Scottish Juniors at the Isle of Man Stage Race

Posted on: 10th May 2013

Article by: Alan Denman, Scottish Cycling Junior Coach/RDO - South West

Eight riders from the Scottish Cycling Junior programme went to the Isle of man Junior Tour over the May day bank holiday weekend. The riders were Hector Lancaster & Fraser Martin from Perth United, Sean Noon, Aidan Quinn, Mark Stewart, Gavin Shuttleworth, Tom Arnstein & Cameron Balfour all from Team ASL360.

Stage one was a short prologue on Douglas promenade, with Mark Stewart raising to the pressure situation finishing in 6th place. First year junior Fraser Martin also put in an excellent performance coming in 15th. With the prologue being so short, time gaps were minimal, which all was still to play for.

Stage two was the hilly stage. An early break formed and contained some of the races big names. The Scots kept their composure and assisted well in the pace setting and eventually it was reeled in with one and a half laps to go. The finish came down to a final bunch gallop up the 800m finish hill. Tom Arnstein came up first Scot in 11th place.

Going into the final stage, three Scots were still in with a shout, Tom Arnstein was lying in 11th at 15 seconds, Mark Stewart 14th at 20 seconds and Gavin Shuttleworth 15th at 24 seconds. The stage was mainly flat with just one small climb. The plan was to make the race as hard as possible from the off, by constantly forcing the pace at the front into the strong wind and hopefully enabling either of the three Scots high in the overall to form a break in the second half of the race and gain some time back.

The riders, led by team captain Aidan Quinn all worked super hard to achieve this, with a special mention going to first year juniors Hector Lancaster and Fraser Martin, who literally rode themselves into the ground for their team mates.

With 2 and a half laps to go a break formed containing Mark, Gavin and Tom. Unfortunatley, Tom wasn’t having the best day due to having picked up a cold and couldn’t stay in the break. With three quarters of the last lap to go Mark attacked on the climb and went clear with Jake Kelly from the Isle of man team. Unfortunatley Jake was a few seconds ahead in the overall standings. Mark tried everything to rid himself of Jake in the closing miles, but Jake stuck like glue to his back wheel. 

The stage finished with Mark claiming second and Gavin 5th. Although disappointed not to have won, the weekend went well for the Scots with mark finishing 2nd overall and Gavin 3rd. Their club team ASL360 also won the team prize with Tom Arnstein and Cameron Balfour.

The Scottish Youth riders also were in attendance, with the Edinburgh RC putting in many riders along with riders from Perth United, Nevis Cycles and Ronde. It was great to see the juniors and the youth riders all getting along and giving each other much appreciated support.