The second round of the Scottish Cross County (SXC) Series made the trip ‘Doon the Watter’ to Dunoon, to a new course developed by Cowal Mountain Bike Club and supported by Dunoon Presents. The hard work and effort of the local organisers was recognised by the SXC, with the course in prime condition for racing.
Despite inclement weather, numbers were strong across the categories, with exciting racing throughout the day.
The course was long at 7km, with 200m of climbing per lap and was a true tester. On Saturday practice the course earned glowing reports both being commended for the challenging single track climbs and praised for the natural, technical and twisting sections through the trees and on the clear-fell hill.
With the storm arriving on Saturday night, Sunday morning saw last minute checks on the two river crossings, which now were fast flowing. The Under 12s course was also by then under 6 inches of water, but some quick thinking with a roll of tape saw their course diverted and just as exciting for the youngsters.
The Elite women’s race was a hard-fought affair with 8 women taking on three laps of the course. Leading from the off, Lucy Grant (The Bicycle Works) took the win, savouring the technical challenges of the course. Jane Barr (Velocity 44) took second place, with Kirsty MacPhee (Rock & Road Cycles) rounding off the podium. Across the rest of the 11am start categories there was fast and exhausting racing, the Juvenile boys in particular, the top two riders separated by only 22 seconds after half an hour of racing.
Almost 70 Under 12 riders took part in their races, with many riders travelling for the first time to Dunoon. Every rider put all their effort into the race, with big smiles and racing grimaces in equal measure.
In the Elite men’s race, early leader Calum Magowan was forced into retirement after three laps, allowing Rob Friel (Santa Cruz Racing) to power into the lead. It was a tough race for Rob, having been focussing on road racing so far this season, and not having done a practice lap before race start! He was chased all the way by David Duggan, with Davie Lines (Altura-Wheelbase) in third position. There were a host of local faces in the 2pm race starts, with local rider and one of the course builders, Sinclair Stewart taking 3rd place in the Sport men.
Full race results can be found here.
The SXC Series continues on the 22nd of May at Cathkin Braes, more information can be found here.