Monday, May 27, 2024

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross, Scottish CX Round 5

It’s a wee while since we’ve been to a Scottish cyclo-cross race and the sport has changed beyond all recognition from the early 70’s when your ‘cross bike was your winter bike with the muddies removed...

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HomeRaceRace ReviewsDunfermline Cyclo-Cross, Scottish CX Round 5

We visited Round 5 of the Scottish SX series, the Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross. Conventional wisdom has it that cyclo-cross was born of a desire to give continental roadmen good, competitive but not-too-serious winter workouts.

This theory is possible but Dave and I reckon it was born of Belgian spectators’ ever-present need to board a supporters’ bus on a Sunday morning, journey to a race and down multiple pils, eat frites and hamburgers, and return home smelling of fried onions.

Just like in the summer months.  

Shopping?

Family afternoon teas?

Nae, nae, nae!

It’s a wee while since we’ve been to a Scottish ‘cross and the sport has changed beyond all recognition from the early 70’s when your ‘cross bike was your winter bike with the muddies removed; my old Kirkcaldy club mate, Rab Speirs won the ‘cross on Thornton Bing on his fixed wheel ‘hack bike’.

Not so now; thanks to the stewardship of Scottish Cyclocross, we see Pidcock replicas, one x electronic transmissions and even lovely Dugast tubulars at 60 quid a pop.

The fields are also much, much healthier than ‘back in the day.’

The parcours at the Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross was challenging. Photo©Ed Hood

This looks like the right place, a suitably clagged ‘cross bike – Dave and I can no longer do a King Canute and believe that we can stop disc brakes by talking about how much we dislike them.

They’re here to stay – and maybe they’re not so bad…

Photo©Ed Hood

We didn’t have to wait long for the start of the vets’ race, we made it around 45/50 starters.

Stevie Crowther. Photo©Ed Hood

Best pop an Andrew Allan team pic in there early, with them being the homeboys.

Keith Froude. Photo©Ed Hood

The parcours had a lot of grass, mud, a couple of stiff snaps, tricky drops and some twisty bits through the trees.

Photo©Ed Hood

When we saw the Nightingale strip, just for a moment we thought were in Flanders – still a great jersey, untampered with over the years and just fine for that.

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross
Photo©Ed Hood

We’re not sure pink is the best colour for all that mud though – albeit Mathieu VDP finished in Koksijde with his white rainbow skinsuit looking just about as pristine at the finish as it did at the start.

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross
Photo©Ed Hood

The winner was never really in doubt from end of lap one as Chris Buchan rode away from Davie Lines, never to be seen again.

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross
Photo©Ed Hood

But Davie ploughed on through the gloop and would eventually take second spot.

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross
Photo©Ed Hood

Commentary on proceedings was provided by the inimitable ‘Jammie’ Johnstone, giving freely of his time, as he has done for many years, albeit we never once heard his trademark ‘Gladiators’ catchphrase that he used use at Meadowbank Track [r.i.p.] back in the day.

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross
Photo©Ed Hood

Winner Chris Buchan managed a smile as he squelched up the finish straight for the last time.

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross
Photo©Ed Hood
Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross
Photo©Ed Hood

And third placed Malcolm Bain looked happy with his podium; he would join Davie Lines in heading straight for the start of the senior race – respect!

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