The organisers acknowledge the invaluable support of Rothiemurchus Estate, Glenmore Forest Park and Pityoulish Estate in helping us ensure that as well being competitive and enjoyable that the CAT is also environmentally sustainable.
Following CAT 09, the organising committee chose to support 17 year old cyclist Charles Fletcher from Grantown. For more information about Charles see the interview below:
When did your interest in cycling begin?
I’ve always been interested but have been cycling competitively for the past two years. My father is also a keen cyclist and my parents have been great at giving encouragment and taking me to events.
There are so many different types of cycling - mountain biking road racing etc – what have you specialized in and why?
Cyclocross in the Winter and Road and track in the summer. I enjoy mountain biking but wouldn’t want to take part competitively.
What exactly is Cyclocross?
Cyclocross is a cross between mountain biking and road biking with a little bit of running thrown in for good measure. The bikes look like road bikes but have knobbly tyres, mtb pedals and big clearances -to try and stop the inevitable build up of mud. The race takes place over a short 5ish minute lap which can encompass anything and everything from tarmac to sand dunes, the race at Glenmore last year went down part of the dry ski slope! The race lasts for 50 minutes + 1 lap and the winner is the person who completes the most laps. It’s great fun for all abilities as you always find someone to race against.
Sounds tough on cold winter days – How successful have you been at Cyclo cross?
Last year I was 2nd Junior in the series and I won a couple of rounds.
Whathave been your other main achievements in Cycling?
Last year I was Scottish 1600m youth grass track champion, I also finished 2nd in the open 5000m Scottish champs. Getting to race in Belgium was also a big highlight.
You had a major set back this year – can you tell us what happened?
I had a major crash at the first big track race of the season back in May at Dundee Velodrome. Another cyclist’s pedal got caught in my front wheel and I ended up face planting tarmac at 30 mph! It has been a case of mostly rest and recover since then. It was also the first time on my new bike – I spent the night in hospital but luckily the bike was ok!
Hopefully you’ll be back to full fitness soon – what are your ambitions in the sport?
To take it as far as possible. I am taking several Advanced Highers and a Higher this year and hope to study law next year. I am looking for a university with a keen and active cycling club and is close to good training facilities where I can maximize my chances of making best progress in the sport.
Finally how did you use the CAT grant?
I used it to buy the Dolan track bike – yes the one I crashed on, it wasn’t its fault though, and hopefully it will carry me to success later in the season.