It was a freezing cold day in Scotland’s sunniest city with the Scottish Cyclocross Series travelling to Tayside for its penultimate round. The former golf course at Camperdown Park played host to the icy SCX round, with a quality field putting on two excellent races in the sub-zero conditions.
The Senior Female race was won by Hope Factory Racing’s Ella Maclean-Howell after she rode away from Isla Short (Ghost FR) to claim victory by just under a minute.
Lauren Johnston (Hervelo) came home in third place, which vaults her into the lead of the series while remaining on the same points as Lettie McDonald (Vanelli-Project GO); with Johnston’s win in Castle Douglas giving the Hervelo rider the lead on countback.
With the final round in Brechin next Sunday (enter here), it’s a straight shoot-out for who will claim series honours.
Fourth across the line, but first Junior was Harriet Hendry (Deeside Thistle), with Sian Tovey claiming the victory in the Female Vet 40 category. While David Lines (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) claimed the victory in the Vet 40 Male race.
The morning’s Youth races saw victories for Oliver Carter (Deeside Thistle) and Freya Mowbray (Scotia Offroad RT) in the Under 16 races, while Ruaridh Fulton (West Lothian Clarion) and Zara Main (Deeside Thistle) claimed the top step of the Under 14 podiums.
The Junior Male race saw newly crowned Scottish national Champion Innes McDonald (Scotia Offroad RT) earn an excellent victory to complete his fourth win of the series, Sam Barbour (Ribble Rechrg) rode to second with a solid performance, with Milo McIntosh (The Cycling Academy) in third.
The Series standings are all still up for grabs – with Murray Gray (Rotor RT) leading the way – by virtue of being consistent, but as many as five riders able to claim the series title if results go their way in Brechin next Sunday.
It very much was a case of saving the best until last as the Senior Male riders produced a thrilling climax to the day’s racing.
Three leaders quickly established themselves at the forefront of the race with newly crowned Scottish national champion Lewis Martin (Studio Velo) wearing his brand-new champions jersey joined by the Hope Factory Racing duo of Max Greensill and Grant Ferguson.
Martin, looking the stronger of the three, tried to break free several times with not much luck, before finally getting a gap on lap six of ten. However, as quickly as the gap looked to have been established, Martin slid out on the icy camber losing 15 seconds to his two rivals.
The final laps saw an excellent chase with the Hope Factory teammates working hard to keep an advantage as the Scottish Champion – and series winner-elect – chipped away at their lead. A huge effort on the penultimate lap by Martin brought him back to the leading duo – to set up a grandstand finish.
The twisty, narrow section before the finish straight saw some argy-bargy between the three as Martin force his way to lead into the final corner before launching his sprint to cross the line in style, with Ferguson crossing the line in second place, and Greensill rounding off the podium.
An excellent end, to a brilliant day of racing in Dundee. A massive thank you to Keith Stocker and Martin Harris for organising, as well as to the team of volunteers and officials that made Sunday possible.
Cameron Mason (Cyclocross Reds) produced an explosive performance in his home from home of Boom on Saturday at the latest round of the Telenet Superpresitge
It was another fantastic ride from the British Champion on the slopes of Tomorrowland. Mason rode away from the chasers in pursuit of eventual winner Joris Nieuwenhuis (Baloise Trek Lions) for eight laps to come home in second place just 10 seconds back from the Dutch winner.
A second place is Mason’s best ever result in Belgium, and sees the Scot rise to the top 15 in the UCI World Ranking for the first ever time – and in doing so becomes the highest ranked British rider for the first time – usurping Tom Pidcock.
In the Elite Female race, Ishbel Strathdee continued her strong season coming home in 27th place.
You can watch the Men’s highlights from our friends at Eurosport here: