Monday, July 15, 2024

Scottish Hill Climb Championship 2022; Louis Moore and Sharon Bird Take the Honours


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Vanelli-Project Go’s Louis Moore, the newly crowned student champion, won the Scottish Hill Climb Championship on a long and difficult Glen Quaich course, the first 5k of the narrow strip of tarmac which connects Kenmore to Amulree in the Southern Highlands.

Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Fastest on the climb today, Louis Moore (Vanelli-Project Go). Photo©Martin Williamson

Sharon Bird (Peebles CC) was fastest of the women and Colin McGourty took top place in the Youth and Non-Championship section. Best junior was Finn Mason (The Cycling Academy).

Facing the riders was a mixture of steep 1-in-5 bends through the wooded section in the early part of the course, levelling out a little in the last couple of K’s but with a strong side/quarter wind to contend with over the exposed moorland.

Parked up at the top of the Glen Quaich road near the finish line and with half an hour to go before the first rider was due to start, I was sure the race was going to be a pretty miserable affair; the wind was moving the car, the near-horizontal rain was battering the windows and the temperature guage read ‘3°C’. 

I’d positioned the car’s rear to face down the hill so that I could open the boot and photograph the riders as they approached over the exposed upland moor, without spending the morning soaking myself and my camera kit but twenty minutes before the first rider appeared the rain stopped and the sun came out, inviting me to spend an enjoyable morning roadside amongst the darting pheasants and wandering sheep.

Soon enough the first rider appeared in the sunshine. Off #4, Mhairi Rodger had a pretty lonely ride with no-one off three minutes before or after her either, but she looked like she was enjoying herself nevertheless.

Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Mhairi Rodger. Photo©Martin Williamson

Smooth pedalling #8, Suzanne Matonti (Deeside Thistle CC) made it look easy whilst heading for ninth place.

Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Suzanne Matonti (Deeside Thistle CC). Photo©Martin Williamson

Youngest rider in the recent Tour de Trossachs, lucky-for-some #13 Joel Gillan hustled past with a nice fluid style own his way to ninth place in the Youth Boys category.

Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Joel Gillan. Photo©Martin Williamson

Eventual third place Youth Boy,  #14 Sam Barbour (SteppingStanes Youth CC) followed soon after, looking determined but being chased down by his minute-man #15 Ruan Vorster (West Lothian Clarion CC) who ended up second in that category.

Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Sam Barbour (SteppingStanes Youth CC). Photo©Martin Williamson
Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Ruan Vorster (West Lothian Clarion CC). Photo©Martin Williamson

Fastest Youth Boy, Colin McGourty (#19 and East Kilbride Road Club) was making short work of the little rises with the finish banner in sight.

Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Colin McGourty (East Kilbride Road Club). Photo©Martin Williamson

The two Peebles CC riders, Milo McIntosh (#22) and Ben Allan (#24) looked to be going well in the sunshine, and finished 6th and 7th in the Youth Boys category.

Scottish Hill Climb Championship
Milo McIntosh (Peebles CC). Photo©Martin Williamson