Clockwork Cycle Sports LTD have taken the difficult and sad descision to withdraw their involvement with the Scottish Cyclists’ Union mountain bike series.
The main reasons for their descisions are lack of financial sponsorship, increased costs being forced on the series by the Federation and overall disappointment at the attitude of riders.
“we had a lot of sponsorship arranged for this year through Planet X, Endura, IPC magazines. Unfortunately it was all product based.” said Director Keith Jones. “we lost over £8k in last year series in an attempt to make it one of the best in the UK. To our mind we achieved this aim 10 fold and this year was set to rocket with the introduction of chairlifts at most events”
Riders and parents come in for the bulk of the critisism though. This year alone they have had one person trying to sue them over a riders accident and now it would seem a select group have got it together to try and put them out of business and have arranged a boycott of the series.
“they complain that they are not getting enough for their money, not just at this series though it’s accross the board. The fact that we have kept our prices the lowest in the UK, even for non licence holders still doesn’t keep them happy. They want everything for nothing, they are their own worst enemies in a situation like this, now they have what they wanted.”
Everyone seems to think race organisers are coining it in, some are admitadly but not North of the Border that’s for sure.
There are a few out there who think they can do a better job. The door is now wide open and Clockwork would urge them to take it on.
“Anyone can be a back seat driver but it takes more than that. We were running three disciplines, which I think a lot of people forget, in an area that must be about 500square miles in some very remote sites. To tackle it deserves a medal in our book.”
Then comes the Union/ Federation. There is a big breakdown in communication along with selective hearing going on.
“we have had many new categories added on this year which the series cannot afford. If you get 3 people in on of these the prize fund, which is always cash, excedes the income from the riders, it’s just not practical.”
The recent RAV 4 event at Innerleithen did nothing to inspire Clockworks confidence in the federation either.
“I feel like we’ve been used as scapegoats for that event. I admit we were let down badly by the TA for marshals the week before the event and I didn’t have a back up plan, our hands are up to that. Even then we contacted pretty much all SCU members by email and the President sent out a circular to all the clubs and we received not a single response, well apart from one who was informing us he was commassaire at the event. Nevertheless the course was still covered adequately, eventually. Areas we have been blamed for include the Duel, Transport and the timing. None of which were arranged by ourselves.
The timing I had afore warned the BCF would go wrong. They are paying far too much for Mikrotime for and outdated system. We used Cambrian last year at a third of the cost and had no problems whatsoever. The transport at RD1 was the riders fault with out doubt. No one turned up for the start of practice then all showed up mid morning, nothing can cope when that happens. We were carrying almost twice the UCI recommended riders in the timescale. As for the DUEL. Any fool knows it’s dark at 7pm at the end of March. Realistically it should never have gone ahead. Incidentally I’m being financially penalised for not meeting my organisers obligations with regard to Marshalling – does this mean Mikrotime will be penalised also? – shouldn’t have though so. If the Federation keep treating their organisers in this fashion there will be no venues and no one promoting the RAV 4 series.”
Lack of personnel is always a big issue at any event, none more so than the RAV 4.
” I found it annoying yet amusing to findout that a certain high profile Scottish team manager, along with another highly regarded riders mother, were offering to “arrange” marshal provision for future RAV 4 events in Scotland. I seem to recal asking for the same assistance over a year ago and they had no access then. Amazing what the chance of a bit of publicity will do for peoples’ ability.”
Overall it’s a sad loss to Scottish racing just when it was getting to be one of the best. The future of the series remains in limbo with talk of the SCU carrying it on. Clockwork will continue to organise the larger events like the Avalanche Cup, NPS and another monster DH event which will be coming in October.
Clockwork wish to thank all those who have worked on the series and wish the riders all the best in the English events they will now be going to.