On Sunday 22nd September, we hosted the first Tayside & Fife Youth Dirt Crit sponsored by Big Trees Camper Vans. To say the day was a success would be an understatement.
Sunday morning brought glorious sunshine and more young riders than we could have hoped for to our trails at Middleden Woods for the first round of this fun MTB series. 78 riders from clubs as far afield as Glasgow and plenty taking their first steps into mountain bike racing.
The day staerted with registration over at the High School and then over to the trails for warm-up and track walk. Also on hand was an endless supply of cake and coffee – massive thanks to all who contributed. The proceeds raised nearly £250 for club funds.
The course was in a ‘Dirt Crit’ style where riders complete as many laps of a short course as possible in a given time. It makes racing fun and exciting, where competitors jostle for the main position. It’s all about going as fast as you can for as long as you can and it makes great spectator sport!
Riders competed in several age categories; Under 16, Under 14, Under 12, Under 10 and Under 8.
The start of all the races was a gentle uphill climb, then quickly into the woods for some tight corners, sweeping curves, fast flat straights and the occasional daring jump! The mass start was excellent to watch, with huge crowds of cheering mums, dads, families and friends lining the course.
After 12 minutes of hard riding, Imani Periera-Jones led the U10 girls, Finton Price the U10 boys, and Helen Graf the U8 girls and Jake Rennie the U8 boys. A special mention must go to Eilidh Gronkowski, one day off her 4th birthday, she was the youngest rider of the day and completed two tough laps of the course in a very respectable 8th place.
Next the older riders set off, again in an exciting mass start, and for the U12s there was a slightly different course with a tough hill climb towards the end of the lap. The U12 race was fast and furious and eventually after 21 minutes of hard racing, Sean Johnstone took first place in the U12 boys and Tea Jensen in the U12 girls. At the same time, the U14 riders were on course with Conner Johnstone taking victory in the U14 boys and Ellie Park in the U14 girls.
The final race was the U16, and this was a gruelling 30 minute monster! There were lots of very tired looking riders as the final lap bell sounded, and the sprint finish was on! Conor Nally managed an impressive first for the U16 boys, Hope Jensen for the U16 girls.
Graeme McLean, DMBinS project manager said: “It was fantastic to see such a big turnout for the first round of the series and see so many people having fun and enjoying themselves. It would be great to see even more young riders come along to the next round of the series which takes place at Templeton Woods, Dundee on Sunday 29th September. The series runs over five races, with the winners in each category winning a fantastic 2-day campervan hire, courtesy of Big Tree Campervans.”
The event would not have been possible without the support of the local club Middleden Mountain Bike Club, volunteers, marshals and officials. The series is being sponsored by Big Tree Campervans and their generosity has been matched by funding from sportscotland’s SPORTSMATCH award.