West Lothian Clarion end year with festive fun event

West Lothian Clarion held their annual "Santa Cyclo-cross" race at Linlithgow Leisure Centre to finish off the year.
West Lothian Clarion held their annual "Santa Cyclo-cross" race at Linlithgow Leisure Centre to finish off the year.

Cycling club West Lothian Clarion finished off their year with their traditional “Santa Cyclo-cross” race at Linlithgow Leisure Centre.

Despite a bitterly cold day, it was well attended and great fun as ever.

Riders from the club and guests from Edinburgh RC displayed not just their cycling skills but also their artistic flair, with many riders dressing in seasonally-themed costumes and decorating their bikes: it was amazing to see not just reindeer but Christmas trees, elves and Santas flying over the hurdles!

The course organisers had again come up with a new course design, including the seasonally-themed “Cinammon Swirl” element.

It seemed to provide just the right level of challenge and fun, and riders seemed tired but happy afterwards.

This year, the event included a race for Under 6s, to give younger siblings the chance to get involved. The youngsters were helped along by local CX star Cameron Mason, recently returned home for a festive break from racing on the Elite circuit, most recently at the punishing Soudal Classic GP Hasselt in Belgium. All races were cheered on by an appreciative crowd. There was even some carol singing!

Despite the fun elements of the day, many riders were taking the racing seriously, and there were some terrific battles for the spectators to watch.

In the final race of the day, the Under 16 youth riders were started just ahead of the adults, who had to contend with a “Le Mans” start - running to collect their bikes before getting under way.

This lead to a fantastic “hare and hounds” effect, with the adults keen to chase down the youth, who were no less keen to demonstrate their skills and stay clear.

Race organiser and Youth Section president Ewen Fulton said: “This is a really fun way to finish off the year, and it’s great to see such a big turnout on a cold day, with some great racing from both youth and senior riders - and some terrific costumes and bike decorations.

“We’re very grateful to Xcite Linlithgow for allowing us to hold not just this event here, but also many of our coaching sessions throughout the year.”