Words: Eric Easton
Photo: Anthony Robson
This was ’cross as I first encountered it. Muddy, (nearly Meedies Madness muddy), wet, windy, cold and a right good carry on. A classic Scottish ’cross course in classic Scottish ’cross conditions. Everyone racing it was loving it, everyone watching it couldn’t wait for their relatives to finish so they could get home. Jammy had read the meteorological runes and dodged it. We all knew what to expect and shares in Dynarod surged ahead of the race anticipating U-bend blocking kit cleaning carnage.
The fields for almost all races were huge even by recent Scottish standards,though many of the fastest riders were at the British champs. East Kilbride CC put on a fantastic days’ racing in trying conditions.
The best racing was in the Girls Under 12. Imani Pereira-James has been very dominant recently taking a string of winds. However, Eilidh Shaw attacked from the whistle and took the race to Imani. The last couple of laps saw them neck and neck attacking and counter attacking. As they came into the finishing straight, Eilidh led out the sprint though Imani came round her on the line to win.
With Davy Lines out of the picture, the Men’s Senior race was open. I’m sorry I didn’t see much of this but I had bail out to get my son into a hot bath. Harry Johnstone took a well deserved win from Allan Clark and Neil Walker. The Senior Women’s race was very exciting with a welcome return to ’cross for Elieen Roe racing in her Wiggle Honda pro gear. Lucy Grant had the beating of her though with a well timed move and a very strong finish putting 26 seconds into Roe and a trailing Maddy Robinson 40 seconds further behind.
In the Men’s 40+ Gary McCrae maintained his good form to win clear from Hans Forhaug and Stevie Jackson. Peebles’ Crawford Carrick-Anderson excels in these conditions and put in a great performance to take fourth. Brenda Callander continues to dominate in the Womens 40+ category winning from Janet Erskine and Caroline Harvey.
Brendan Roe has so far had a clean sweep in the Men’s 50+ category but was beaten into second by Kenny Kentley. I didn’t see this race as I was warming up but Brendan put in some good lap times ahead of Kentley and evidently still has excellent form.
Although the fields were much smaller in the junior cats the racing was still exciting. John MacLeod continues to improve and was only narrowly beaten by the classy Connor Johnstone with Ross McMurtrie third. In the Junior girls, Louisa Watt was first, Eleanor Strathdee second, and Jess Miller third.
The Youths races were characterised by punctures with younger riders ploughing into kerbs and puddles with abandon and suffering the consequences. It was great to see so many young riders ignoring (or maybe not noticing) front wheel punctures and finishing on the rim. The Under-Eights boys was won by Nic Jackson, from Oliver Bain and Joe Barnes. Niamh Waters continued her good run to take first in Under-Eights girls from Nina Padmanabhan and Dasiy Wilkinson.
Rudie Shearer is just getting better and better in the Under 10 girls. She attacked in the final lap to take a fine win ahead of Martha Cooper and Daisy Taylor. Luis Ryder made it an ERC double in this age group ahead of the poor starting but steamroller finishing Innes MacDonald and Ross Chisholm.
Freddy Fuller rode away from the field in the first lap of the Boys’ Under 12s and won by a good margin from Sam Chisholm and Ben McMullen. In the girls Under 14 race, Eva Young was first, from Georgia Ferry and Elena McGorum. Rory McGuire took first in the boys under 14, Callum Cooper and Alex Ball were second and third respectively. Anna McGorum won again in the Under 16 girls from Ishbel Strathdee and Anna Shackley. Finally, in the Under 16 boys, Jack Cruden continued his great form to win from Conor Stevenson and a battling Max Bloor.
Full results can be had for all Scottish CX series races can be found here.