Above: Alan Blyth has a few Scottish Champs titles to his name now. Youth and Junior as well Alan? 2016 Masters champion.
Report: Keith Bremner and Tommy Wilkinson
8 years is a long time ago in the world of sport. Back at round 3 of the 2008 series, nearly all the Elite field were riding Orange 224’s. The track at Weem, just outside Aberfedy was freshly cut, loose as they come and filled with features to make you squirm. There were also 237 entries.
Fast forward to 2016 and prior to race there were 160 entires confirmed to take on this legendary track. By Sunday that was trimmed to 130 with nearly 20% of the entrants deciding it wasn’t for them.
This track is short, intense and trying to piece together a perfect race run, hard at the best of times, is incredibly difficult here. Yet, what a challenge to embrace and all the riders who made it through will be better for it.
Saturday brought bright sunshine, yet even this wasn’t enough to light up the now dark bottom section of conifers, where roots were order of the day. The rock drop had some rocks removed from the landing and a slightly straighter run in, while the infamous double rock drop lower down was still just as treacherous and a place where your entire run could unravel.
Still, with a Scottish Champs title to play for, there was a lot on the line……
Full results can be found on Roots and Rain with Scottish Champions listed at the bottom of this page.
Chris Cumming over from Ireland and looking good on track all weekend. 2nd in Juvenile behind James Elliott.
Kai Bremner sending the rock jump just after lunch on Saturday. With an easier run in than 8 years ago, the jump became one to tackle with confidence rather than fear! 2016 Juvenile Scottish Champ. Image: Keith Bremner
Who gets right of way here then?
When you’re a juvenile rider, the steeps of Aberfeldy must be pretty daunting. Thankfully chainring sizes are smaller these days, so rollovers don’t always equal scraping equipment.
It was still easy to get offline…..
Crash netting obligitory here at Aberfeldy. Come off here, and you will roll, bounce or break yourself for quite a way….
Youth winner Alec Geyer breaking 2 minutes. A strong performance from the young lad, and anything sub 2 puts you in good company.
Did any of them know what was coming? Photo: Keith Bremner
Son of the legendary track builder Peter Pollock, Rob tunred up to watch racers take on his Dads masterpiece.
Elena Melton rocking wide eyes and gloves with carbon fibre knuckle protecteors. There were plenty of places you could brush the trees just that bit too tight…
Cairn Bell rode this section clean, smooth and without fluster. Check the trees in the background. Yes, it’s a steep bit of hill. Junior Champion and fastest female overall.
Corey Watson looked comfortable on track and took second in junior. Thanksfully riders had helmets to keep the midges out, and marshalls were provided with face nets to ease their task along a little…..
Brandon Gonzales is a rider that I hadn’t picked up before. My mistake. 1st in Junior with a strong time to boot.
The bottom woods were dark – some riders chose to run lights. Jury is out on weather it helped or not…
Oscar James applying the traction aids just before the dark woods.
Home made Reynolds Steel DH bike? We want to know more!
Over or around? Another part of the track where riders faced a conundrum and a chance for the “thinking” rider to shine
On a break from EWS and Munro Bagging, Chris Hutchens picked up a DH for the first time since 2012. 10th and testament to a adaptability.
Bringing Saturday nights moves to the race track…..
Joe Barnes tackling big rocks on a little bike. Last time we raced here he set a lightning 1.45 on the same track. 8 years on, he was still pushing but couldn’t quite match that still unbeaten time, 6th in a 1.57.
Callum Mcgee rumbling on, goggles wrapped round his arm, post crash.
Fergus Lamb lives for tracks like this. Steep, rocky and line choice. He took his aptly named sender took 2nd place today.
Juvenile: Kai Bremner,
Junior: Brandon Gonsales,
Masters: Alan Blyth,
Vets: John Young,
Junior women: Cairn Bell,
Senior women: Deborah Primrose and
Senior men: Ben Cathro.
Well done to you all!