Tag Archives: cyclocross

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Make the difference to your cycling training – with yoga?

This piece was originally provided by Simon Kirkness for the Dig In At The Dock race programme this January. He had had a blistering start to the cross season in Autumn 2013 with a podium place at Callendar Park. I asked him what had made the difference in getting improved results. If you are starting to make a plan for the 2014-15 ‘cross season, or just getting back into proper riding after winter hibernation, read on for inspiration…

I was getting a bit tired of being the pumped not the pumper, so after the end of last season I changed a few things to try to compete with the fast boys and give me the edge on some of the other guys. We all know it’s not about just riding the bike faster, harder and longer – there’s a bit more to it.

Lomond Shores CX 2013 (15 of 23)
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Q&A: Looking forward to Dig In At The Dock Cyclocross

The Dig In At The Dock cyclocross event has an impressive profile – it’s great what a few enthusiastic individuals, social media promotion and elbow grease can do.

I maybe do a disservice to all the hard work put in behind the scenes, but the point is, willing volunteers, fostering a rabidly enthusiastic community and fuelling the banter on facebook and twitter can go a hell of a long way for local events.

I have been helping out with the race programme, co-ordinating the articles, chasing up text, sourcing images and performing a general ‘overseer’ role. I’m also looking forward to getting muddy again on the course itself. With all that in mind, here is a light-hearted look forward to the race.

John: Thanks for helping us with the race programme this year Owen. You’re a star.

OP: No problem. It’s great to see so many people contributing: various people have written pieces, the photographers have been very generous in submitting their work – it’s like the race itself – so many people muck in.

Dave: So how are you finding the cross this year? You had a decent year: got the 3rd cat on the road?
Yeah- was pleased with the road season, I found out that I was better at crits than road races so got a few points there. I thought a modicum of success at the 1 hour circuit format might transfer over to cyclocross, but I still have to hone the off-road skills quite a bit.

Dave: Aye, you need to practice more. Been training hard?
No- it’s into winter ‘off-season’ for me now and my fitness is probably the lowest it has been all year.

John: That’s what everyone says before our race! Bunch of liars the lot of yous.
I’ve had a cold! And have been busy with work and family – just want to get my excuses in early. Plus, my transformation from roadie to cyclocrosser is still underway.

Dave: Fine, but we expect you to do a full cross season next year. You need to get into the muddy races as well as the nice leafy ones in autumn.
We’ll see.

taking in the sun at Callendar Park, October 2013
A sunny and leafy Calendar Park 2013, image by Ian Henderson

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Kyle Petrie, from the Basque to California and back

I spoke to 18 year old Kyle Petrie who has travelled to California to further his cycling.

You’re out in California training, riding and racing a bit – tell us where you are and what team you are with?
I’m living in Northern California in a town called Pleasanton. It’s a nice town and everything seems to be perfect, pristine and nice. The people are friendly there’s a massive connection of Scottish and English people here! The town is located near San Francisco and Oakland where I go to race, train and meet with my team – a shop team called CyclesFANATIC USA which is renowned in the Bay Area for its contribution to the sport and the great bikes!

Kyle Petrie Candlestick cross

How did the trip come about?
When I was in the Basque Country I knew I wanted to go somewhere for the winter. I asked friends for advice and California seemed the place to go. I feel I made the right decision – there is everything I need here: great training roads, extremely high level of riders, lots of group rides and tons of racing happening.

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Craig Hardie: Hanging up the racing hoops

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.

Bunnyhop
Craig Hardie bunnyhopping the boards at the Scottish Cyclocross Championships (pic David Hamill)
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Au revoir Dig In!

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 U23 CX champ for Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team

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.

Dig In! At the Dock cyclocross 6th Jan 2013

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.

Entry opens today on entrycentral.

New series of Dig In! cyclocross videos

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!

Cyclocross promo by Corinne Walder

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.


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PRODUCED BY CORINNE WALDER. MUSIC : NIRVANA – BLEW
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Great Scottish CX jersey

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.

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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.