Saturday morning and with overcast conditions outside, it was certainly better to be cycling indoors at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome for the second day of the Scottish National Youth and Junior Track Championships 2017. It was a day that saw some fantastic performances and a new Scottish national record!
On the roster for today we had:
The Junior Men Sprint Final was between Fraser MacDougall and Jack Cruden, both representing Glasgow Cycle Team. In the first heat, honours went to Cruden as he easily out-sprinted his teammate. In the second heat, Cruden was staying high and came off the banking with 1 lap to go and easily passed his opponent to take the title.
We had fireworks in the Youth A Boys 500m TT as Alfie George (Discovery Juniors) set a new record! It came down to the final pairing of George up against Jack Cruden (Glasgow Cycle Team) and both riders were well up for the race. It was George who, in the end, triumphed and set a new record with a time of 34.790 to take the title and the record from Jack Carlin. Jack Cruden took Silver in a time of 35.340 with Jack Wicklow (Glasgow Riderz) finishing in third, and Bronze, in a time of 36.320.
In the Youth B Boys 500m TT (Omnium event 1) the riders just got faster and faster but it was Daniel Kain (Ythan CC) who set the best time of 37.830. Sitting in second spot was Ross Birrell (Edinburgh RC) in 39.620 with Callum Reid (Speedflex Race Team) in third with a time of 40.300.
Starting the first event in the Youth B Girls Omnium, we had the 500m Time Trial. Two of the riders would emerge from their heats with very similar times. Eva Young (Pedal Power RT) was up against Morven Yeoman (East Kilbride RC) in the first heat and prevailed with a time of 40.590 to the EKRC rider’s time of 46.230. In the second heat the win went to Imani Pereira-James (East Kilbride RC) in a time of 40.760 over her opponent Eilidh Shaw (Stirling Bike Club) who posted 43.020. Sitting in third spot after this first-counting event in the Omnium was Kiera Chan, also riding for East Kilbride RC, who set a time of 41.910.
In the second-counting event for the Youth B Boys Omnium, we saw Dave Urquhart and his derny for the first time with the Keirin. In Heat 1 it was an East Kilbride RC tussle as Finn McHenry overpowered Kristofer Bryce, with Johnstone Wheelers’ Keir Gaffney finishing in third spot. In Heat 2 we had a top sprint with East Kilbride RC’s Craig Paterson just edging Ythan CC’s Fraser Gault. Alfie Atterton (Edinburgh RC) finished in third.
A much more decisive victory in Heat 3 as Daniel Kain (Ythan CC) took off with a lap to go and easily finished ahead of a fast-sprinting Callum Reid and Alexander Gibb (Edinburgh RC). The fastest time was set by Daniel Kain and this meant that he was sitting in first place in the Omnium with one event to go. Callum Reid was lying in second with Ross Birrell (Edinburgh RC) sitting in third.
In the Youth B Girls Keirin (Omnium event 2) it was always going to be between Eva Young and Imani Pereira-James with the Pedal Power rider taking a close sprint in a time of 13.37. Kiera Chan finished in third spot. This kept Eva Young ahead of Imani Pereira-James and Kiera Chan with one event of the Omnium left to run.
In the Youth A Boys 15k Points Race, Alfie George was once again looking in great form and stretched the field, taking almost all of the sprints along the way, chased closely by Johnstone Wheelers’ Matti Dobbins. With 28 laps to run two riders came down between turns 3 and 4 but the racing was neutralised and both riders were soon back on their feet. The riders were gathered into one bunch and the action got underway once again with 26 laps remaining. Coming up to the penultimate sprint Scott Howieson (Glasgow Riderz) took off and initially there was no reaction from the pack. He took the sprint before Alfie George decided to chase him down and they were joined by Adam Mitchell (Sportcity Velo). The pack began to fragment as first Kyle Thomas (Edinburgh RC) and then Matti Dobbins began to chase across. With the final sprint in mind it mostly came back together but there was no stopping George as he outsprinted Dobbins and took the victory. The Johnstone Wheelers rider finished in the Silver position with Scott Howieson taking Bronze.
The Youth B Boys 8k Scratch Race (Omnium event 3) was 32 laps of the track and 10 laps in we had a touch of wheels on the home straight putting two riders on the boards. Both remounted and were straight back into the race: top marks to Craig Paterson (East Kilbride RC) and Alexander MacLeod (Grampian Tigers) but unfortunately Paterson had to retire due to mechanical trouble.
It was a mix of fast wheels and tired legs but the strongmen were Daniel Kain and Callum Reid. That said, Keir Gaffney (Johnstone Wheelers CC) almost stole their thunder by stretching for home with 3 laps remaining. However, he was swallowed up and Kain made absolutely sure of the victory leading Reid home by a length and with Alexander Gibb (Edinburgh RC) finishing in third spot in the race and overcoming Ross Birrell to finish in the Bronze medal position overall.
This sealed the Omnium with Daniel Kain taking Gold, Callum Reid, Silver and Alexander Gibb, Bronze.
The Youth B Girls 8k Scratch Race (Omnium event 3) went to form with Eva Young and Imani Pereira-James stretching away from the field with 12 laps to go. Eilidh Shaw and Morven Yeoman chased hard and tried to make back some of the ground that they’d lost but they were never going to catch the other two.
Eva Young led out with a lap to go with Imani Pereira-James trying to come around her on the final turn. Young proved too strong though and won the sprint to take Gold in the Omnium. Pereira-James took Silver with Eilidh Shaw narrowly outsprinting Morven Yeoman for third. This sealed the Omnium positions with Eva Young taking Gold, Imani Pereira-James taking Silver and Eilidh Shaw taking Bronze.
Seven riders contested the Junior Women and Youth A Girls 15k Points Race with it soon becoming a battle between Anna Shackley (Glasgow Riderz), Rhona Callander (Team Jaden-Weldtite) and Gemma Penman (Glasgow Cycle Team). The trio took a lead with Georgia Mansfield (RT23) stuck in no-mans-land as she tried to stay in contact.
There would be no stopping Rhona Callander as she took the first four of the sprints. She fell to the back for the penultimate sprint which went to Gemma Penman but she made absolutely sure of the victory as she counter-attacked right after the sprint and tried to lap the field. She came within a quarter lap but eventually began to tire…with a lap and a half to run. She pushed all the way to the line however and took the victory in style.
With the pack bunching it was Georgia Mansfield who came across in second spot ahead of Anna Shackley in third. This meant that Rhona Callander won Gold in Junior race with Gemma Penman taking Silver. In the Youth race the win went to Anna Shackley from Abby Stewart (Glasgow Riderz) and Georgia Young (East Kilbride RC).
This left the final event of Saturday…the Junior Men 25k Points Race. There was a mix of Juniors and Youth A riders with Alfie George and Matti Dobbins taking on the older riders.
What a phenomenal talent Alfie George is proving to be. He’d already broken a record earlier on in the Youth A 500m TT, he’d already ridden a points race in his own category and now he set about bossing the Junior race. First to show was Fraser Macdougall (Glasgow Cycle Team) as he broke away and took the first sprint. Laying down a marker was Matthew Burke (Team Backstedt/Hotchillee) who took the bunch for second place. Alfie George failed to score on the first one.
Next time around it was the turn of Innes Johnston (Glasgow Cycle Team) with George taking second spot. Burke took third and was ahead of George on points but next time around the Discovery Juniors rider made it count with maximum points.
The long break of the race was by Alasdair Munro (RT23) and he scored first in two of the sprints along the way. Eventually he was reeled in and small groups launched off the front only to be brought back. George and Burke were in just about every move but it didn’t stop Calum Shackley (Glasgow Cycle Team) trying on his own again and again.
And it finally stuck as he surged ahead of the field with only a few laps remaining. Burke knew who’s wheel he wanted and he stayed close to George, the pair ready to fight out the sprint for the minor places, secure in the knowledge that Shackley couldn’t overtake them. Shackley won the final sprint but what a finish from George as he scorched home two bike lengths ahead of Burke, Dylan Hughes (Spokes RT) and Danny Mulholland (Glasgow Cycle Team).
It took a bit of working out, as points races do, but the Youth A rider had easily triumphed over his older opponents, finishing with 32 points to Burke’s 22 with Hughes rounding out the podium with 20. Gold to the rider from Discovery Juniors and a fantastic day: wins galore and a new Scottish record.
We’re back tomorrow for the final day and racing begins at 10am…see you there!