National Cyclo Cross events coming to Ayrshire

Fraser Tait
Fraser Tait

With the Road Racing season now well and truly over, a few members of Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club are now focusing on the cyclo-cross season that runs from the autumn until spring.

Many, however, will continue to enjoy the leisurely pace of club runs and the camaraderie of the weekly gym sessions.

Next weekend, Scotland will host its first ever UK National Cyclo Cross Trophy event. The honour of promoting this prestigious event falls on Walkers Cycling Club of Kilmaurs.

Round two of the HSBC National Cyclo Cross Series will take place at Irvine Beach Park over the weekend of October 26-27. The success of the event coming to Ayrshire is testament to the hard work of the organising club, in partnership with North Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Cyclocross Association and Scottish Cycling.

It will be the second major cycling event hosted in Ayrshire in as many weeks and shows how popular Ayrshire Clubs are in promoting these classics.

The event, which is a UCI Category 2 race, utilises a newly-designed course to incorporate Irvine’s classic sand sections and traditional cyclocross features.

The series consists of six rounds of racing at venues throughout Britain. The series attracts top riders from the UK and further afield in all categories from under 14 to veteran 60 plus. Scottish riders will be up against the elite riders of the sport both in the senior and junior races.

In the ladies event, all eyes will be on Anna Flynn of Edinburgh Road Club, who is lying seventh in the standings and will be hoping to perform well on home soil.

Most Ayrshire clubs are well represented, with Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club fielding four riders – with young Ollie Kelly competing in the youth’s event. The National is a special occasion and those who have never competed in one can expect great local support.

Plenty of car parking is available, so why not go along and lend your support to the Scottish riders?

Meanwhile, Lochore Meadows Country Park in Fife was the venue on Sunday for round three of the Scottish Cyclo Cross Series. This has been popular with the cyclo cross riders of Ayr Roads over the past few seasons and the Lochore circuit is well liked. All are technical and require good bike handling skills.

Ayr Roads had three riders making the trip, with experienced rider Fraser Tait hoping to improve in his standings in his category. Robert Kelly was also keen to improve on his season’s best. While in the youth section young Ollie Kelly, from Alloway, who was competing for his main club Johnstone Jets, was keen for a podium place.

On the day, Fraser came 26th in his category, 34th overall in a field of 92 riders. Robert Kelly steadily improved throughout his race, while son Ollie came an excellent eigth in the under 14 boys, 31st overall in a field of 92 riders.

In a different discipline, Calum McDonald travelled to Greenock to participate in the Lyle Hill Climb.

Riders set off from the railway bridge climbing to the top at a height of 450ft, the steepest gradient being 13 percent.

The event was won by David Griffiths in a time of 3 minutes 57 seconds. Calum came a creditable sixth place in 4 minutes 43 seconds.

The club run on Sunday saw a few hardy members set off in the rain to complete the Pennyglen circuit.