After many months of waiting, the 2016 PCC Dirt Crit series finally arrived. The event which is organized by a group of parent volunteers, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Dirt Crit series started as a fun way of introducing local children to racing. Now, ten years on, the event still proves to be a huge success among kids and parents alike. This year over 124 children descended on Glentress Forest to race at the first round held in conjunction with Tweedlove.
The rainy conditions didn’t stop the kids from shredding the trails. Children from as young as six came for their first taste of racing. After a quick sign on (where each competitor was given some stickers and a buff from Tweedlove) and the efficient bike check from Alpine Bikes, the racing was ready to start. Some delicious home baking from the catering tent promised to keep the parents cheery and the kids hyper, even after a tough few laps.
The first race, which consisted of the 15-16 girls and the 13-14 boy and girls, proved to be exciting, especially as a new technical section was added in for the first time in ten years. In the 15-16 girls category, Anna McGorum held on to an early lead to finish the race ahead of Megan Wilkinson.
The 13-14 boys witnessed some fast paced action when Corran Carrick-Anderson and Jonte Willins battled it out till the end for first and second. Corran just took the win in a sprint finish from Jonte with Callum Johnson coming third. Four 13-14 year old girls competed for the podium but Emily Hunter made a strong gap and led the field home followed by local girls Jennifer Watt and Elena McGorum.
Next up, were the Under 8 girls and boys. For many of them it was their first experience of racing. Isaac Beard zoomed ahead of Louis Thornley and Finn Crowther to finish first boy. The girl’s podium was contended by Kate Mckean, Kate Milne and Emma McCracken with Kate Mckean taking the win. No matter what the results, there were smiles all round on the finish line
A slightly smaller eight year old category found Niamh Waters winning the girls followed by Daisy Wilkinson and Maisie Mowat. After two laps Nicholas Jackson finished the race in first ahead of Stan Nisbet and Bryn Davis.
Forty riders made the Under 10 category the biggest of the evening. The boy’s race crowned Innes MacDonald as the winner with Ben Allan and Luis Ryder in second and third. Rudi Shearer led the thirteen strong field of girls up the hill with Martha Copper and Freya Gibson finishing behind.
In the Under 12 category, the boy’s race proved to be very competitive but entertaining with Cole Nicholson, William Brody and Ben McMullen battling it out for the podium. Ben McMullen led the race on the second lap but Cole and William attacked. The sprint finish crowned Cole as the winner. The girl’s didn’t disappoint either as the race was closely contended by Christina McGorum, Emily Carrick-Anderson and Ruby-Soho Smith. Emily managed to make a gap on the third lap to lead Christina and Ruby to the finish.
After all the action-packed races it was time to eat some cake and check out the new Islabike Pro series bikes on display. Finally, to round the fantastic racing off, came the podiums! Some awesome prizes from Islabikes and Tweedlove were awarded to the podium finishers along with a certificate, and of course, what’s a race without sweeties for everyone at the end?