Wednesday, 28 August 2013

SXC 5 / Scottish Championships Preview - Kirroughtree 1/9/13

The SXC and series sponsors Thomsons Cycles are excitedly looking forward to the series finale combining the 5th and final round of the 2013 Thomsons Cycles SXC Series and the 2013 Scottish Cross Country Championships. The event will be held on Sunday the 1st of September at the fantastic Kirroughtree 7stanes track including brand new trails for the 2013 race, lovingly crafted by Sam.

As this event is a combination event, the rules are essentially the same, however there are certain specifics which should be noted for the prize giving and results system which can be found here...

However, don't let the title of the Scottish Championships put you off! We still have all the usual categories and are not expecting you all to go at supersonic speed just because its the Champs! There will be the normal Open and Beginner categories and all people who are not eligible for the Scottish will still be able to enter their usual categories. 

It's shaping up to be a great event as the top Scottish riders compete, not only to secure their series position but also to have the honour of calling themselves Scottish Champion. 

One thing that has been shown time and time again is that you can take nothing for granted at this crucial stage of the Series.

Granted, some categories have already been settled for the winners. But most are still up for grabs and podium kudos for second and thirds will be hard fought at the new course at Kirroughtree. Full series standings leading up to the event can be found here...

Female Youth has been decided - congratulations to Elena Melton - Thomsons Cycles. And also to Gillian Pratt - Leslie Bikeshop (Female Master), Lisa Kamphausen - Ben Wyvis (Female Sport), Gregor Grant (Moray Firth CC)  (Male Grand Vet), Dave Mclean - Hetton Hawks (Male Super Vet) and Michael Dunabie - Pedal Power (Male Sport) who have all secured their Series titles.

In the Female Juv, Katie Allen (Thomsons Cycles) would seem to have it all wrapped up with 130 points, but there could still be a fly in the ointment from Ellie Park (Glasgow Riderz) sitting on 95, and with a round in hand.

In Female Junior, a finish from Yuka Gallagher (Ben Wyvis) would claim her title, but she will be hard pushed by Isla Short (WXC) following her outstanding success at Hadleigh Farm who needs a second to steal it.

10 points separate Anne Murray (Team Jewson) and Miranda Balfour (Peebles CC) in the Female Vet class. And with each having the same number of rounds – all to play for.
And will Fiona Paton (Ben Wyvis CC) be on the top step of the podium in Female Grand Vet? She needs a finish to secure and Fiona has never let us down in the past.

Female Elite should produce one of the most exciting finishes of the day. Morven Brown (Dales Cycles), sitting top, is challenged by Lee Craigie (Cannondale)– hot off her fantastic performance at Hadleigh. A win by Lee means that Morven needs a second place to secure her title – but will Kerry Macphee (Rock & Road Cycles) throw a spanner in the works? This will be one race to watch!

Five points separate Stephen Dent (Nevis Cycles) and Finn Crocket (Ben Wyvis) in the Male Juv so it looks like this class will be decided on the day – who’s it to be, boys?

And Mark McGuire (Team Bicycles) looks safe in Male Youth – but with a race in hand Calum Magowan (Peebles/Alpine Bikes) could still steal it. A win from Calum means Mark needs at top ten finish to head the podium.

It looks like a Club outing for Ben Wyvis in the Male Juniors, all three top places held by Callum Russell, Iain Paton and Ryan Ferne. With just 26 points separating them, any one of them could grab the title in this final race – have you been training together, guys?

Team Leslie are in a similar position in the Male Vets, occupying three of the top four places. With just 10 points and three races each, Damien Slorach and John McCaffery are the main contenders for gold and silver, but Kenny Kentley (Velo Ecosse) and Gary Macrae (Leslie Bikeshop) could still pull a late one. Definite podium positions hang on this race.

With just three races each, top three riders in the Male Master will be battling it out for podium places. Ewan Gronkowski(Leslie Bikeshop) , Paul Carmichael (Squadra Porcini) and Roger Campbell-Crawford (Thomsons Cycles) will all be vying for top place – this is where punctures, mechanicals, offs and dnf’s can make all the difference!

In the Elite men's race, Rob Friel (Santa Cruz) leads by 33 points, however with 35 points for the win, nearest rival Dougie Shearer (Innerleithen MTB) will be ready to pounce if Friel has any risk of a dnf!

So, it seems incredible that with four gruelling races under our belts, so much hangs on the final round in Dumfries-shire. Can this new course throw up a few surprises?

Will Judgement, Hissing Sid and Stairway to Heaven call the tune? Or will pre-ride, determination, experience, stamina and luck reign supreme?

They think its all over?.................not by a long chalk!

In the series standings for the Teams competition, our Highland contingent, Ben Wyvis CC have blown all the other teams out the water and have long since tied up the teams series! The rest of the podium spots will come right down to the wire at Kirroughtree with Team Leslie Bikeshop and Mukyriderz battling with Team Thomsons Cycles for the remaining two steps on the teams podium. We'll no doubt be seeing large entries from these three teams as they try to gain the competitive advantage over their rivals. Check out the full team series standings following round 4 here...

So, we hope to see you all there and on fine racing form! For spectators, as you can see, there's going to be a lot of excitement and it will be a fantastic day out with our regular caterers, the Grange Kitchen providing delicious food. Make sure you head down and enjoy the racing and enjoy being part of this excellent event.

Good luck and race fast!

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