Just short of 300 riders assembled on the Isle of Bute for the first round of this year’s SCX Series, The Bike Shed Bute CX 2018 - the second event in the Rothesay Weekend of Cycling.
Words: Stuart Green
The event was very well received by the people of Bute and many of them turned out to watch the racing from the many good viewing points. Heavy rain the day before meant that the course was wet but still in very good condition for racing. Added excitement was provided by the arrival of not one, but two, emergency air ambulances in the adjacent stadium. Nothing to do with our riders I’m glad to say!
First off were the Under 12s incorporating the U8s and U10s. This was an amazing start to the event with close racing in all categories on a challenging course the whole of which could be seen from the finish area.
Eden Thomson, Deeside Thistle, won the girls U8 with Ben Murray, Johnstone Wheelers, winning the boys race. Melanie Rowe, Deeside Thistle, was first U10 girl and Finn Crowther, Edinburgh RC, first boy. Arabella Blackburn, Deeside Thistle, took the girls prize in the U12s with Alasdair Easton, Edinburgh RC, winning for the boys.
Next up was the Youths’ race and the first hiccup of the day. Imagine everyone’s surprise when the riders ended up on Lovers Walk from the wrong direction!! A course switch over error on the part of the organiser, you know his name, caused the problem but the amazing team of marshals and commissaires had everyone back at the start within 10 minutes and the race was on again: this time in the right direction!
What a race… 42 riders battling it out for half an hour on a fast, but challenging course. The closest racing was amongst the U16 boys with Alexander Macleod holding off Ben McMullen by just 5 seconds.
Rudie Shearer, Edinburgh RC, took the U14 female gold medal with Elliot Rowe, Deeside Thistle, winning for the young men. Eilidh Shaw, Stirling BC, took the U16 female prize with the aforementioned Alexander Macleod, Grampian Tigers, taking the male gold medal.
A short break and another course change before the start of the Juniors, Women and Vets 50+.
What a spectacle as 87 riders steamed up the hill for the first time….
The closest racing was amongst the Junior males with Christopher Horden finally overcoming George Freeman by 5 seconds. Well up in the overall classification and first woman over 60 was World Masters Champion Nicola Davies. Such a privilege to have Nicola at the event having travelled all the way up to Rothesay from Cumbria.
Ishbel Strathdee, Edinburgh RC, was first Junior female over the line. She also took the Debbie Cassels Artist prize of an original framed painting of ‘Millie’ the highland cow.
Christopher Horden, Edinburgh RC, won the Junior Male gold medal. Kerry MacPhee took the Senior Female gold and The Bike Shed Bute Trophy. Helen Gorman, Sterling BC, won the Vet 40+ Female race and Brenda Callander, Stirling BC, took the 50+ Female gold. Paul Masson, Cairngorm Mountain Bikers, was first over the line in the 50+ Male categor Nicola Davies, www.cyclocrossrider.com, received the gold medal in the 60+ Female race. Graham Brown, Sterling BC, was the 60+ Male winner.
And so to the Vets 40+ Male race. With 57 riders on the grid it promised to be an absolute cracker. We were not to be disappointed. 8 laps of hard racing culminated in a 12 second win for David Lines over Chris Buchan. The Wheelbase Castelli MGD rider achieving a fastest lap of under 5 minutes at an average speed of just over 35km/h!
David Lines, Wheelbase Castelli MGD, took the Vets 40+ Male gold medal.
5 hours and 20 minutes after the start of the first race we came to the finale…..the Senior/Open Men’s Race. By the end of the first lap a pattern had started to emerge. David Duggan and Gary MacDonald were engaged in a personal battle as they stretched away from the rest of the field. The next group of 3 riders, Richard MacDonald, Robert Wardell and David Lines had a race long tussle for the bronze medal position with Richard eventually holding off Robert and David to take the third podium place. 10 seconds separated these 3 riders at the end. Remember, of course, that David lines had already ridden, and won, the Vets 40+ race!
At the front David Duggan gradually road away from Gary MacDonald finishing 33 seconds ahead at the end.
1st and winner of the Bike Shed Bute Trophy: David Duggan
2nd: Gary MacDonald, Nevis Cycles Racing Team
3rd: Richard MacDonald, Boiracer-Project GO
The first round of the Series was over. A great day of racing at a fantastic venues.
(One last thing: the inaugural Family Team prize was won by Team Thomson of Deeside Thistle).