The 2016 North-east cycling season got off to a flying start on Sunday when 60 riders lined up for the Ythan APR on the Kinaccharie/Raxton/Ardlethen course, writes Malcolm Grant.
With five groups setting off at two-minute intervals they immediately hit an obstacle with a brisk westerly headwind making the going tough as the riders headed through Ythanbank towards the first ascent of Raxton near Haddo.
The scratch group was predictably solid and they were moving smoothly round the course. With two laps to go the lead riders had an advantage of just over two minutes but by the start of the final lap this advantage had been removed and a large group of about 25 riders made their way towards the finish on the uphill approach to Kinaccharie.
Mark Walker (Deeside Thistle) launched his sprint early and gained an advantage that secured him the win ahead of his team-mates Sean Delaney and Alick Watt. Ythan’s Chris Main and Thomas Gelati produced impressive rides as they finished sixth and seventh respectively.
The large contingent of Ythan riders then followed in various positions with Kevin Gault standing out as he secured the prize for the first rider from group 1 to finish.