Sunday saw an exciting second round of the Big Tree Campervans Tayside & Fife Youth Mountain Bike Series! This time over 80 young riders congregated at the superb venue at Clatto Park, Dundee where the local clubs had set out an exciting and challenging Dirt Crit course.
The uphill start in the open park area was followed by a circuit of the park before a sharp bend into the wooded section… right in front of the main spectator area – great course setting folks! From there followed a series of wooded twisting turns and fast straights, including a steepish uphill section before the riders came back into the park, around the top of the open grass area before a mad dash across the finish line.
There was an excellent turnout of younger riders, with 38 riders in the Under 8 category and a huge field of 22 in the U10s. The mass start of Dirt Crit racing is always great fun to watch, the younger riders coped well with the initial uphill. From then on it was cheers all round in both the U8 and U10 categories, with Carnegie Cyclones riders Jake Rennie and Finton Price taking first place in the U8 and U10 Boys. Heather Wilson first in the U8 Girls, and Imani Pereira-James from Glasgow Riderz took first in the U10 Girls.
The U10 and U12s raced together, so it was hard to see exactly who was in which position in which race! That’s all part of the fun of Dirt Crit, and it’s hard to ride a tactical race… it’s all about going as fast as you can for as long as you can! The U12 Girls winner was Georgina Ferry of Glasgow Riderz, and Gillian Dobbins from Perth City Cycles took the U14 Girls. Ed Yearsley in the U12 Boys managed to do one more lap than the rest of the field and so took first place, and Connor Johnstone from Team Leslie Bikeshop/Bikers Boutique powered round the course to take first place in the U14 Boys.
The final race was the eagerly awaited U16 race, and from the start gun, Conor Nally from Hardie Bikes took the lead. Brandon Gonsales initially gave Conor a run for his money, but had to settle for second place as Conor powered ahead over the 30 minutes race. The excitement was hotting up for the battle for third and fourth place –Douglas Carachie from Tay Titans and Hamish Cooper swapping places on several occasions. Hamish was leading on the final lap but as the pair came into view in the park, Douglas managed to forge ahead and sprint across the line in an exhausting third place.
The final presentations (certificates for all!) and podium medals were a fitting finale to an excellent event. Huge thanks go to the local bike club, Discovery Junior CC, and to Dundee City Council for making the event happen, to Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland for pulling the whole thing together and to Big Tree Campervans for their kind sponsorship of the race series.
Final mention of this event though must go to the parents, carers and supporters of all the young riders – without them all wouldn’t be possible and their enthusiasm, smiles and encouragement really made the day… not forgetting a huuuge “well done” to Ashley Turner, mother of Lucy Barlow who managed to walk/jog/run/sprint round the whole course, encouraging Lucy to complete her fun fab race!