Published: 13th Jan 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Magnificent Mason rounds off an excellent Day One at British Cyclo-Cross Champs

Falkirk’s Callendar Park played host to an excellent day of British Championship Cyclo-Cross Racing in the sunshine as ten British Champions were crowned.

Cameron Mason (Cyclocross Reds) took his second consecutive national title in style after a brilliant solo effort that saw him cross the line a minute ahead of Thomas Mein (Hope Factory Racing), while Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ) came home third after a great battle with under-23 winner Corran Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing).

A rapid start saw the elite open race strung out in the opening lap, with Mein the front runner up ‘The Wall’. Mein was followed closely by Carrick-Anderson and Toby Barnes (Ribble-Verge Sport), with home favourite Mason and under-23 rider Dan Barnes (Team Spectra Cannondale) just behind.

On the second lap, Mein went solo as Mason took it up a gear, overtaking others with ease and keeping the National Trophy winner in his sights. Just after a technical section, Mason made his move to overtake Mein and storm ahead in pole position.

With only a handful of seconds between them, Mein kept calm and continued the chase with Mason in his reach. The two were comfortably ahead of the field, with Carrick-Anderson sitting in third as Askey, Dan Barnes and Simon Wyllie (Team Spectra Cannondale) chased.

Mason racked up his gap to 30 seconds with Mein securely in the place for silver. The closing stages of the race saw Mason maintain his gap on Mein, while Askey caught and overtook Carrick-Anderson in the bronze medal position.

Coming into the finish line, Mason finished one minute and 15 seconds ahead of Mein, shouting in relief to take his second national title – all the more special on home turf. North East rider Mein came in second with a smile, while Askey secured the third spot on the podium after a fantastic chase.

On his excellent victory Mason told Scottish Cycling:

“I really felt the pressure today, I wanted to put down the race I knew could do. It took a few laps to get there but once I was in my flow, I could really put the laps together. I know how to ride this course, so it was about ticking off the sections and getting to the finish.”

Carrick-Anderson came home fourth to see the Scotsman take the under-23 title, while Wyllie’s sixth place saw him take the silver, and despite dropping his chain three times, Dan Barnes was able to take the bronze with a seventh place finish.

A fantastic ride too from Lewis Martin (Studio Velo) who scored a top ten finish, rounding off a great season for the Scottish national champion.

Anna Kay (Cyclocross Reds) showed pure dominance from start to finish in the elite female race to take her first ever elite national title, while Ella Maclean Howell’s (Hope Factory Racing) second place also saw her win the under-23 title as Scottish national champion Grace Inglis (Saint Piran) finished in a brilliant bronze position.

Kay was off the front from the gun and led the pack by a huge margin within the first lap. Junior rider Imogen Wolff (Trinity Racing), Millie Couzens (Fenix-Deceuninck), Maclean Howell and Inglis chasing, and Nikki Brammeier just off the back of them.

Kay continued to push on her lead, attacking ahead alone as Couzens, Maclean Howell and Inglis trailed 50 seconds behind, and Brammeier 20 seconds behind them.

The bell lap saw Kay maintain a 45 second gap as Maclean Howell continued to battle on alone behind, while Inglis and Couzens were neck-and-neck for the bronze.

Kay raised her arms in elation as she crossed the finish line 50 seconds ahead of Maclean Howell to take the national title. A valiant battle for Maclean Howell saw her take second, while a last lap spurt from Inglis secured the bronze.

A fantastic ride from Inglis, and without a doubt her best cyclocross performance to date, the Scottish champion had only raced twice all season; her win at Knockburn and a second place in Brechin in December, so to come to a British Champs and produce a medal ride is undoubtedly a brilliant achievement.

While fellow Scots Anna Flynn (Spectra Cannondale) and Ishbel Strathdee (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) rode home in 11th and 15th place respectively.

While, Maclean Howell’s second place was enough to secure her the under-23 victory, with a fourth place from Couzens allowed her to take the silver. Wolff’s commendable ride saw her finish in seventh place to round off the under-23 podium in bronze.

Oscar Amey (GKR Racing) reflected his talent from the National Trophy Series to take the national title ahead of defending champion Sebastian Grindley (Trinity Racing) in the junior open race, while his brother Alfie Amey (GKR Racing) took home the bronze.

Innes McDonald (Scotia Offroad RT) showed his strong form throughout the race to keep the front three honest to come home in fourth.

In the junior female race, Cat Ferguson (Hope Tech Factory Racing) had a sensational ride, taking the win almost four minutes ahead of silver medallist Alice Colling (Shibden CC) as Esther Wong (Shibden CC) took the bronze.

Ferguson fired off the start line, stringing out the bunch from the off to put the pressure on the pace. Summiting ‘The Wall’ for the first time, Ferguson was already 45 seconds up on the field, with National Trophy Series winner Colling and teammate Wong chasing behind, with the two working together well. The Yorkshire native would not be caught and took home a very well deserved victory.

Arabella Blackburn (Deeside Thistle) produced an excellent ride to come home in fourth place as a first year junior in a very strong current crop of Junior riders.

The final race of the day saw the Veteran 50 and 60+ riders take to the start with Nicholas Craig (SCOTT Racing) dominating from start to finish, firing off the start line with Ian Taylor (Shibden CC) hot on his wheel, with Nicholas Whitley (Team Enable – M.I.Racing) chasing behind.

On the second lap, Craig pushed on the pace, and formed a gap which he continued to extend with pure power, crossing the line over a minute ahead of Taylor to claim the national title. Taylor took the silver, while Whitley finished almost 20 seconds behind to round off the podium.

We’re all set to do it all again tomorrow, we’ll be covering the action on social media from 09:00 tomorrow, with Youth, Female Veteran and Veteran Open 40 Championships to be decided. Make sure to follow us @ScottishCycling for all the details.