Ignite 2019 – Cambuslang

Youth rider Matthew Smith was in action at the Ignite 2019 Crit on Saturday 14th September, held on a closed road circuit within the grounds of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Headquarters, Cambuslang.

Smith put in a sterling performance in the U12 race and finished in 7th place in the boys’ race.

Archie Speed Memorial Grand Prix de Gentlemen

On Sunday 15th, Ythan rider Alan Smith teamed up with Aberdeen Wheelers youth rider Fraser Gault to compete for the Scottish Veteran TT Association Boomerang Trophy. The format was a 2-man team time trial, with the final result being based on the time that the veteran rider crossed the line.

The course was a non-standard distance of approximately 16 miles, starting and finishing in Falkland, near to the entrance to Falkland Palace. The course saw riders start with a tough uphill stretch for 3km, before turning left at the New Inn Roundabout for a fast downhill section through Freuchie and onwards along the A92 towards Melville Lodges roundabout.

As the riders turned left and made their way along the A914 through Auchtermuchty, they were faced with a stiff headwind. With only 1 km to go, the pair got stuck behind a truck, losing them valuable seconds. Nonetheless they still managed to finish in an excellent 3rd place overall, with a time of 35:54, behind team RT23 (35:07) and Dundee Thistle (35:22).

The result was even more impressive considering former Ythan QL rider, Fraser, was riding on restricted gearing.

Edinburgh RC Inch Park CX

On Sunday 15th, youth rider Robert Smart was in action in his first ever cyclocross race. Having only attended one cyclocross training session, Robert put in a strong performance to finish in 17th place, gaining valuable experience in the process.

Ythanites rise to the challenges

Ythan CC confined 10m TT – Tuesday 3rd Sept
The last club TT of the season saw the confined course record broken in both the men’s and women’s races. The times of the fastest riders in each category on the B9000 Pitmedden course were:

Alan Smith 23:03 – 18 seconds faster than the previous TT
Mike Giles 23:50
Steve Rae 25:13

Jenny Noble 26:10 – 60 seconds faster than the previous TT
Carol Middleton 26:56
Wendy Gault 27:36

Robert Smart 31:30

Cairngorm Race Weekend
Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th September
Cairngorm Cycle Club hosted five events over the weekend, with Saturday featuring the non-standard 14m (22km) Mackie Trophy time trial and the Cairngorm hill-climb.

Alan Smith lined up in the Mackie Trophy, which started at the Rothiemurchus tennis court and headed towards Aviemore and Kincraig, before turning left and returning to the start via the Loch Insh water sports centre and Loch an Eilein. The route was described on the entry as a lovely, twisting and technical course, requiring careful riding, which proved true on all counts, with the overnight rain adding an extra challenge. Smith managed to secure 9th place with a time of 33:15, behind winner Wilson Renwick, who finished in 29:27.

No Ythanites entered the second event of the weekend, a hill climb from the Rothiemurchus tennis club to the ski station, which was won for the second year by Kyle Beattie.

Smith and Jenny Noble lined up for the Kincraig 10m TT on Sunday morning, an out-and-back course starting and finishing at Kincraig with a turn at Kingussie. Cold conditions and a testing headwind greeted the riders for the outward leg, but the tailwind made for a fast return. Jenny Noble secured an excellent 2nd place in the women’s race, returning in a time of 25:45, 23 seconds behind race winner Michelle Esson on Forres CC.

Alan Smith finished in 10th place in a PB time for the course of 22:41. Overall winner was Adam Wild of GS Metro in a time of 20:06.

Kath Thomson lined up in the Scottish Cycling National Veteran Women’s RR Championships. The race covered three loops of a circuit starting in Kincraig, taking in Kingussie and Ruthven Barracks, with a return on the undulating course along the narrow roads round Loch Insh before tackling the fearsome 11% kick into Kincraig. Kath went to finish in 18th place.

Dukes Weekender
Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th September
Aberfoyle was the place to be for the Dukes Weekender cycling festival, comprising a hill climb up Dukes Pass, a kids’ enduro and a gravel enduro.

The gravel enduro was described as a beautiful 70km loop on the UK’s finest gravel riding – a social ride mixed with a minimum of 6 competitive timed stages. The incredible route weaves around the stunning lochs and glens of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.

Mike Giles competed in all 6 stages and finished in 78th place with a split time of +5:40:52, out of 288 finishers.

Methlick Junior Cycle Challenge

Sunday 8th September
A number of Ythan CC youths were in action in the hills around the Skelmonae wind farm as part of the Methlick Junior Cycle Challenge. Once again scores of young riders from across the North-east enjoyed the well-organised, family friendly event. Gavin and Eilidh Gronkowski collected medals for top placed finishes.

Pedal for Scotland
Robert Smart and Catherine Smart completed the 45-mile Pedal for Scotland Challenge, cycling from Glasgow to Edinburgh on Sunday 8th September. A great day was had by all, in what was the final year of the event.

Gavin Gronkowski celebrates as he crosses the line in the Methlick Junior Cycle Challenge. Photo courtesy of WinnyGronk Photography.

Busy season continues for Ythanites

Ythan CC confined 10m TT – Tuesday 20th August

The times of the first riders on the B9000 Pitmedden course in each category were:

Ewan Gronkowski 23:15
Alan Smith 23:21
Mike Giles 23:53

Jenny Noble 27:10
Wendy Gault 28:17
Morag Thomson 32:10

Robert Smart 31:44

Team Time Trial Championships, Forfar – Saturday 24th August
On Saturday 24th August, Ythan riders Gavin Gronkowski, Steve Rae, Matt Reid and John Soutar competed in the Men’s Scottish Cycling Team Time Trial Championships at Forfar.

With only two weeks of practice sessions with Ythan’s BC coach, Paul Winter, under their belt, the riders set off to tackle the 60km course, with their time based on the third man over the line.

Heavy traffic affected the riders’ progress ,and they struggled to get into a smooth rhythm. After 5km of continual surges in speed, a lapse in concentration led to a touch of wheels and Steve Rae falling. As a result, the remaining riders had to complete the rest of the race as a three-man team.

The riders put in a sterling effort, finishing in 12th place with a time of 1:26:19. The winning team of Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes finished in a time of 1:16:39 – two minutes clear of the second and third placed teams. Only minutes separated the teams between 4th and 12th place, so with more practice and a little luck on their side, the future looks good for the Ythan time trial team.

Scottish National Criterium and Youth Circuit Championships – Saturday 31st August
Unlike previous years where Ythan CC were represented in each category of races, Kath Thomson was the only rider representing the club at the Fife Cycle Park in Lochgelly on Saturday 31st August.

Kath finished in a fine 9th place in the women’s race, gaining 2 British Cycling race points in the process.

Round 6 Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike championships – Sunday 1st September
Ewan Gronkowski, daughter Eilidh Gronkowski and her fellow QL rider, Euan Murphy, were in action further south at Glentress on 1st Sept for round 6 of the Scottish XC mountain bike championships.

Eilidh and Euan competed in the U10 and U12 races and had thoroughly enjoyable time on a great course.

Ewan Gronkowski led the men’s race until the last lap, where he had a puncture and was passed. Incredibly he held on to secure a great second place on the podium.

In other news…
Also on the 1st September and not far from the action at Glentress, a number of Ythanites rode in the Tour O’ The Borders cycle sportive, tackling the 120km route, which started and finished in Peebles.

The previous weekend a large contingent of Ythanites were representing the club and raising money for various charities on the Ride the North cycle challenge, an epic 2-day cycle from Castle Fraser to Elgin and back. In direct contrast to last year where riders battled horizontal winds and hail, they were treated to far more balmy conditions this year, making the hills on the second day just that bit harder!

Meanwhile in France, Ythan rider James West lined up alongside 5300 riders for the Paris – Brest – Paris audax. Described as the jewel in the crown of the international audax calendar, the challenge runs once every four years and demands that riders cover the 1200km route in a time limit of just 90 hours.

James completed the event in 86 hours 15 minutes. His blog on the Ythan CC website is an excellent read, and a fascinating insight into a very physically and mentally challenging ride. Check it out at