This will be the first time Scotland has hosted the British National Cyclo-cross Championships, with the scenic Callender Park providing a picturesque backdrop for some epic racing. Home to the 14th century Callendar House, Falkirk has been a spectator and rider favourite on the National Trophy Series calendar, with last year’s round seeing Millie Couzens and Scottish rider Cameron Mason taking victories there.
The demanding course will be a true test of cyclo-cross prowess, with muddy technical sections where skill and agility are paramount, the steep challenge of ‘The Wall’, and fast descents which will demand physical strength and finesse.
Elite and under-23 riders from across Britain will navigate the course on Saturday in a bid for the coveted national champion’s jerseys, as will the junior and open veteran 50+ and 60+ riders. On Sunday, youth riders, female veterans and open veteran 40+ riders will be racing. The weather forecast is for a very cold but dry weekend, with potentially some frost for riders to deal with.
Scots to watch
There are plenty of Scots to watch across the weekend, but in the Elite Open race Cameron Mason (Cyclocross Reds) will be looking to defend his title, a stone’s throw away from his native Linlithgow. He goes into Saturday afternoon’s race a strong favourite after some excellent performances over the winter in Belgium. Joining Mason, will be Scottish national champion Lewis Martin (Studio Velo) who comes into the British Champs after an unbeaten run in the Scottish Cyclocross Series and a strong fourth at the final National Trophy of the season. While former British Champion Grant Ferguson (Hope Factory Racing), will too be looking to make his mark.
The Elite Female race will see Ishbel Strathdee (Wheelbase) return to racing in Scotland after a strong set of performances in Belgium this season, with the U23 looking to improve upon her ninth place in 2023, which saw her take bronze in the U23 category. Mountain Biker Isla Short (Ghost Factory Racing) has been in action on the unfamiliar drop handlebars this winter – with a World Cup debut in Hulst last month, and the Peebles’ rider will be hoping to show some of the form that saw her take a third place at the most recent National Trophy round in Yorkshire. While Anna Flynn (Spectra-Cannondale) and Scottish national champion Grace Inglis (Muckle CC) are also in action.
Daisy Taylor (Royal Albert CC) was crowned the Junior Female Scottish national champion back in November, after an excellent ride at Knockburn Loch and will be aiming to take the challenge to former Youth Tour of Scotland winner Cat Ferguson (Movistar) from Yorkshire. As will Aberdeenshire’s Arabella Blackburn (Shiben-Apex RT) who makes the step up to Junior level this season.
The Junior Open field looks to be wide open; Scottish national champion Innes McDonald (Scotia Off Road Team) is another rider that made his Belgian cyclocross debut this winter, but has also been dominant when racing in Scotland, and will certainly be aiming for the podium after winning the Under 16 British title in Cumbria in 2023. He’ll be joined by Ben Allan (Peebles CC), Milo McIntosh (The Cycling Academy) and Sam Barbour (Ribble-rechrg RT) on the startlist for Race 1 on Saturday.
There’s plenty of Scottish interest in the Youth races on Sunday, with Daisy Wilkinson, Freya Mowbray and Hope Thomson forming a Scotia Offroad Team trident in the Under 16 Female Race. While Gregor Calvert (West Lothian Clarion), Xander Graham (Scott Racing) and local rider Arran Drackford (Falkirk Junior BC) are among the Scots in the Under 16 Open championship.
The veteran races too will have a very Scottish flavour with riders such as Scottish champions Sian Tovey and Davie Lines (Wheeelbase CabTech Castelli) as well as Robert Friel (Vanelli-Project GO) and and Madeleine Pope (Hors Categorie) among those representing on Sunday.
Where to watch
Fans can come and cheer on our fantastic British riders in Falkirk, and experience the thrill of cyclo-cross racing in a vibrant, family-friendly atmosphere. The championships will take place at Callendar Park, Falkirk, FK1 1YR.
Falkirk High train station is a five-minute walk from the west end of Callendar Wood and local buses serve all sides of Callendar Park. Parking is available at Callendar Business Park, Callendar Boulevard, Falkirk, FK1 1XR. Please follow directional signs on Callendar Road and follow the direction of marshals when arriving in the business park. There are a number of areas of the business park not available for parking on the day including Antonine House, Office of the Public Guardian, The Forum and Link Housing. Parking passes can be bought here
This weekend we have once again invested to ensure that our members and fans across the country can watch all of the action live from home.
The elite races will be broadcast live from 11:20 on the BBC Sport Scotland website, BBC Sport app and BBC iPlayer, with commentary from Marty McDonald and Helen Wyman.
The elite and junior races will also be streamed in full on the British Cycling YouTube channel here, starting at 9:15.
- Junior open – 09:25 – TV
- Junior female – 10:25 – TV
- Elite and under-23 female – 11:25 – TV
- Elite and under-23 open – 13:15 – TV
- Veteran 50-59 open – 14:45
- Veteran 60+ open – 14:46
- Veteran 40-49 female – 09:25
- Veteran 50-59 and 60+ female – 09:26
- Youth under-16 female – 10:25
- Youth under-14 female – 10:26
- Youth under-14 open – 12:20
- Youth under-16 open – 13:20
- Veteran 40-49 open – 14:20