A year of promise for Ythan cyclists

YTHAN Cycling Club enjoyed some of its greatest highs last year. With a Paralympic gold medal and OBE for Neil Fachie, medal near misses and emotions at the Paralympics for Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan, further development of the club in terms of membership and local partnerships, race wins at home and across the country for its youth section and the year long celebrations of its 25th Anniversary.

It also saw the club lose one its talismans with the sad loss of club president Graham Gerrard but he would have been an extremely proud man when Ythan CC were named Club of the Year at the recent Aberdeenshire Sports Council Sports Awards.

The club faces the 2013 season full of confidence although the start has been delayed by wintry weather with both the first local road race and time trial failing to go ahead. The early season ventures have been from Team GB rider Fiona Duncan who finished sixth in the Scottish Cycling APR at Garlogie before spending last weekend in Tayside at the first round of the City of Perth Womens Grand Prix. Against a top class field Fiona rode strongly across the three stages, placing 16th overall.

Scottish Talent Team rider Zak Loney has faced some early season struggles with illness but still produced a strong performance at a circuit race in Wales by claiming 3rd with a late breakaway and 2nd as part of a three-man team at the South West of Scotland Team Time Trial.

The past weekend saw one of the first time trial events as several riders travelled to Elgin for the Morlich Homes 10 mile time trial. Conditions were cold but with little wind some strong times were posted with Andy Duncan placing 5th overall with a time of 24m 55s.

Top 5 and other Ythan riders: 1 Jim Trevor Hull Thursday RC 23.39; 2 eq. Paul Black Elgin CC 23.43, Tom Evans Ben Wyvis CC 23.43; 4 Charles Fletcher Cairngorm CC 24.03; 5 Andy Duncan Ythan CC 24.55; 12th Mike Giles Ythan CC 25.35; 26th Carol Middleton Ythan CC 29.40

Ythan’s youth riders have been desperate to start racing and two of the club’s newest prospects, Hamish Cooper and Jordan Stronach, travelled to Perth for the Youth Tour of Scotland as part of a composite Aberdeen and District team. With a field containing some of the up and coming U16 riders from across the UK and Ireland this was always going to be a tough test with four stages over three days. Both riders rode well across the weekend and finished all four stages but it was a brutal introduction to stage racing with high speeds combining with the cold weather to test the Ythan pair.

This weekend sees the first local time trial of the season at Garlogie with the Spring Bunny 25 mile time trial, while second year junior Wojciech Kosciuszko lines up at the Jack Murray Junior Trophy Road Race in Dunfermline. Ythan have also teamed up with Active Schools Aberdeenshire and Fraserburgh Running Club to promote an off road youth cycling race after this Saturdays Active Schools Cross Country event at Haddo House.

Ythan have also joined a new partnership with fellow North East cycling club Granite City RT which will see the Scottish National Road Race Championships take place alongside Ythan’s established youth races at the Cyclefest event at the Grampian Transport Museum at Alford on May 19.