The highlight of the West Lothian Clarion Kids’ Club 2012 season arrived on December 1 when over 80 competitors across different age groups battled it out for a podium place in the annual Santa Cyclocross race at Linlithgow Leisure Centre.
Many riders arrived in festive mood – some in fancy dress, others with tinsel-clad bikes – but all intent on putting on their best performance in front of special guests Fiona Hyslop MSP, Councillors Tom Kerr and Tom Conn, and of course Santa himself.
The youth race was split into two groups with the youngest riders (Youth E) tackling a slightly shortened version of the course for 10 minutes.
Miller Crombie came out on top in what was a very competitive boys’ race with Jennifer Armstrong winning the girls’ event.
All other youths competed in the following race with riders racing the full circuit for 15 minutes.
Alex Ball triumphed in the Youth D boy’s race, snatching victory from Andrew Oxley and Sam Chisholm, whilst in the girl’s race Eilidh McFadden just edged out Abbie Mason.
In the Youth C category, Cameron Mason won ahead of Innes Wilson and Christopher Gordon, with Kirsty McFadden taking first place in the girls’ race in front of Alison Bryce.
Over 30 nervous riders took part in the adults’ race – some new to competitive cycling and strenuous exercise – but prepared to tackle the course for a gruelling 30 minutes.
Kids’ Club coach Mark Ewing won the men’s race ahead of Simon Fagan whilst Diane Chisholm triumphed in the women’s event.
After the presentation of medals and selection boxes, Santa made a guest appearance.
Youth E rider Finlay Turner, a P2 pupil at Linlithgow Primary, said: “It was a great race , The course was tricky, but really good practice for the races that I am planning to do next year.”
The Santa Cyclocross was also a fundraiser for local charity the Tom Anderson Cycling Fund, set up in memory of the Torphichen father-of-two who died in September after falling from his bike.
A total of £550 was raised on the day.