The 2016 Scottish National Downhill Championships were in Aberfeldy this weekend (Sunday 19th June) and the mist just about lifted for the riders to race down the hill.
It has been a while since the SDA last raced on the Aberfeldy, 2008 was the last time! With this being a Scottish Championship medals were on offer to those who meet the championship eligibility criteria.
Although the course was short it certainly packed a punch, starting from the top fire road, the first short straight was a good chance to get settled on the pedals before the first big rock drop, a good 6ft, landing there was a chance of a short breath to compose yourself before entering a left turn with another sizable drop in the middle.
The course then followed a succession of steep chutes and traversing turns. The approach to the fire road crossing was another rocky drop off with a wide selection of lines that dropped you onto the fire road.
Off the fire road it was a steep rocky chute littered with roots that threw you into a tight chicane and straight into the darkness of the lower woods.
The final section got progressively more rooty over the weekend with multiple lines weaving through the tree to break out into the daylight of the final rock garden next to the finish.
Not an easy feature to negotiate and the sound of metal on rock echoed through the air on the final approach to the finish line.
Overall a steep and technically demanding course although the whoops and cheers they made on the way down said it all. For a few it was more a game of survival, content to just get one race run completed.
In the Juvenile race James Elliot from the North East of England was fastest down the with Irelands Chris Cumming taken second, but it was Highland Bikes Kai Bremner who took the Scottish Championship title followed by Gus Meldrum and James Wilson with Silver and Bronze medals respectively.
Alec Geyer, We love Mountains, was the winner of the Youth Boys title with silver going to Myles Reid, Perth City Cycles and bronze to Henry Kerr, Revolution CT.
The junior men’s podium was a closely fought battle between Brandon Gonsales and Corey Watson with barely half a second between Gold and Silver medals respectively and Jack Wilson taking the bronze.
The Junior Women’s medal was won with a healthy led by Cairn Bell, with silver going to Perth City Cycles Freya Avis and Bronze to Bikers boutique/Leslie Bike Shops Tea Jensen.
Chris Whitfield put in a solid run to secure fastest time in the Veteran men’s category though it was John Young who took the title of Scottish Champion. Leisure lakes Mark Weightman was third fastest but the silver and bronze medals went to Steve Cousins and Graeme Cochrane.
The Masters title was retained by Horizon Watches Alan Blyth followed closely by Leisure Lakes Jethro Whitfield. The Silver and bronze medals were taken home by Robert Cobain and Monster Bikes Mark MacIver.
The senior women’s title went for the second year to Bikers Boutique/Leslie Bike Shops Deborah Primrose who commanded an impressive lead over West Highland Wheelers Enduro start Fiona Beattie and Cairngorm CC Elena Melton.
Finally in the senior men’s race it was all about speed with the top 8 being the majority of the handful of riders that broke the 2 minute barrier. World Cup rider One Vison Global Racing’s George Gannicott took the Bronze medal and The Dudes of Hazard, Fergus Lamb took Silver. However, continuing a run of success at Scottish Series event was Sick Skills, Ben Cathro, who took home the Senior Men’s Scottish Championship title.
Full results can be found here.
Scottish Cycling would like to thank the Scottish Downhill Association and all the volunteers for putting on a great weekend of racing. The next round of the series will be in Dunkeld on the 13th & 14th August enter online here
If you are interested in becoming a Downhill Commissaire there will be a course in Dumfries on 9th July further info available here