Tuesday 2nd October 2018

Wallace Launches #ScotStuCycling Series

The first round of this years series took place on a clear September evening, and was the inaugural SSS Hillclimb Championships hosted by the University of Stirling.

The race was run up the short and steep access road to the Wallace Monument which provided a dramatic backdrop for the gruelling climb. The climb although only 460 metres long had an average gradient of 14%, which would test even the strongest of riders climbing ability.

The riders set off at one-minute intervals with their time stopping as they emerged from the trees at the bottom of the monument.

The start list for the event boasted 29 students and 9 riders in the open (non-student) category.


In the student male category was the 2017/18 SSS cross country mountain-bike champion, Colin Fleming from the University of Stirling, who was switching to skinnier tyres for this event. Other riders to watch were Alastair Woodhead of the University of Edinburgh, Alister Merry from Abertay University, and Nico Anelli from City of Glasgow College, who have all put in some good performances in recent local hillclimbs.

In the student female category the University of Edinburgh had three strong riders competing for the title. Lulu Bartlett and Emma Wood have both won BUCS medals on the track, and Helen Wyld recently finish 7th in the Scottish Senior Road Championships. They were up against the University of Stirling pair of Ailsa Beck and Daisy Barnes.

On the night of the race, 25 students took to the start line to battle for the first SSS Championship of the year. First off in the women’s event was Ailsa Beck, setting a benchmark of 2:44.64.

Up next in the student category was Helen Wyld who recorded a time of 2:18.49 and went into the lead. Her time couldn’t be matched by either Daisy Barnes (2:22.39) or Lulu Bartlett (2:23.75) who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

In the student men’s category an early benchmark on 1:32.14 was set by Cameron Ritchie of the University of Edinburgh. As rider after rider came up the hill though it looked like he was safely in the medals.

Alastair Woodhead of the University of Edinburgh came close with a 1:33.67 but it took until the second last rider, Abertay’s Alister Merry, for Ritchie’s time to be beaten. Merry recorded a time of 1:29.09 and was the only rider to go under 90 seconds on the night.

Student Women’s Results

  1. Helen Wyld University of Edinburgh
  2. Daisy Barnes University of Stirling
  3. Lulu Bartlett University of Edinburgh
  4. Ailsa Beck University of Stirling

Student Men’s Results

  1. Alistair Merry Abertay University
  2. Cameron Ritchie University of Edinburgh
  3. Alastair Woodhead University of Edinburgh
  4. Sandy Waller University of Edinburgh
  5. Edward Fletcher University of St Andrews
  6. James Odendaal University of St Andrews
  7. Colin Fleming University of Stirling
  8. Adrian Armstrong Heriot-Watt University
  9. Fraser MacDougall University of Glasgow
  10. Tom Hug University of Stirling
  11. Sean Douglas University of Dundee
  12. Hamish Taylor University of Dundee
  13. Nico Anelli City of Glasgow College
  14. Lars Preuschoff University of St Andrews
  15. Robin Downie University of Stirling
  16. Alex Marr University of Aberdeen
  17. William Hunter University of St Andrews
  18. Stephen Walker University of Stirling
  19. Jack Cox University of Edinburgh
  20. Gavin Laffoley University of Dundee
  21. Seth Nolan-McDonough University of St Andrews

Article written by Scottish Student Cycling Chair, Emma Borthwick.

All photographs courtesy of Dan Smith Photography.