Kirsty’s mud, sweat and gears

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Kirsty Macphee joked that she ‘died a little bit’ during the recent second round of the Scottish Cross County (SXC) Series in Dunoon as an overnight storm turned the track into a sticky mudbath.

The South Uist cyclist was in Dunoon and splashed onto a mud splattered podium after another impressive showing in her fledgling Elite level cycling career.

Kirsty only made the step up to elite level this year and she is showing remarkable progress with stronger and more consistent rides on each outing. Her times, personal bests and finishing places are on an upward trajectory

Riding over a 7KM course with a massive 200m climbs per lap, this course is a test of any rider’s mettle but chuck in poor weather conditions, which play havoc with the track, and it becomes even more gruelling.

“It was really good. When I went round the course first on the Saturday it was really dry but of course there was a downpour overnight so it became a completely different course to ride. It was a mudbath but it was good,” said Kirsty.

“I set off, scrapping with the girl who was second, for the first lap and a half. But it started to get so hard the more the mud was being churned up. This meant we had to work twice as hard as we normally would especially going uphill.”

Eight riders challenged in the Elite women’s race, snaking their way around the technical course.

Kirsty took third spot with 1:44:04 and with a comfortable cushion over fourth placed Vicki Barclay - something Kirsty wishes she had known at the time.

“On the third lap I felt like I died a little bit,” she laughed.

“Going through transition I had a moment when the girl in second was two minutes ahead of me and everyone was urging me to try and catch her.

“But I was more concerned with how far behind fourth was from me. I asked Angus (Kirsty’s partner) how far behind the other rider was.

“He didn’t process what I asked and responded ‘not far.’

“That made me panic as I didn’t know if it was 10-seconds or a minute.

“It turned out she was six minutes behind me, but at the time, I got so stressed someone was goign to come right past me.

“I was really pleased to finish third and everything’s going well and I feel stronger every time. I have the British Championships again this weekend so it’s all go. I’m enjoying the challenge.”