Published: 18th Nov 2023 Images: Scottish Cycling

Carrotte and Holland conquer Wallace Monument

It was a dreich day in the metaphorical shadow of Stirling’s Wallace Monument – in reality you could just about make it out from the startline – as some of Scotland’s best climbers prepared themselves for an all-out effort to the top.

The event, run by the University of Stirling Cycling Club, also incorporated the Scottish Student Sport Championships, bringing together a great field of riders who braved the conditions and the brutally steep climb – thankfully it is a reasonably short effort.

The Junior riders were off first, Tyler Clare (Inverness CC) setting the early benchmark of 1.45, which would prove good for a sterling second place. Sam Barbour (Ribble recharg RT) and Milo McIntosh (The Cycling Academy) would both clock 1.47 times, as would Evan McKenzie (Rotor RT) – all three men were in fact within half a second, but it was McKenzie who would bag bronze.

In the end it was a case of saving the best until last, as The Cycling Academy’s Jake Speed powered up his local climb, which he has ridden many times before, to clock 1.39 and take the Junior Men’s national title by some six seconds, a stunning ride.

In the Junior Women’s category it was a one horse race as Beatrix Kiehlmann (Royal Albert) was the only entrant, the multi-discipline rider, who is currently enjoying a strong start to the cyclocross season, posting a 2.32 time to take the title.

Arianne Holland (Alba Development RT) stormed to victory in the Senior Women’s contest to land her first Scottish title. The fell runner turned cyclist is at home in the hills, but this was certainly a very different kind of effort for the Stirling based rider. The battle for the minor medals was a close one, Madeleine Bell (Musselburgh CC) snatching silver by a mere second from Miriam Gilbride (Glasgow Uni CC), who would take the student title as well as bronze in the national championships.

Last off were the Senior Men, but it was one of the day’s earlier starters – a talented student from Aberdeen – who would take the spoils. Alex Ball (Maglia Tecnosylva Bembibre Cycling Team) was the early pacesetter, but would ultimately have to settle for a fourth place finish. Just a few minutes later it was the turn of Samuel Carrotte (University of Aberdeen) to power up the climb, desperate to improve on his fourth place finish at the student championships, on this very climb, 12 months ago.

Carrotte’s effort was a remarkable one, as he stopped the clock in 1.27, a new course record. Could anyone better his time?

The final few riders would come closest, William Taylor (Moonglu RT) producing a 1.34.5 time and last man off, Cameron Ritchie (Edinburgh RC) a 1.34.7, but nobody could challenge Carrotte’s time. In the end Taylor and Ritchie would join him on the podium, with Carrotte naturally doubling up as student champ.

Despite the weather, the atmosphere in Stirling was great, and riding even better. From novices to our champions, everybody embraced the challenge, the climb and the post-race cake and chat. Big thanks to Lotta Mansfield and her team at University of Stirling Cycling Club for putting the race on, especially having to rearrange after the storms a few weeks back. As ever, thanks must also go to our commissaire team and all the volunteers – it couldn’t happen without them.

Senior Men

1 Samuel Carrotte University of Aberdeen 01:27.597
2 William Taylor Moonglu Race Team 01:34.507
3 Cameron Ritchie Edinburgh RC 01:34.765
4 Alexander Ball Maglia Tecnosylva Bembibre Cycling Team 01:40.539
5 Sebastian Birchall 01:43.093


Elite Women

1 Arianne Holland Alba Development Road Team 02:16.2
2 Madeleine Bell Musselburgh RCC 02:30.4
3 Miriam Gilbride Glasgow University Cycling Club 02:31.1
4 Toni McIntosh Ayr Roads Cycling Club 02:49.0
5 Sarah Seal Stirling Bike Club 02:49.5


Junior Men

1 Jake Speed The Cycling Academy 01:39.868
2 Tyler Clare Inverness CC 01:45.807
3 Evan McKenzie Rotor Race Team 01:47.460
4 Milo McIntosh The Cycling Academy 01:47.859
5 Sam Barbour Ribble recharg RT 01:47.979


Junior Women

1 Beatrix Kiehlmann Royal Albert CC 02:32.636