After missing the last cyclocross season due to injury, Golspie cyclist Iain Paton stormed back to win the Scottish Cyclocross Championships at Knockburn Loch in Banchory on Sunday.
After an initial poor start, Iain, riding for Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique, worked up the field to join a strong group that had broken away early in the race.
By cyclocross standards, the course was fairly technical, with some steep climbs, and muddy off-camber hairpins.
The mountain biker used these to his advantage to power into the lead and after an hour of racing he finished 37 seconds ahead of David Duggan from Inverurie and one minute 15 seconds ahead of Perth’s Mark MacGuire, riding for Wheelbase Altura MGD
Cyclocross has grown enormously in popularity over the past couple of years with Scottish national series races typically attracting about 600 riders over the various categories.
A North Series was established this year, the first race of which took place at Burnside on the Black Isle and the second is scheduled for the Black Isle Showground at Muir of Ord on December 10.
East Sutherland Wheelers will be well represented at the event and the club will host two races as part of the series on January 27 at Dunrobin and on January 28 at Brora.
Wheelers’ president Alan Cockburn from Brora said the Dunrobin event was now well established and that having a second venue would result in a great weekend of racing.
Riders from the south of Scotland had already indicated their intention to travel north for the weekend and he urged any local riders wishing to “give it a go” to get in touch.
Cyclocross is raced on a largely off-road circuit of 2-3km for a fixed duration (usually 40 minutes to one hour) and riders can use a dedicated cyclocross bike or a mountain bike.