Rozelle Park in Ayr hosted over 230 cyclists of all ages on Sunday as part of the Doonbank Trofee Cyclo-cross races organised by Ayr Burners Cycling QTS.
The events, which formed part of the Scottish Super Quaich Series, attracted some of the best riders in Scotland, including David Lines (Wheelbase), Anne Ewing (WV Breda) and Gary MacDonald (Hope Factory Racing).
Working long into the night on Saturday, members and supporters of Ayr Burners helped transform the old pitch-and-put park into a top class cyclo-cross venue that drew praise from Commonwealth Games athlete James McCallum for great course design, that has been likened to the leading European professional courses.
As the first race for riders under 8 took off, there was a fantastic atmosphere across Rozelle as spectators cheered the riders with cowbells as they crossed hurdles and slippery slopes.
Alongside the youth activity, Ayr Burners had laid on one of their ‘Sparks’ balance bike tracks for under 5s. As well as proving great fun for the toddlers taking on ramps and slaloms, it brought a fantastic number of families out to Rozelle to enjoy the event, with 56 under 5s and parents signing up.
There was local success early morning for Symington rider Harry McGarvie of Ayr Burners Cycling who took 3rd place in the U16s competition. This was quickly followed up by another top ride from Gavin McKellar of Coylton who claimed 3rd place in the adult ‘B’ race, putting the promoting group Ayr Burners back onto the podium. Gavin’s performance was all the more remarkable after he was forced to run large chunks of the course due to a late mechanical problem.
By early afternoon it was time for the main elite event. With the course properly bedded in, conditions were typically ‘cyclo-cross’ with great mixture of wet mud and hard surfaces.
Organiser JohnPaul Baxter sounded the horn as 80 riders charged out the arena to the first hurdle section before the woods. Seven minutes in and it was ex-professional James McCallum who led after 1 lap, closely marked by Gary McDonald (Hope Factory Racing) and David Lines (Wheelbase).
Twenty minutes in the hour-long-race and all positions had reversed. After suffering misfortune last week in Rouken Park, Lines was out to prove a point, opening up a sizeable gap on Gary MacDonald and making sure he added to his each lap every lap (not before delighting the gathered photographers with a spectacular fall and belly slide).
Anne Ewing (WV Breda) appeared to have the better over Maddy Robinson (VeloClub Moulin), with a clear 20 second gap. However it was Robinson that rose to the occasion, proving strongest in the claggy conditions to reel Ewing in and cross the line solo, played home by young Cammy McGarive on the bagpipes.
To toast the Bard’s birthday, all the podium finishers were presented with a freshly-caught haggis, while top placed David Lines received a full keg of award winning ‘Rabbie’s Porter’ ale donated by the Ayr Brewing Company.
All that was left to do was pack up the course and thank the team of over forty individuals who had helped make the event such a success. Along with the Park Run Ayr and Rugby tournaments on Saturday, it was fantastic to contribute to a huge weekend of sport at Rozelle for all ages.
Men: 1. David Lines, Wheelbase 2. Gary MacDonald, Hope Factory Racing 3. Stevie Couper, Glasgow United CC
Women: 1. Maddy Robinson, VeloClub Moulin 2. Anne Ewing, WV Breda 3. Elizabeth Adams, Glasgow Green CC.
All senior results here; http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/1232749
All youth results here: http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/1232700