The British Champions ride report.

“The Youth British National Criterium Championships were held at Redbridge Cycling centre in London. It was a fast and technical course with a final hill climb in each 2km lap. I felt nervous before the race because I was really hoping to do well and I knew I was up against a strong field of riders. On the first lap coming over the hill I tried to attack with a small group, but it failed, and we continued as a bunch. Every time we came up the last part of the climb, I accelerated to a higher pace so no attacks could be made up the hill. The next attempt for an attack was made with 4 or 3 laps to go by Mabli Phillips which considerably shrunk the size of the bunch by a third, but there was no break away.

With two laps to go, one of the other riders noticed I had punctured my back tyre. Although I was very worried that the tubeless tyre wouldn’t re seal, I knew not to panic and within half a lap the leak had stopped and I was able to continue.

On the last lap the pace increased again, and it was very intense because all riders were trying to push to the front.

I wanted to come first out of the last corner before the hill and to do this I had to continuously accelerate. I started sprinting out of the last corner leading to the finishing climb straight. I didn’t know how close the other riders were at this point and although the pain in my legs was so intense, all I could think was “keep going, get to the line”. When I crossed the line and realised that I had won the race, I could barely belief that my dream and goal of the year had come true.

I am looking forward to wearing the champions jersey for the rest of the year, and would like to say a massive thanks to the coaches from Deeside Thistle YCC for all the support, coaching and training they have provided.”

Photo credits to Huw Williams and Grant Speed

British Cycling National Youth Circuit Race Championships

Report from a Proud Coach

The British Cycling National Youth Circuit Race Championships were held at Redbridge Cycling Centre near Ilford on Saturday 10th August. The long journey south was made by 5 DTCC Youth riders who are becoming quite experienced travellers these days. This is the second cycling specific facility that they have raced at over the last two weeks – if you are looking for advice on how to design a road circuit (oh, how we would love to have one up here) then please consult these riders. The Redbridge circuit is approx 2km long including a short hill with the summit also being the finish line – the riders said it certainly felt hard after 60 mins of racing.

The track was great and appeared to be quite grippy even when the rain fell which was a huge relief to many of the parents there. However, along with the rain came the small flecks of flint rising to the surface of the track causing numerous punctures. The number of punctures increased with each race with the last race of the day having at least 40 riders suffering at least one puncture. It was easy to spot the locals as they had multiple wheel sets positioned around the course as this is a common occurrence on wet days. They were also very experienced with fast wheel changes allowing riders to get back onto the bunch.

Tubeless was definitely the order of the day as the sealant was doing its job for many riders. Fortunately our riders escaped without incident but came home with trashed tyres (that’s another £100 per set before the next race!!!).

The order of events was different from the usual order which kept us all on our toes. The first race for us was the Youth A girls (U16) where we were represented by Evie White and Millie Thomson. A slightly longer than usual race of 75 mins meant a rather conservative approach by many early on. The nature of the course started to take its toll as did the flint on the surface. Riders were going out the back each lap rather than riders going off the front which led to a reduced bunch as the race progressed. During the latter part of the race Millie worked hard to stay with the bunch but after several chases to get back on she succumbed to fatigue along with many others. Evie was determined to hold her position and fought hard to stay near the front of the group but this became harder towards the end of the race.

This race was much longer than our riders are accustomed to in Scotland so the effort required to ride a race of this length was starting to bite! Evie maintained her focus and came in with the bunch at a very creditable 22nd. Millie kept the effort going and finished in 32nd place.

The next race was the Youth B girls (U14) where we had Arabella Blackburn and Hope Thomson. Both Arabella and Hope have been racing other events in the British Series so they went into the race knowing what to expect. Arabella has had a great run of wins this season so was clearly the rider to watch – this was evident as nobody was prepared to ride at the front with her. Hope is riding her first season at this level and isn’t daunted by the standard of riding by the older riders in her group. She isn’t scared to work hard and just gets on with whatever comes her way – today it was a rather sharp hill every lap!! Nobody was going to let any riders get a gap and it would appear that they were all more focussed on trying to get the better of Arabella in the sprint. Unfortunately for them they did not know quite how much Arabella wanted this win!!! She kicked hard and took it all the way to the line to claim a well deserved victory which nobody could argue rightly belonged to her. So, there it is – we have a British Champion in DTCC Youths!!!!! Well done Arabella we are very proud of you and look forward to you inspiring others in the club to work hard. Hope continued to battle on and never gave up, coming in a well earned 18th place.

The last race of the day was the Youth A boys (U16) where Elliot Rowe was the sole DTCC Youth representative out of a field of 99 feisty testosterone fuelled boys – I’m sure I can smell the testosterone but that’s probably too much info! The start was fast and as often is the case there was the inevitable first crash. The race was stopped whilst the riders were tended to and the track was cleared. After a period of time waiting for the the commissaires to decide how to proceed the race was restarted with 3 laps being neutralised to calm the riders down. However, the rain continued to fall lightly but the flint was in full flow and there were puncture victims even before the real race started. For the next 75 mins (25 laps) there were attacks every time up the hill with riders desperate to get away. None of these stuck but the pace was taking its toll as riders were being dropped every lap. Elliot maintained good positioning near the front of the bunch right from the beginning and dug deep to hang on to 14th place when it kicked off for the final sprint.

Well done to all the riders, parents and long-suffering siblings.

Photo credits to Huw Williams and Grant Speed

Junior Racing Update

Well, the month of May has been a busy for the DTCC Youth road and track riders. We have gone from having no events to being flat out. It’s good to be back racing!

The first trip away from Knockburn was the RACE National training session at Lochgelly on 16th May where we had 8 riders attending. This was a four hour session giving riders the opportunity to work on tight group riding skills and race simulation. The sun even shone for us – most unusual.

On Thursday 20th May the first “event” took place at Lochgelly – this was the first round of the Spokes Summer Crit Series. The weather wasn’t kind and it was a wet and chilly evening. Arabella and Elliot took the wins in their respective Youth B girls and Youth A boys races giving them the honour of winning the first youth road events in Scotland since the pandemic disrupted racing. Erin raced as a Junior in with the Senior women and finished in 10th place. Jacob rode his first race and took a creditable 5th place in the Senior Cat 3/4 event having done well to stay around the front of the race throughout. Alexander raced well in the fast E/1/2 race with the big burly men.

Next up came the first round of the British Cycling National Youth Omnium Series held at Dundee track and organised by DTCC. Simon Small and his team put on a spectacular event with meticulous planning to ensure the event met all the necessary Covid requirements and protocols. This is the first track event organised by DTCC Youth and Simon did the club proud – a big thank you to him. The racing matched the organisation, and the club was represented by 10 DTCC riders. We had 4 Youth B girls with Arabella taking the win, 3 Youth A girls with Evie taking second and Millie third. Archie, Elliot and Isaac all raced well in the fast and furious Youth A boy’s race with riders coming up from England to stir things up. Well done to all – a great effort despite no track racing (or riding) for about 15 months!!

It was then on to round 2 of the Spokes Summer Series where the club was represented by the same 5 riders as round one. This time the sun shone, and it was warm – it was still rather windy but that is to be expected at Lochgelly! Arabella continued to dominate and won her race again with Elliot taking second place in his. Jacob came in 5th place again in the 3/4 race and Erin in 11th place in the Women’s event. Alexander rode a great race in the E/1/2 event and took 5th place in another fast race.

On Monday 31st (another day off school) six DTCC Youth riders travelled to Loughborough University for the first round of the British Cycling National Youth Series. Scorching weather and a fast technical course resulted in a fantastic day of racing. Arabella started the day off well by winning the U14 girl’s race – she was dominant from the beginning. Thea and Hope also raced and finished a well-deserved 15th and 18th respectively in their first British Series event. Next up was the U16 girls race with considerably more riders and this race was fast from the gun. Evie fought hard and finished 21st with Millie coming in 48th after being delayed by a crash. The final youth race of the day was the U16 boys race which was contested by 80 testosterone fuelled boys (150 boys entered this race) eager to race hard. The race started fast and never let up with it being split into groups all around the course. Elliot finished in the second group in 14th place. This was followed by a long drive home!

DTCC Evening League

Evening League 2021 – The Fourth event is tomorrow, Tuesday 18 May. Have you registered to take part? No? Go here.  Once the registration page has been visited follow each button in order, for additional information. The series is informal, even laid back. If you’re unsure how to get involved with competition this is the ideal place to start. 

As always, we’re desperate for volunteers to help our events run smoothly and we need three marshals for this first event. If you’re minded to get involved before you start racing you may reply to this email offering your services.


Annual General Meeting – Your club’s AGM will take place on-line on Friday 29 January 2021 from 7.00pm. Members will be supplied with a link to join the meeting in due course. AGM papers will be published on-line. This is your opportunity to get involved with the running of your club. If you are keen let us know.

Zwift Sunday Club Endurance Ride

Zwift Sunday Club Endurance Ride
Created and administered by Simon Stromberg

We now have a Sunday Club Endurance Ride on Zwift, with different groups at a different pace. Details here. This is run in partnership with ZwiftScotland group.
There will be different groups formed on ride each at a different pace. Regrouping at top of KOMs


Scottish Cycling – Badge Of Honour – Sandy Lindsay

Sandy Lindsay, Mr Deeside Thistle:

Incredible and dedicated service to the whole cycling community for over 50 years; enthusiast; pioneer; communicator and role model.

Alexander J Lindsay joined Deeside Thistle Road Club (as it was then titled) as an 18 year old and became Treasurer in 1967 and Secretary in 1968. He has held both roles in the 53 years since then with distinction and shows no signs whatsoever of freewheeling. The Club had fewer than 20 members when he started; the majority were under 20 years old. The world was a different place and cycling had a different status and following; now Deeside Thistle Cycling Club has in excess of 600 members and has been the consistent winner of an annual award for the largest club in Scottish Cycling. But it’s not just about numbers.

Sandy has been the consistent and motivating factor. He has committed enormous amounts of time and energy to running the club, keeping in touch with members, inspiring new generations to be involved, supporting community and charitable activities and keeping abreast with the latest thinking.

In the early years he was an outstanding time trialist and was winner of the club season-long BAR for 19 consecutive years. Unrivalled at longer distances he was a hard man to beat especially at 100 miles and 12 hours. Nationally he was second in the Senior BAR and a consistent challenger at 100 miles. Weather was never a factor and in the days before tri bars and aero helmets he powered round the well-known courses in a huge gear.

But Sandy was never just a racing man. He enjoys the bike in so many ways. He has been a mountain biker for many years and enjoyed rough-stuffing over wild passes long before the days of mountain bikes. He held the Aberdeen-Dundee-Aberdeen place to place record and the Scottish 100 mile straight out record. He pioneered routes like Aberdeen-Ardnamurchan-Aberdeen and all this while being in charge of the club.

Sandy led summer hostelling tours in the 1970s and 80s. They are legendary. Some of the youngsters who took part are now approaching retirement. They have commented that the inspiration they received from Sandy and the club have made a real and positive difference to their whole lives.

Sandy was an innovative fund raiser for club and community funds. He initiated the Stonehaven Bike Ride hugely supported by his first wife, the late Mary Lindsay whose dedication and organising ability were legendary and celebrated by all who knew her. Then, in 1987 he established the Great Inverurie Bike Ride which was aimed at family groups. This was long before such events were a national feature. Now with major support from his wife Elaine the GIBR ran for 21 years before transferring the event to the local council. Sandy then inaugurated the King of the Mountains 100 mile sportif around well-known and challenging climbs in the north east when such events were still in their infancy.

He encouraged newcomers to the club and assisted many youngsters in their racing interests. While it may be invidious to pick out one rider, the club’s most successful rider of all time, Sarah Rowe nee Phillips was a multi-championship winner at Scottish and UK level in the 80s and 90s and rode for Team GB in the Olympics. She, like Sandy, now puts a lot back in to the club by way of coaching youngsters.

Sandy continues to raise money for charities. He has made several trips to The Himalaya and ridden to Base Camp Everest. He has helped to raise funds for charities in Africa founded by friend and clubmate Alasdair Brodie.  Just a few weeks ago Sandy rode over 600 miles in 7 days around Scotland’s remotest places in a tour organised by his son, Robert, who is also putting his energies and talents in to organising cycling and community events clearly inspired by his parents.

Sandy Lindsay does all that at the same time as running the administration of the club. Our monthly newsletter, Cranks of which he is editor and major contributor is 46 years old and Sandy has never missed one edition. It’s unusual not to have 3 or 4 emails from him every week.  Amazing but that’s what we’ve come to expect as ‘normal!’

Sandy was made an MBE in the Honours List in 2000 for services to education

 He deserves a knighthood for services to cycling!    

AGC October 2020

Deeside Thistle and Moray Firth Zwift Race

I am sure you all want to know about the Deeside & Moray Firth Winter League because this is the league where you get to win a Deeside or Moray Firth cycling apparel.

So here is the deal:

1. We start on the 4th of November and run to the end of March.

2. Your best 6 races count.

3. The races will be points race with primes. Primes are always first over the line, except for a few special races. The same number of points will be available for each race (max of 45 points).

4. We are going to alternate flat courses with a hilly course.

5. There will be 3 separate race groups, A, B and C+D. A start at 19:25, B at 19:26 and C+D at 19:27.

The first race will be 4th of November, with a prologue on Bologna, but it will be a mass start drafting race.Special stages will be:

1. Alpe Du Zwift. KOM timed segment. No prizes for placing, just fastest up the hill

2. Mount Ventoux. KOM timed segment. No prizes for placing, just fastest up the hill.

3. The Jungle Loop Banana Splits Cup (replacing the Um Bongo Cup). It does not count for the league. But there is a special cup (for A, B, C and D).

The Banana Splits Travel Mug to be precise. Oh yes, you know you want it!

For more info checkout:

Isla Short

Isla Short – Webinar
Scottish champion in both Mountain Bike and Cyclo-Cross in 2016 and 2017, Isla was also crowned Elite British Mountain Bike Series champion in 2016. She took 4th place at the UCI U23 Mountain Bike World Cup in Val di Sole and finished the series 10th overall.

If you’d like to be part of our next in-depth interview register your interest using the link here: 

More information on the Deeside Thistle Facebook pages or Deeside Notes Email.

It all happens on Thursday 29 October at 7.00pm. Spaces are limited so be sure to get your name in early.