Thursday, 17 June 2010

Racing news

Cameron Mason

David Mason

Four Clarion riders took part in the Scottish XC MTB champs at the weekend, with Jonathan Buckley coming away with a Bronze medal, David Mason tells all.

Where Round 3 in Aberfoyle was a Mud Fest Round 4 was a Midge Feast, the best way to avoid them was to race !
The main race route incorporated some of the World Championship course and it was a tough one especially after the overnight downpour left all the trails super slick.

There was a very rideable long climb mainly on fire road then a very quick change of scenery where the descent started with single track and straight into the first of many "caution" signboards which preceded a highly technical section. There was a long very steep rock staircase to negotiate which had some of the very experienced riders questioning their sanity, get off and run down or risk a tumble. This led onto several other sections of equal difficulty on mainly singletrack. The courses are normally red graded however a fair amount of the Fort Bill course appeared to have gone well into the black, very daunting for the younger and older riders alike.

Although frightening in places the course was very rewarding and well worth the effort. Jamie Mason (12, Juvenile Race),had a bad fall on practice day but rose to the challenge and took it all in his stride on race day to finish 15th.

David Mason (older than 12, Open Race) had a tough first lap. The view from the top of the hill on lap 1 was one of bikes and bodies all over the place and few riders escaped without a skint knee at best. Lap 2 had spread the field out some and he managed a good clean round despite bending his rear mech into his wheel and took 12th place with some bruises to take home as souvenirs.

There was a fantastic turnout for the Primary Schools Races with over 60 entrants! Cameron Mason (9, Primary 4-5 Race) had a great race over the technical skills area which incorporates singletrack, jumps with optional air, berms and boardwalk. His "favourite course". He finished in 4th with a power sprint to the line.

It was great to see so many kids competing and enjoying themselves, there were also a lot of proud parents too.

Jonathan Buckley (Masters Race) completed the Clarion Riders foursome. He competed well and took an awesome 5th place, 6 seconds behind 4th. A great result.

Jonathan said "It was a great course, really enjoyed it even if I had an over-the-handlebar incident on my practice lap! Although I finished 5th, I was awarded the bronze medal as the chaps who finished 2nd and 3rd weren't members of the SCU - dont quite know how that works but hey, I got a medal!"

There were a fair number of wipe outs and a queue of walking wounded at the 1st aid at the finish but what an event. A real gutsy effort by all. The competition is getting hotter. Get along to Perth in August and give it a go, you might enjoy yourself.

In other racing news Matthew Ball finished 30th out of 140 riders in the Scottish 25 mile Time Trial Championships in Fife. He rode the course in a time of 58.48. The well marshalled and organised event was ridden over tough course which was undulating and hilly in places.

Matthew said "The course was quite 'sporting' a few long drags, twisty roads and a particularly fast 40mph downhill. There were 8 or so junctions and a roundabout we went through 3 times. I didn't take any chances, after the roads looked quite slippery"

Next up for the club's Time Trial riders will the the Scottish 50 and 100 Time trial championships.

Long distance expert Neil Fraser rode the rather ironically titled "Only for softies" 600KM audax which started in Edinburgh at the weekend. Neil rode non stop through the night for the first time and said "I had some real dozy periods around 3 - 4am when I was struggling to keep going, the best way I've found to shake off the sleepiness is to sprint! Seriously - a few hundred yards hard sprinting for a 30 sign or whatever gives enough adrenaline to really wake you up.!"

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