It may still be October, but we’re now at the halfway stage of the 2017–18 Lapierre SCX Series, and, after a fantastic days racing at SCX3 - Fife College last Sunday, things are starting to take shape at the top of the leaderboards. As you’ll see below, there’s a number of close battles throughout the categories to keep an eye on over the remainder of the season.
The Senior Women’s race at Fife College saw Kerry McPhee victorious on her return to the Series this season, taking the win from Eileen Roe (Team WNT), with Jane Barr (Velocity 44) in third. Roe heads up the table from Barr, with Joanne Thom (Sandy Wallace Cycles) third and Ballater’s Claire Whitehead in fourth place. In the Junior Women, Estelle Fuller (Edinburgh RC) leads Anna Shackley (Glasgow Riderz) by only two points, with Madelyn Swanson (Pedal Power) in third, sitting just ahead of Sunday’s winner, Edinburgh RC’s Ishbel Strathdee.
It’s also very close at the top end of the Veteran Women’s Series table, with Irvine winner Brenda Callendar only managing 3rd at Fife College, it was down to a battle between Lindsay Branston (RC Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) and Caroline Harvey (Edinburgh RC) for the honours. Branston took the win, narrowing the gap to Series leader Harvey to just 4 points.
At the top of the U14 Female Series things are even tighter. Imani Pereira-James (East Kilbride Road Club) and Emily Carrick-Anderson (Peebles CC) are tied on 215 points each, after Pereira-James repeated her Callendar Park win in the season opener with a convincing victory in Fife. Eilidh Shaw (Stirling Bike Club) sits third in the Series. In contrast, clear gaps exist between the top three in the U16 Female Series, with a victory for Elena McGorum (Peebles CC) at the weekend putting her almost 20 points clear of Sophie Paterson (Glasgow Riderz), wth Abby Mason (West Lothian Clarion) rounding out the top three.
Things are a little more spread out at the top of the U14 Male and U16 Male tables, with Ben McMullen (Sprockets Cycle Shop Race Team (Scotland)) Corran Carrick-Anderson (Peebles CC) both leading by comfortable margins. Alexander Ball (West Lothian Clarion CC) and Callum Reid (Speedflex Race Team) round out the top spots in the U16 league, while a great showing by Archie Ellen (Edinburgh RC) in Fife narrowed the gap to second place in the U14 Male Series, currently occupied by his teammate Alfie Atterton (Edinburgh RC).
Charlie Johnston (Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique) appears to be building a commanding lead in the Junior M Series, with 14 points now separating him from Robbie Hearns (Synergy Cycles) in second and Hearns’ teammate Craig Dobbins (Synergy Cycles) a further 22 points in arrears. A fine ride by MTB rider Tim Shoreman (Dales Cycles Racing Team Scotland) on his return to CX for third at Fife bodes well for the strength in depth at this level in Scotland.
Both the V40 and V50 M’s races saw the winner’s of SCX2 - Irvine repeat their victories at Fife, with Gary McCrae (Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique) getting his hands up in the air again in an exciting V40 race, and Murray Swanson taking the win in the V50’s. A photo finish was needed to sort out the remaining V40 podium, with Malcom Bain (Granite City RT) pipping Graeme Cross (SR Albannach) on the line. Swanson now sits clear at the top of the table with three straight wins, and could sew up the Series with a fourth win at Lochore Meadows in November, leaving James Melville (Glasgow United CC) and Kenny Kentley (Velocity 44 RT) to scrap it out for the runners up placings in the Series.
The final race of the weekend, the Senior Men, was a real testament to the skill of organisers squeezing a course into such a compact venue. with some late afternoon sun and a drying wind making the course even more technical, large crowds congregating at the start/finish area to witness a fascinating battle between Iain Paton (Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique) and Gary MacDonald (Nevis Cycles Racing Team). In the end, the smooth lines and skilful riding of MacDonald weren’t quite enough to overcome the straight up speed of Paton, and the Golspie man took the win. Third place went to David Duggan (Devinci/Freeborn), ensuring no riders from the Central Belt made the podium….
In the series, MacDonald’s consistency means he sits top of the table despite not winning a race yet, although one suspects it’s only a matter of time given how pleased he was with his form on Sunday, Duggan is only 5 points behind though, with a larger gap of 25 points back to third placed John Mackenzie (SR Albannach).
Due to the postponement of Strathclyde Park, there’s a bit of a gap in the SCX Series now, but with racing throughout the country in the meantime it won’t seem long until we reconvene at Lochore Meadows for SCX4. If you are curious to see how things are panning out, or wonder just how far back you are in the Series, full results and Series tables after each round are available here.