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Cyclocross Enthusiasts Compete at Winton Castle

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More than 200 cyclocross enthusiasts from Scotland and the north of England took part in the annual ‘Thistly Cross Cyclocross’ competition at Winton Castle in mid-January. The exclusive use events venue in East Lothian was delighted to host the 4th round of the Scottish Super Quaich Series which had been organised by Haddington Cycle Club.

Originally from Belgium, cyclocross is an increasingly popular sport. The Thistly Cross Cyclocross attracted participants of all abilities aged from 16 to over 60, with one rider celebrating his 60th birthday on his bike.

The participants were allocated to A or B Races, a format which allows those with the same relative fitness to race against each other.

Winton opened up parts of the private gardens surrounding the castle for the new 2.6 km course which cyclists raced round as many times as they could in an hour. The route ran past the castle and loch, along estate roads and through woods. Points were awarded to the top 100 riders, with a special quaich awarded to the top man and woman at the end of the series.

To give the sport a permanent home near Edinburgh, Winton hopes to include the cyclocross course in its estate plan. The course would also be used by Winton’s fleet of new quad bikes and potential private mountain biking events.

“The circuit includes a great blend of technical difficulties, challenges, respites and points of interest,” say the organisers from the Haddington Cycle Club.

“There are big off-camber descents followed by steep climbs then respites. The route includes a great mix of ditches, run-ups for carrying bikes up and even a couple of 12-inch hurdles for experienced riders to bunny-hop! The technical features reward the best cyclists and provide challenges for less experienced ones.

“Winton provides a fabulous venue; with the castle as a backdrop, it’s very picturesque and the team were brilliant to work with, going above and beyond.

“Everybody at Winton pulled out all the stops to ensure that the event could go ahead, giving us access to private grounds that we wouldn’t normally be able to race on, putting in new trails, providing the event infrastructure and equipment.

“We really can’t thank everyone who helped enough for all they did to make sure that the day went smoothly. We have had a lot of feedback from competitors and spectators to say how much they enjoyed the event, the venue and the organisation. They all loved it, so we hope to be back next year.”

As a venue for private and corporate events, Winton can organise quad biking, cyclocross, clay pigeon shooting and highland games, amongst many other entertaining tailored activities. To enquire and start planning your next event at this unique venue, please complete an enquiry form.