On Tuesday 22nd June, the first edition of the Glasgow Schools Mountain Bike Challenge took place at Glasgow 2014 mountain bike venue, Cathkin Braes Country Park.
The event was the result of partnership working between Scottish Cycling, Land and Environmental Services and Glasgow Life, with additional support provided through the ‘Cycling to School' campaign and the ‘Glasgow East End on the Move' campaign.
Other agencies supporting the event included Cycling Scotland and Freeflow Cycles.
Of the schools invited to take part in the event, Shawlands Academy, Whitehill Secondary School, Springburn Academy and Castlemilk High School where able to attend. Two races were held with age category awards, both male and female, across S1 to S4 available for individual glory, as well as the coveted Schools Challenge Trophy given to the school which accumulated the most points; points are allocated to each finisher.
The tried and tested Dirt Crit format was used and Robert Wardell and Keith Stocker from Scottish Cycling came up with a short and challenging 2 - 3 minute lap. Weather conditions were near perfect and racing got underway with the S1 Boys and Girls race.
Jilly Scott (Shawlands Academy) attacked the race from the start and was never challenged, she took the win convincingly. Euan Murno (Shawlands) opted for a steadier start and came through in the final laps of the 5 lap race for second overall and 1st S1 Boy. Rabin Omar (Whitehill) cut his way through the field having been held up earlier in the race for 2nd S1 Boy and Grant Dolan (Springburn) rounded off the S1 Boy podium with a great ride. Heather Craig (Shawlands) was second S1 Girl.
In the S2-S4 race, Blair Moffatt (Shawlands) took command at the front of the race showing his experience over the rest of the field. Behind him there were riders battling for podium positions in S2 and S3 as well as points for the schools trophy; everyone had something to race for! As the 6 lap race progressed, Blair Moffat had managed to lap a number of the riders and finished 1st overall and 1st S2 Boy. Andrew Caruthers (Shawlands) rode consistent lap times and moved through the field for 2nd S2 boy and overall, closely followed by Jamie Dunn (Springburn).
In the S3 category it was a Springburn clean sweep of the podium with Jamie Doyle 1st, Brian Gattens 2nd and Jack O'Hara rounding off the podium for Springburn in style!
Prizes where presented by Scottish Cycling Performance Manager Gary Willis. Once the points where added up, the Schools Trophy for this inaugural running of the Glasgow Schools Mountain Bike Challenge went to Shawlands Academy by the small margin of only 7 points!
All of the schools are keen to bring back more riders for 2011 in the pursuit of the Schools Trophy. Whilst invitations to complete this year were restricted to schools which participate in the Council's ‘School Bicycle Loan Scheme', it is hoped to expand the event in future years in the run up to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Full results from the event can be viewed here