West Lothian Clarion all set for annual Linlithgow cyclo cross event

The wintry scene at Linlithgow for last year's West Lothian Clarion cyclo cross event
The wintry scene at Linlithgow for last year's West Lothian Clarion cyclo cross event

West Lothian Clarion riders will be on home ground on Sunday when the club hosts its annual cyclo cross event at Linlithgow Leisure Centre.

The club aims to use this event, for women and youths, to encourage people to try the sport, and offers a free 90 minute coaching session for women before the race.

President Diane Clayton Chisholm, who will be involved in the coaching session, said: “Linlithgow CX is a cracking first step into cyclo-cross for women and youths. We want to send the message that this is for everyone, and that’s why we include a free coaching session for women, who are under-represented in the sport.

“People shouldn’t worry if they don’t have all the kit - a mountain bike is an ideal starter bike.”

Event organiser Simon Fagan added: “We’ll help participants to get the basics right, or to take their skills to the next level, and they can test their new skills on the course that our designers have put together.

“With cyclo-cross, you get to tackle a variety of challenges around the course and you get great battles all the way down the field, so it doesn’t matter if you’re not vying for a podium place, you can still get out on your bike and enjoy yourself.”

Last weekend seven of the club’s riders headed to Glasgow for the final round of the Super Quaich cyclo-cross competition at Rouken Glen Park.

George Freeman achieved an impressive 20th place in the A race in his final appearance in a Clarion jersey before joining Edinburgh RC for the coming season.

Simon Kenny was 45th in the A race, with David Hordon coming 58th, while in the B race, Andy Brewster cracked the top 10, with Chris Thompson, Paul Freeman and Gordon Scott a little further down the field.

And four brave Clarion riders took on the challenge of the 24-hour Strathpuffer MTB race.

As a race in the Highlands in January, the biggest challenge riders face is often the weather, with temperatures rarely rising above freezing - and this year was no exception, with conditions being brutally cold and icy.

The club’s highest finisher was David Ogilvie, who managed an impressive 33rd place and 14 laps of the course in 23 hours 17 minutes.

Ewen Fulton and Mike Ewart both produced good performances, too, managing 10 laps apiece in just over 24 hours.

However, the club’s most impressive performance came from young Finn Mason.

Finn took part in a pair with his sister Abbie last year, but having just turned 14, he applied to ride solo without a chaperone for the first time this year, and was granted permission based on last year’s performance.

Finn managed eight laps of the challenging course in just over 23 hours, covering 100km of rocky, icy treacherous terrain including over 3,000m of climbing.

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