Published: 22nd Apr 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Scots shine through Kirroughtree mud as cross country series kicks off

A busy weekend of racing with Scottish champions Grace Inglis and Lewis Martin leading the Scots’ charge in Dumfries and Galloway.

British Cross-Country Series

Kirroughtree Forest played host to the first round of the British National Cross Country Series this weekend, with the Scots hoping to take the fight to the rest of the UK on home trails.


Saturday saw the short track event take place with Grace Inglis (Saint Piran) claiming second in the Female race, while Daisy Wilkinson (Scotia Offroad RT) won out in the Youths.


Sunday saw the main Olympic event, on a changed course from last August’s Scottish National Championships.

Whilst the conditions were good for the most part, the Scottish weather made itself known later in the day, with the Elites contending with rain and the subsequent mud it served up.

Scottish champion, Grace Inglis, replicated her second place from Saturday, as she rode to another excellent performance, as the top Scot of five in the top six riders. Elena McGorum (Mighty Cycles) impressed to take third place, with Anna Flynn (Spectra-Cannondale) fourth, and Emily Carrick-Anderson (Trek) rounding out the podium.

There was also an excellent performance from Isla Hedley (Edinburgh Uni), who came home in sixth place, in her first Elite Cross Country race, having made the step up from juniors over the winter.

The open elite category saw some very tight racing, with the sprint for the line deciding the victory. Englishman Thomas Mein narrowly pipped Corran Carrick-Anderson (Scott Pioneer DJ) in the fast finish, which was retained from last year’s course.

Lewis Martin (Studio Velo) knows this course well after victory at the Scottish Champs last year, and came home with a podium, in fifth place. Rory McGuire (Wheelbase CabTech Casetlli) came home in ninth.

In the juniors, Innes McDonald (Scotia Offroad RT) rode to second with a very impressive ride, with Ben Allan in seventh (Peebles CC). There was another strong ride too from Daisy Taylor (Royal Albert) in third in the female race.

There was success too for the Youth riders with Daisy Wilkinson (Scotia Offroad RT) claiming second place and teammate Freya Mowbray in fourth.

In the Juveniles category Olivia Poole (Deeside Thistle) was victorious with a dominant performance, putting no fewer than four minutes on the field. While in the open equivalent, there were podium finishes from Zach Buchan (Pentland Racers) and Guy Rorke (Peebles CC), as they finished second and fourth, respectively.

A word too for our own Performance Mountain Bike coach, Paul Newman, showing his riders how it’s done with a very strong third place finish in the Veterans category on his return to racing this year.


The latest round of the BMX National Series took place at Cyclopark down in Kent, with several Scots making the journey down the road for the double-header.

Harrison Bell (Western Titans) came home in ninth in Sunday’s round four and tenth in round three the previous day, in the Superclass category, as the Scot makes the jump up to the senior ranks this season.

There was an excellent victory for Ben Fitzsimmons (Cumbernauld Centurions) in Sunday’s Open 17-18 category, whilst Eilidh Watson (Cumbernauld Centurions) claimed a brace of second places in the Female 14 category in Kent. In the Cruisers, fellow Cumbernauld rider Alexis McCartney claimed third place in the 13-16 Female field on Saturday – a huge well done to all those in action.

Drummond Trophy

Strathaven played host to one of the most-prestigious races on the Scottish road calendar with the Drummond Trophy, organised by Glasgow Glenmarnock Wheelers, taking place in grim conditions.

Just 24 riders were able to battle through to the finish, resembling something akin to a Scottish Fleche Wallone. It was Alex Luhrs (Leadout Performance) who claimed victory from breakaway companion John Archibald (Huub WattShop) as the two surviving escapees made it to the line.

The remains of the bunch followed in later with William Taylor (Moonglu RT) taking third from Ciaran McSherry (05/03) and Conor McKinnon (Dolan Ellesse RT) rounding out the top five.

The win takes Luhrs top of the Alba Series standings, after claiming second place in Gifford last month.

Round three is the Hugh Dornan Memorial Road Race in Garelochhead and is one for the climbers. You can enter that one here.

Mountain Bike World Cup

Araxa and its jumps welcomed the UCI World Mountain Bike World Cup field for the second weekend of the Brazilian swing to the series.

Charlie Aldridge (Cannondale FR) was the sole Scot in action after Isla Short (Ghost FR) was suffering from a cold and wisely chose not to take to the start.

Despite the 35-degree heat, the Olympic course saw the Scot in the thick of the action with the Crieff man riding as high as fourth in the latter stages of the race.

Eventually, it was a 13th place finish for the Aldridge, who comes into 2024 full of vigour for his first full season in the elite field.

Giro di Mediterraneo

Naples is the venue for the Alba Development RT as they make their UCI stage race debut, with a team of five in action at the Giro di Mediterraneo in Rosa.

A learning experience so far for the team, with Amelia Tyler, Arriane Holland and Beth Morrow up near the front of the field throughout the first three stages. There still two days of action to go in Italy.

Junior Road Abroad

It was a brilliant weekend out in the Netherlands for the Great Britain Cycling Team junior women squad, where Arabella Blackburn supported Cat Ferguson’s ride to GC victory at Omloop Borsele Juniors and claimed an excellent 18th place overall too.

Over the border in Belgium, Melanie Rowe (Deeside Thistle) claimed a brilliant fourth place in the youth Gent-Wevelgem, with Callum Thornley (Trinity Racing) in the top 20 in the Under-23 event.

RACE and Cluster

Kames Motor Circuit played host to a Scottish Cycling RACE National and Youth Cluster Session with the riders put through their paces by coaches led by Pathway Coach Lusia Steele.