Juniors and Vets battle for National titles

Juniors and Vets battle for National titles


It was a case of youth and experience doing battle for their respective Scottish titles on Sunday as the Sally Anne Low Memorial Road Race played host to some exciting racing in the Cairngorms.

It was fast and furious from the flag drop, as with riders racing for the Junior and Veteran Scottish titles, as well as the overall race victory, a handful of competitors were distanced early on as the main bunch flew from Kincraig down to Kingussie.

The peloton was in no mood to let anyway get away, as many riders attacked but were always brought back; although the peloton was comprised of riders who covered the various license and age categories, the race stayed together and was moving at a swift pace.

Second time around and Sharon Bird (Torvelo Racing) was at the head of affairs as the group swept down the hill having left Kingussie and passed the ancient defense against Jacobite rebellion. In previous editions of the race, it's been twice up the Kirk Brae for the riders with the finish at the top, but this year, qualifying for valuable British Cycling points, the riders had to endure another lap of the stunning course based around Loch Insh.

As they jostled for position coming through the village of Insh itself, knowing that being at the front heading across the long bridge just below the Brae was vital for positioning on the finishing climb, a touch of wheels saw several riders go down with Torvelo Racing and Vanelli-Project Go being the hardest hit.

And so, at the finish, we waited for the cheering from the spectators spread further down the climb, before Lulu Bartlett was the first rider to show around the curve, closely followed by Sharon Bird, the rest of the bunch right on their wheels.

It's a long, uphill drag to the line but Bartlett showed her track skills by having her elbows out, ready to make that final lunge if required. As it was though, she finished strongly and decisively to take the race with Bird just behind and young Deeside rider Erin Murphy getting up for third. 

Although second and third in the race outright, it was Bird and Murphy who took the spoils, claiming the Vet 40 and Junior Scottish titles respectively, just reward for some impressive racing.

Rounding out the Vet 40 podium were Zosia Martin, who made it a Torvelo one-two, and Lorna Breetzke (Elgin CC), who just a few spots back took bronze in that exciting sprint for the line.

Finishing strongly in the bunch was Jude Paterson (Ayr Burners Cycling) to take the V50 title - she edged out Karen Knight (Dundee Wheelers CC) and Fiona Cockburn (Torvelo Racing) who rounded out the top three in that age category.

The final podium of the day saw Murphy collect her jersey, with Iona MacDougall (Team 22) claiming the silver medal in the junior category.

As ever, we extend our thanks to Mike Barras and his Caringorm CC team -- without such volunteers, exciting racing at this level, on such a picturesque course, just wouldn't happen.