Words: Eric Easton
Photos: Richard Imlach
Some great racing was had on Saturday afternoon at Edinburgh RC’s Inch Park Junior Cyclocross Races. A big field of over 120 riders had entered from all over the country for the early season opener. The course was dry and fast but very technical in places with a tough climb and fast cornering descent.
The Youth E race sported a big field with the host club supplying a welcome number of new riders. Niamh Waters smashed the race from the off and was first rider home to take first girl from Ellie Morrison and Bethan Kitchin. Lorcan Morrison chased Niamh and Ellie for lap after lap to finish first boy from Andel Parkin and Zach Buchanan. A notable gutsy ride was from Mischa Gitnik who has only recently started cycling.
The Under Ten’s Race (Youth D) also had a big field with many, by now, quite experienced riders and a few novices. Elliott Rowe (Ythan CC) lead right from the gun and held onto his place to take first boy. The real racing was going on behind though with a real neck and neck battle for second between Geoff Vera of the Glasgow Riderz and Luis Ryder of the Edinburgh RC. With a lap to go, Luis started reeling in Geoff but the Glasgow rider kicked just before the line to hold onto second in the sprint. Rudie Shearer (EdinburghRC) put in a fantastic performance to finish first girl and fifth overall. Throughout she was battling Alasdair Easton, Rhys Edwards and Innes MacDonald (All Edinburgh RC) and made her move past all three in the latter part of the race with some determined hard riding. A notable 2nd place went to Ivy Briggs (Edinburgh RC) in only her first ’cross race narrowly beating Lindsay Young into third place.
The Youth C race saw some of the most exciting racing spurred on by a number of mechanical fails. Freddy Fuller (Edinburgh RC) jumped off the front from the gun and had a huge lead of thirty seconds by the second lap until he suffered a chain problem and locked up his rear mech. After minutes of fruitless deraileur wrangling Freddy started running to the pits for a spare bike donated by Louie-lendabike-Moore. Archie Ellen (Edinburgh RC) was the main beneficiary from Freddy’s foul up and quickly built up a substantial lead from Euan Walkingshaw (ERC). Freddy was clearly fired up by misfortune and began chasing furiously. Although briefly losing a chain at exactly the same spot as his earlier problem, Freddy managed to cut through the field and get into contention for the podium. On the last lap, Archie Ellen failed to defy karma and suffered a mechanical allowing Euan Walkingshaw to come through for the win closely followed by the rampaging Freddy Fuller and Fraser Thomson (Glasgow Riderz). Archie was far from philosophical when he finished in fifth place obviously annoyed and banging the bars.
Imani Pereira-Jones (Glasgow Riderz) rode a very impressive race to win convincingly from Morven Yeoman of East Kilbride CC and Emily Carrick-Anderson (Peebles CC). Imani took an early lead and gradually stretched it as the race wore on. Emily started off very impressively chasing Imani but faded in the final laps and yielded second place to a very determined Morven Yeoman.
The Youth A and B race was gridded up separately but raced together as the Youth B field was a little sparse. In the Youth A race Cameron Mason of Team Thomson Cycles put in a hugely impressive performance as he lapped the entire field in a show of fast, fluid and flowing riding. No one dealt with the technical downhill section like Cameron and he made up huge amounts of time through the twisting tapes with confident cornering. Max Bloor (Edinburgh RC) took a very good second place from Chris Hordon (West Lothian Clarion). Meanwhile in the girls race, Ishbel Strathdee doggedly pedalled away from Estelle Fuller (ERC) and Eleanor Strathdee to finish first.
The Youth B race was a stealthier affair as the chief protagonists were mixed amongst the Youth A race. Anna Flynn (Edinburgh RC) put in a massive ride to take the girl’s race (and was was third overall) from Alixe Phillips (ERC) and Sophie Patterson (Glasgow Riderz). Callum Cooper finished first in the Youth B boys race to cap a very successful trip south for the Ythan CC riders. Indeed Callum Cooper and second placed Callum Reid (Rock and Road Cycles) would also have been very competitive in the Youth A race such was the quality of their riding. Aaron King of Stirling BC was third.