Earlier in February, cyclocross, MTB and grass track racer Craig Hardie announced on facebook that he had taken the decision to give up racing. Despite his humble comment that he didn’t want to seem big headed by making a big announcement, he has nonetheless had a long amateur racing career and been an integral part of the competitive scene for many years. Craig’s enthusiasm for cyclocross and biking in general gave me encouragement personally, so I thought I’d find out more.
> You said that you needed a better work/life balance – that’s something that I and, I’m sure, a lot of other amateur racers (and their partners) can sympathise with.
Yep it has come to the time to the feeling I have done all I can in Scotland Cyclocross, the last Cross season kind of sealed the idea of giving up the endurance based racing (will still maybe compete in a few Highland Games this season depending on time and how I feel) The time to train as much as I would like is just not there now but I feel very satisfied I have achieved more than I could have imagined.
Craig Hardie bunnyhopping the boards at the Scottish Cyclocross Championships (pic David Hamill) Continue reading →
It is with tinges of both sadness and joy that I embed the final video in Dave Hamill and John McComisky’s Dig In! Series.
These vids went a long way to promote the Scottish cyclocross scene and I can say that from personal experience – they pretty much got me into the sport, although the twitter buzz that surrounds each race has a lot to do with it too.
Have a watch and do a race next season! (the races are not all as claggy as this, honest)
Grant Ferguson had a great start to the 2013 season for his new Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team, winning the U23 CX national title. Teammate Marek Konwa also won the Polish National Champion title in the Elite Men category.
Grant Ferguson, newcomer to the Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team, won the U23 CX National title, overcoming a brave ride by defending champion Steven James and an aggressive performance from Ben Sumner who finished third. It was Kenta Gallagher (also a new recruit to the Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team) who made the first impression on the race, leading the charge away from the start with Nick Barnes, Adam Martin and Ferguson close behind. By the end of the 2nd lap a six rider group had formed, including Ferguson. It was Ben Sumner who finally broke up the race with a big effort at the start of the 4th lap. Ferguson was the only rider to go with him. With the bell approaching, Ferguson finally made his move and he broke clear, able to stretch his lead to around half a minute at the finish line, as he claimed his first national CycloCross title. Kenta Gallagher finished in a strong 6th place on 1.35.
Grant Ferguson: “I’m really pleased. This has been a big target for me. Since the MTB season has stopped I’ve been working to get faster and improve a few things. It was a really tight race and then it split up a couple of times. I had a few little goes and someone got away, so I just went for it on the last lap and a half.”
Scottish based clothing sponsor Endura, who is the official cycle clothing sponsor of Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team for 2013 and 2014, will also no doubt have been pretty pleased.
I consider myself ‘into’ cyclocross, even though I have only ever done one race (in 2009, on a mountain bike) and occasionally swap my winter road wheels for knobbly tyres and get muddy.
Dave Hamill and John McComisky’s Dig In videos are one of the reasons for this (my enthusiasm for cross, rather than my tardiness to actually do some). The sheer fun projected in the vids reflects really well on the Scottish cross scene. Judging by the anticipation of their race at Bo’ness in Jan 2013, the films go a long way to encouraging people to have a go.
With the cyclocross season upon us, Dave and John return with their series of fun Dig In! videos on the cross scene and culture in Scotland. Here is the video of round 1 of the series:
With 70 kids doing the youths races, and lovely weather at Callander Park in Falkirk it was a nice start to the series. I was going to enter but bottled it after finding I had zero fitness after 2 months off the bike.
Excuses…. I WILL race at least one cross this winter!
It’s still cyclocross season, and I thought I’d post this short, stylised promo video shot and edited by Corinne Walder. It’s just an intro to the sport, so nothing groundbreaking for diehards, but it does feature some soundbites from two fresh-faced Scots on the British Cycling academy, Kenta Gallagher and Grant Ferguson.
VC Moulin encompass all cycling disciplines (I believe) but they are known for cyclocross. There’s something great about their jersey with its nod to the Belgian national colours and the powerful logo.
Pic by Brian McArdle on flickr.
We’re almost at the end of the cross season in Scotland and there has been lots going on, some great races, but alas I have too been strapped for time to do the scene justice. The final two races at Mull are coming up next weekend.
Check out Dave Hamill and John McComisky’s Dig In Mate series of videos for a typically Scottish, light-hearted (and sometimes rude) look at some of the races. These also really deserve a separate post… they are great.
I did a minimal preview of the CX champs at Irvine. Although I try not to do too much news and race reporting (it’s hard work to keep up and other places do it better), I thought I should honour some of the champions.
Ross Creber won the senior mens for his new 2011 team CyclePremier.com – Metaltek, pursued by Endura’s Davie Lines. Thanks martysavalas aka naegears on twitter for the cc attribution on several of these pics. Click through to flickr for a full set.
Senior women’s winner was Katy Winton of Glentress Riders. Good race from a young rider, beating several seniors. With apologies to Hannah Ferguson, sister of junior winner Grant, who I previously misidentified.
Eileen Roe, who rode in the Commonwealth games took silver in the ladies category. Pic from the Leslie Bike Shop / Right Move Windows twitter.
Vets podium was a 1-2-3 for Leslie Bike Shop with Gary Macrae winning and John McCaffrey and Brendan Roe rounding out the medals. A good day for the Roes.
Junior Mens winner was Grant Ferguson of Dooley’s RT. Grant races mountain bikes under the BC Development programme, and has ridden stage races abroad for Scotland too. Pic by martysavalas on flickr.
Silver was Stuart McCluskey also of Leslie Bike Shop. A good day for their team.
I will endeavour to cover the youth riders in another post.
There have been so many good pictures of cycling in this week’s snowy conditions that I dedicated posts to mountain biking and urban cycling.
The cyclocross bike is a good machine for snowy conditions, as mountain bike suspension can soak up pedal strokes and spring. A good rigid cross bike can sometimes blast through snowy conditions. And cyclocross racing is a winter sport – it doesn’t stop for snow!