Ythan CC rider gives a battling performance

Ythan CC's Russell Craig races to 19th equal in the Cromarty Stage Race Prologue.
Ythan CC's Russell Craig races to 19th equal in the Cromarty Stage Race Prologue.

Ythan CC’s Russell Craig headed north at the weekend to take on the roads around Cromarty for the Cromarty Stage Race, writes Malcolm Grant.

Consisting of a prologue time trial and two road stages the event has a reputation for being fast, competitive and well-organised.

The opening act was a four-mile prologue time trial and Ythan’s Craig produced a great ride to finish in 19th equal behind stage winner Noel Baxter (Moray Firth CC).

Stage 1 saw the field tackling a 51-mile road race and the predictable high-speed combined with cool conditions took its toll as the race split up leaving a five-man leading group contesting the finish.

Jason Roberts took the stage honours and the yellow jersey ahead of Neil Scott with Craig finishing in 50th.

Stage 2, which was 52 miles long, saw the field sweep up any breakaways ensuring that the race ended in a large bunch sprint which was won by Gavin Shirley (Dooleys Cycles) from junior rider Angus Claxton (Glasgow Cycle Team).

Race leader Roberts finished safely in the bunch to secure overall victory with Craig ending the stage in 45th, a placing which would match his final overall position.

This Sunday sees the Bob Souter Memorial ten-mile time trial on the Ythanbank course.