After a year of waiting for the cold to blow in and the ground to turn muddy, the 2016 Scottish Cyclo-cross Series have flown by. Starting in October, the series arrived straight off the back of the cross country season. I’ve been racing Cyclo-Cross since I was eight years old and have continued to compete at the Scottish series since then.
Round one was held at Callendar Park in Falkirk. Being a big fan of the Callendar Park course I was really looking forward to the race as the tight turns and variety of features provides some fast and entertaining racing. After an awesome race I was still chuffed to take 2nd place after being beaten on the final sprint.
Knockburn Loch was the location for the second round of the season. Being quite a technical person I felt well suited to the course and managed to hold out a win till the end. The sand pit and some rather short, steep climbs didn’t help with leg pain but definitely made the race very exciting.
My favourite course of the year, by far, has been Strathclyde Country Park. Though not many people agree with my comment, races there always have the feeling of a mountain bike race; a steep climb followed by a fun and flowy descent. Here, I secured another win after an early escape.
The SCX series isn’t complete without a race at Irvine. Definitely one of the hardest courses of the year, racers have to battle seemingly vertical hills and a massive sandy straight. Having won the Scottish champs there the previous year, I was hoping for another successful race but I was beaten to the top spot on the podium at the sprint after a tight battle throughout the race.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t to retain my title of Scottish Cyclo Cross Champion for another year. I am not very well suited to the pan flat course at Lochore Meadows as I do enjoy a hill from time to time! After a neck and neck race I became caught up in a crash and lost the lead but was still pleased to take second.
The final SCX on the 2016 calendar was at Glengorm Castle on the Isle of Mull. Travelling to Mull not only for a cross race, but for the Santa CX World Champs as well, is always great fun. The first race went really well and I took the win along with the overall series trophy. What makes the Scottish Cyclo Cross at Mull so unique is the Santa race on the Sunday. The only rule is that you have to dress up as something Christmassy. This year I decided to be a Christmas bauble and on the start line I was joined by an assortment of Santas, elves, stars and reindeer. Shouldering your bike up steep hills isn’t easy when you are wearing a yoga ball stuffed with newspaper! By the end of the race I finished to take the title of U16 World Santa Cross Champion and a rather interesting homemade trophy.
A huge thanks to my parents, friends and organisers for making this SCX series a huge success, and of course to FINDRA for my awesome kit. My last CX race of the season will be the British Champs and then it’s back to the best type of riding; mountain biking!