Cumbernauld Centurions) in the 50+ to claim a brilliant bronze medal, while in the Crusier 40-44 Fraser Watson (Cumbernauld Centurions) came home in 11th place. Much experience was gained by Eilidh Watson and Amara Fyfe in the Female 13 and 11 categories, respectively, and hopefully we’ll see more trips to elite championships in the coming years for the Scottish BMX crowd.