Scotland's best mountain bikers headed to Comrie Croft for the opening of the new Cross Country season with the first round of the SXC Series.
SXC Round 1
The first round of the 2023 Scottish Cross Country Association (SXC) series presented by Shimano got underway at Comrie Croft near Crieff on Sunday.
A poignant minute's applause for the late Rab Wardell was held before the racing; as a mark of respect his number (806) from his final race, the Scottish National Championships in Kirroughtree, has been retired.
There was an excellent battle between European Short-Cross Champion Charlie Aldridge (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Cameron Mason (Trinity Racing) in the Elite Men’s race with the two trading blows on the fantastic course set up by the hardworking team at the SXC. After a great battle to the line – Aldridge just edged out Mason to take the victory on the sprint to the line.
A first for Scottish Cycling, the race was live streamed by our friends at XCOMTB.com and can be watched back here:
Elena McGorum (Peebles CC) won the Elite Female race from Joanne Thom (TORQ Performance) in second and Jane Barr (Velocity 44 RT) in third.
While in Youth ranks there were victories for Innes McDonald and Daisy Wilkinson, both riding for the new Scotia Off Road Team.
The first #TryMTB session also took place at Comrie Croft on Saturday, prior to the race. This year we’ve worked in collaboration with SXC to offer free coaching and racing for youth and juvenile riders who haven't raced before or have limited race experience.
A superb session was delivered by National MTB Coach Paul Newnham, and Event Delivery Officers Emily Stratton and Greig Mullen, with Charlie Aldridge kindly offering his time to support the session.
If you wish to get involved in future #TryMTB sessions this year then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yorkshire, and more specifically the North Yorkshire Moors, played host to the Peaks-2-Day stage race, with plenty of the big names of British racing scene in action.
They don’t come much bigger than Katie Archibald (Ceratizit-WNT), who donned the start list for her first road race in a year. The double Olympic champion came home ninth in the overall in the mountainous stage race. Fellow Scot Eilidh Shaw (Alba Development RT) finished in 20th place, following a strong showing on the final stage.
In the Men’s race there was a stage win for Jacob Smith (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) as he won the Stage 2 Time Trial-cum-Hill Climb up Holme Moss on his way to 33rd place overall. Stonehaven’s Lee Rosie was the best of the Scots in the overall with his consistency paying off with a 10th place overall.
The first round of British Youth Circuit Series took place this weekend in Wales, with many Scots in action. Erin Boothman (East Kilbride) claimed a stage win on her way to a top ten finish, you can read more about that and how the rest of the Scottish contingent faired below
Sunday saw Mark Stewart (Bolton Equities-Black Spoke) sprint to an excellent second place at the 1.1 race Per Sempre Alfredo in Italy. A sixth top ten finish for the Dundonian in only nine racing days in 2023, goes to show that the Scot is on sparkling form.
Sean Flynn (Team DSM) was a last minute replacement into the startlist for the 1.Pro Bredene Koksijde Classic on Friday. It was a wise move from the Dutch team as the Scot sprinted to 8th place in the Belgian semi-classic, his first top ten at this level and first since moving to the WorldTour over the winter.
There was also encouraging signs with Flynn’s teammate Oscar Onley as he headed into the break at the first stage of the Voltá a Catalunya today (Monday).
Sticking with the World Tour, Anna Shackley rode to a strong 36th place at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy.
While elsewhere, Alex Ball (Magila Technoslyva Bembibre) managed his way round the Spanish elite Vuelta a Extremadura despite suffering a nasty bout of food poisoning. A few good days in the legs for Ball and hopefully we’ll see him right as rain in the coming weeks.