Fresh from hosting the British Cycling Cross Country MTB Championships last month, Kirroughtree Forest will once again host a major XC event in 2022, this time the Scottish Championships on Sunday 21st August.
Galloway Hillbillies stepped in to host the British event at short notice and have once again done the same for the Scottish equivalent, after late complications meant Aberfoyle couldn’t play hosts – we hope to return there in the near future.
The British Championships gave the whole of the UK a real taste of Scottish mountain biking, with proper Scottish conditions on the Saturday making it a particularly memorable (and muddy) edition!
For those wanting a sneak peak as to what the course will have in store for them this time round, we can confirm it’ll be largely similar to the British Championships, with a few amendments to avoid some sections that are slightly worse for wear following the event last month. To improve radio contact across the course ‘Carol Baskin’ is out, whilst ‘Snapchat’ will be the most technical section of the course.
Following the news that eight of Scotland’s star cross country racers will be racing at the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Les Gets next weekend, it would be easy to worry that the standard of racing won’t be what it could have been, but fear not, there our still some stellar names on the start list.
Starting with the Elite Men’s race, the battle to don the Scottish stripes could be an extremely intriguing one. The headline name is perhaps Rab Wardell, fresh off the back of a sixth place finish at the British Marathon Cross Country Championships last weekend, a discipline in which he represented Great Britain in 12 months ago.
Rab, well known across the Scottish Cycling community as an elite level racer, former employee and now private coach, took a stunning second place at the home round of the British XC Series at Lochgelly back in May – can he go one better at Kirroughtree? Standing in his way will be the Gary McDonald, former British Masters champion, who was 12th at the British Elite Championships on this course just four weeks ago, former road and MTB national champion David Duggan, and emerging talent Lewis Martin – the Studio Velo rider was 16th overall at the British Championships despite ‘only’ being in the expert category.
In the Women’s Elite event all eyes will be on XC stalwart Jane Barr, the Velocity 44 athlete having enjoyed a fine season with multiple podiums at British Series level, and like Wardell, was sixth at the British Marathon Championships last weeked. She’d love to add a Scottish Championship title to her palmares.
The Junior Men’s field boasts a quality line-up, with a handful of riders all realistically vying for the title. That being said, Reuben Oakley of the Rotor Race Team will start as favourite following a strong season that included a sixth place finish at the British Championships last month. Finn Mason is another young rider to have enjoyed a strong 2022, both on and off road, whilst Sam Chisholm returns following a broken collarbone.
In the Junior Women’s race Beatrix Kiehlmann of Royal Albert CC will be a name to look out for, as will Christina McGorum, whilst at youth level Daisy Taylor is a name many will becoming used to – she’s enjoyed a sensational season, packed full of wins, none more special than at the British Championships at this very venue. On the boys side, Innes McDonald of Edinburgh RC was sixth at that one, and will be gunning for the Scottish title on this occasion, but expect West Lothian Clarion’s Ruan Vorster to challenge.
Further information can be found here
Make sure you follow the @ScottishCycling social media channels on Sunday to stay abreast of all the action.