North of Scotland success for Ayrshire rider Marcus Shields

Marcus Shields Bunny Hopping an obstacle at the Brora CX Event
Marcus Shields Bunny Hopping an obstacle at the Brora CX Event

The Scottish Cycling North Cyclo Cross Series Round 4 was held at Brora in Sutherland last weekend.

The event title, ‘Frenzie at Fascally’, was an apt description. It was run in wintry conditions, with plenty of spills, on a course that required good bike handling skills.

Marcus Shields, of Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club, made the long journey from the south of England to compete in two events but, because of the wintry conditions, one was cancelled.

Marcus, however, secured a podium place, taking third in his age category.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Ayrshire riders who competed in the Scottish CX Series Round 4 at Glengorm Castle, Mull, were well placed. Evergreen Fraser Tait, of Ayr Roads, was without his team mate, Aileen Fisher, who was down with flu.

Despite a stormy ferry crossing, no spare bike, a puncture which necessitated a wheel change and losing seven places, Fraser still managed a respectable ‘unlucky’ 13th place in his category.

Best placed Ayrshire rider was Harry McGarvie, of Ayr Burners, who finished in seventh place and first junior.

Other placings of Ayrshire riders in their categories were: Fiona Walker sixth, Lorna Sloan fifth, John Walker fourth and Lindsay McGarvie 11th. Iain Fisher of the Roads Club took fifth place in the senior’s race on the Sunday. Iain’s training and competition is restricted because of his job. He is an apprentice marine engineer, which takes him on long-haul voyages, so his competition is severely limited.

The Roads Club was active last week on club runs, with the main run taking in the Girvan and Assel Valleys before turning at Pinmore for the homeward journey by the coast road. A nice 60-mile journey.

The club also managed two midweek runs, despite the poor weather. One run took in a 53-mile circuit of the Girvan Valley, taking in the Straiton, Maybole and coastal route. The other was by northern by-ways, with a 56-mile run by way of Galson, Fenwick and Torranyard, before taking the homeward leg by Irvine.

There was a departure from the Roads training session last Tuesday night at the Prestwick Sailing Club, when club members thoroughly enjoyed a Pilates session. This week, the club will return to indoor turbo-training sessions. All are welcome.

On Sunday, Ayrshire Clubs will be competing against each other and other Scottish Clubs, in the first Time Trial of the season.

Fullarton Wheelers, Icebreaker 10-mile two-up Team Time Trial on the Eglinton Course is an early-season event, well supported by all. It allows riders to gauge their fitness in one of Scotland’s best known events.

Ayr Roads will have a number of teams entered, including a ladies team.

Hopefully, Aileen Fisher, now recovering from flu, will be fit enough to partner Charlotte Robb, who will be competing in her first ever open race.

News was broken earlier on this week that Scotland will host the first edition of the Women’s Tour of Scotland, which will take place from August 9 until August 11 this year.

This is also the first ever UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Road Race staged in Scotland and is testament to the success of the recent United Kingdom National events promoted by Ayr Roads and Fullarton Wheelers.

Ayr Roads member Jennifer George, winner of the Scottish National Ladies RR Championship in 2018, will be hoping to be selected to take part in the event.