Double Top for our emerging track stars!

We’re just two weeks short of the end of the year but there was still one more Scottish National Championship to be squeezed in before we could relax and enjoy the mince pies…the Madison Championship.

This would consist of two races, one for youth riders, male and female, and one for seniors and juniors who would cover twice the distance. But first a quick rundown of what Madison racing really consists of because for the uninitiated it can seem like the most unfathomable form of track racing there really is.

Developed in New York City, and named after its famous venue at Madison Square Garden, the Madison was a work-around to enable teams of riders to ride for longer and to cover greater distances. In our own track events it’s now teams of two riders where both are on track at the same time but only one is racing at any given moment.

The riders can decide when to change over and this can be done simply by touching their partner but is more usually accomplished by performing the more spectacular hind-sling which helps to bring the new rider up to race pace. How far, or for how long, each rider’s turn lasts is entirely up to them and although the ideal is to have two evenly matched riders in a team it also enables a stronger rider to take longer turns. There are sprint points along the way but these don’t really determine the winners in the same way as the Points race. The idea is to ride the most number of laps and the sprint points help to split teams that cover the same distance. Normally, though it’s a pretty clear-cut win if you’ve been able to follow the racing.

And this is the problem for the spectator…keeping track of it all. According to one of the very experienced coms, the trick is to have a really good commentator who can keep track of it all. Other than that, keep your eye on the commissaire pointing out the lead team each time around and try to take note of the intermediate sprints.

With the teams, riders and officials all gathering in the infield, the Glasgow Cycle Team arrived and was by far the biggest represented club. With 22 teams taking part over both races Glasgow CT, specialists on the track, put up three full teams and contributed to another one. Lots of teams were made up from riders belonging to different clubs so there was a multi-coloured array of jerseys to be seen.

In the Boys race there were some great combinations and at the end of the 15km distance the win went to the pairing of Stephen Dent (Nevis Cycles RT) and Danny Mulholland (Johnstone Jets) but it could have gone any way between the three top teams right up to the end. Taking the second top step was Jonathon Hilbourne (Glasgow Riderz) with Matthew Devlin (West Lothian Clarion CC) with the Bronze medal going to Lewis Stewart (Glasgow Riderz) and Alex MacRae (Speedflex RT). We have some real strength in depth in these young riders and from the winning duo Stephen Dent now moves on to the next step of the ladder by joining Spokes RT. Equally, Danny Mulholland follows his older brother into the ranks of Glasgow Cycle Team and was keen to thank all those from the Johnstone Jets who have helped him over the last few years. (A quick note to wish Alex MacRae a speedy recovery as he was involved in a collision later that day and has now joined the Collarbone Club).

In the Girls Race the Jets were to the fore…with 3 of the 4 riders making up the two teams. The win went to the full club pairing of Jess Millar and Ellie Park with Lusia Steele and Anna Shackley (Glasgow Riderz) taking silver while wearing WOSCA colours. It would be good to see more women taking on these championships next year as there were no teams represented in the senior race…most likely down to the late-running of the champs this year.

In the senior race, covering 30km, there were some great teams on the roster. In the end it came down to the riders most experienced in this type of racing…and it was fast and furious at the front. The race got off to a false start with the riders having to line up again as the commissaire reloaded the pistol. During the race, despite lots of shouting to teammates and to keep others off race lines, there was only one crash resulting from a simple crossing of wheels. Jason Roberts (Pro Vision Cycle Clothing) and Stuart Paterson (East Kilbride RC) hit the boards coming out of the final curve. The coms very quickly neutralised the race allowing both riders to remount and get back into the action.

Ultimately, it was the Glasgow CT pairing of Andy Brown and Angus Claxton that would take the race…and in so doing would also claim the Junior title as well. Closest to them was the Spokes RT pairing of Fraser Martin and Ruari Yeoman who both head off into the professional ranks next season, Martin to join fellow Scots Evan Oliphant and Craig Wallace at Raleigh GAC and Yeoman to Moda-Anon.

Rounding out the Junior podium were Danny Hedley (Moray Cycle Racing Team) and Stuart Paterson (East Kilbride RC)in silver and Ewan Mathieson riding with Lewis Mulholland for Glasgow CT.

In the final podium position it was Alistair Rutherford (The Nab Racing) partnered by Tom Chandler (Sherwood Pines Cycles SRAM RT) putting on a good show but ultimately Brown and Claxton were the class act of the Championships and deserved to take the titles. Next year will be fun as all of these riders move up a level.

The Madison remains a race that can take a fair bit to follow and a moment’s inattention will leave the spectator trying to catch up with the action but it is fast and furious and the hand-slings make it exciting to watch.

So that’s it for 2015… a year that saw lots of action, from time trial championships in Irvine and Fordoun, youth races at Ingliston, Bellahouston and Kilmarnock, cyclocross in the sand at Irvine Beach, circuit races in Stirling and road titles being fought out over the hills surrounding Alloway. We’ve been at them all and we’ve seen some fantastic performances. Next year, we’ll be watching our Olympic stars in Rio but we’ll also be keeping a close eye on our domestic calendar. We’ll hope to see you there!

Rank Name Name Senior Junior Youth Boys Youth Girls
1 Andy Brown Angus Claxton Gold Gold    
2 Fraser Martin Ruari Yeoman Silver      
3 Tom Chandler Alistair Rutherford Bronze      
4 Peter Anderson Philip Trodden        
5 Danny Hedley Stuart Paterson   Silver    
6 David Griffiths Jason Roberts        
7 Ewan Mathieson Lewis Mulholland   Bronze    
8 Andrew Vettraino Ryan Glasgow        
1 Stephen Dent Danny Mulholland     Gold  
2 Matthew  Devlin  Jonathon Hilbourne     Silver  
3 Alexander MacRae Lewis Stewart     Bronze  
4 Innes Johnston Calum Shackley        
5 Jack Cruden Alfred George        
6 Hamish MacLaren Jamie Penny        
7 Jess Millar Ellie Park       Gold
8 Adam Hazle Struan Pryde        
9 Anna Shackley Lusia Steele       Silver