Cameron Mason made history on Sunday, as he became the first rider from outside Belgium or the Netherlands to claim a medal in the Elite Men’s European Cyclocross Championships.
European CX Championships
Despite starting from the rear of the field and running as far back as 21st at the end of the first of eight laps of the Pontchataeu course, the on-form Scot made quick work of the tricky conditions.
By the end of lap two, Mason found himself at the front of the chase group behind reigning champion Michael Vanthourenhout, who had attacked. With the rest of the field unwilling or unable to chase to Brugge native, Mason attacked and quickly built a sizeable advantage over the rest of the field.
The conditions deteriorated throughout the mid-part of the race with a torrential downpour leading to the course increasingly becoming a quagmire. The chase had been whittled down to a pair of Dutch riders, with the duo of Pim Ronhaar and Lars van der Haar hot on the heels of Mason in the battle for second, while the gap to the front stabilised at the 20 second mark.
A number of mistakes from the Dutch, including two crashes from van der Haar permitted Mason with the carte blanche to maintain his advantage in second heading into the final laps, with the Scots’ bike-handling skills clearly on display.
An excellent final lap saw Mason close down Vanthourenhout and come with in sight of the Flemish rider come the finish. The Linlithgow native pointed to the sky as he crossed the line for his silver medal, paying tribute to his late grandfather.
It’s a career-best performance from a rider that seems to have no limit on how far he can go right now, Cameron’s first elite podium in Europe – we’re sure it’s the first of many to come.
You can watch the best bits here:
UCI Track Champions League
Staying in France, the Parisian suburb of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines played host to the third round of the UCI Track Champions League on Saturday evening.
Katie Archibald was showing her excellent form once again with a fantastic elimination win to retain her lead in the Women’s Endurance field.
The evening started off with a strong third place in the scratch race. The race panned out in a similar fashion to the previous round in Berlin; with a late attack forcing series leader Archibald to chase with limited help from her rivals.
A professional performance in a thrilling elimination race saw Archibald claim victory after riding clear of Anita Stenberg in the final sprint – it was a very important win as the Scot now enjoys a 12 points lead over the Norwegian in the overall standings.
A brace of 15th place finishes for Kate Richardson in France sees the Lifeplus-Wahoo rider sit in 12th place in the overall standings, just behind Neah Evans.
Mark Stewart kept his challenge for a top three finish in the Champions League alive with a solid showing in the Men’s Endurance events.
A tight scratch race saw the new Corratec - Selle Italia rider finish seventh, before a strong fourth place finish in the elimination race sees the Scot sit in fifth place in the overall standings.
Ellie Stone launched early in the first round of the women’s sprint – and was only just pipped on the line for an early elimination. The keirin saw a big effort over with two laps to go but Stone paid for it in the final lap to come home in sixth. Stone is 17th place in the standings heading into the final double-header.
Neah Evans missed the French leg of the series, after suffering from illness in Berlin – we wish her a speedy recovery for the final two rounds this weekend.
From France to Fife College now, as the Scottish Cyclocross Series visited Dunfermline for the final time on Sunday.
Lewis Martin (Studio Velo) dominated the Men’s race to claim an excellent victory by over two minutes. A hat-trick of victories sets up the National MTB XC Champion well to take the CX title in Banchory in a fortnights time.
A tight battle for second raged with Finlay Taylor (Royal Albert CC) besting Grant Ferguson (Hope Factory Racing), who claimed the third step of the podium. An excellent ride by the young Royal Albert rider, who started all the way back in 58th place!
Junior rider Arabella Blackburn (Deeside Thistle) celebrated her acceptance onto the Great Britain Cycling Team programme with victory in the open women’s race. Lauren Johnston (Peebles CC) was second across the line and importantly first senior rider – which sees her take the lead in the series standings. Third across the line, but first Vet 40 rider was Sian Tovey – who makes it a hat-trick of Vet 40 victories.
Gary MacDonald (Nevis Cycles RT) claimed the win in the combined Junior/Vet40 field after narrowly besting junior Innes McDonald (Scotia Offroad RT) in second place, who had another impressive showing on Sunday. Sam Barbour (Ribble rechrg RT) came home in third place (second junior), two minutes behind the leading duo.
Gregor Calvert (West Lothian Clarion) recorded his first win of the series in the under 16 boys field after outsprinting Jamie Hall (Pentland Racers), with Oliver Carter (Deeside Thistle) in third.
Melanie Rowe (Deeside Thistle) claimed victory in the under 16 girls race from clubmate Emma Campbell (Deeside Thistle) and Eve Fairbairn (Discovery Junior CC). While, Zara Main (Deeside Thistle) and Guy Rorke (Peebles CC) were victorious in the under 14 races.
Next up, it’s just the small matter of the Scottish National Championships on Sunday 26th November at Knockburn Loch in Aberdeenshire. Entries close tomorrow, so make sure to get them in before it’s too late!
CymruVelo Track Cup
Newport Velodrome was the venue for Welsh Cycling’s 50th anniversary celebrations and accompanying track meet, with several Scots making the journey down the M6.
Jenny Holl was in solo action, with victory in the points race and a second in the scratch race as well as claiming fifth place in the omnium.
Lyall Craig (Glasgow Track RC) was victorious in the men’s keirin, with teammate Niall Monks claiming fifth spot.
Young Scots Iona Moir (SES Racing) and Kirsty Johnson (Edinburgh RC) were in action in the sprint events – claiming fourth and fifth against top opposition in the keirin – with 500m TT World Champion Emma Hinze winning out. While Moir went one better in the Sprint, with an excellent third place.
In the men’s endurance events Kieran Riley (PB Performance) claimed fifth spot in the omnium, as well as a third place in the Madison alongside Argentine rider Mateo Duque a position ahead of fellow Scot Callum Twelves (Torres-Fernando Barceló Team) in fourth.
The Cycle Speedway season has now wrapped up as we enter the winter.
It was an excellent season for Fife Cycle Speedway, as they won the Northern British Div 2 title and followed it up with Scottish SPAR League and Women’s league titles – an impressive treble from the Kingdom outfit.
A massive welcome must be extended to Border Raiders – who have completed their first season of action in – claiming the junior category trophy, while Nathan Slight (Edinburgh Falcons) has hugely impressed across the season – claiming the most points of a single rider.