It would have been a quick day if it were only the Madison events so the Championships also incorporated a Festive Flyer event. This meant that we had a full afternoon of racing with Team Sprints mixing it up with Paracycling’s Tandems.
In the true spirit of competition we’ll take the events of the day in reverse…last race of the day was the highly anticipated Open Madison 30km Championship race and there were some top pairings for this event. We’d been to the Madison training session and Fraser Martin (Raleigh GAC) and Ruari Yeoman (East Kilbride RC) were looking well prepared. They’ve raced together before but competition would be fierce this year.
The Edinburgh RC duo of Zak Loney and Joe Agnew looked good in red while experience had been teamed with youth in the Spokes RT combination of Kevin Barclay and Stephen Dent…was this Stephen’s final race for Spokes before moving to his new team next year?
The other racers were all mixed teams with Ben Norris (www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk) pairing up with Jason Roberts (Pro Vision Scotland), Ross Clark (www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk) with Martin Lonie (Nuun-Sigma Sport-London RT), and Andy Brown (Metaltek Kuota RT) taking to the track with Angus Claxton (100% ME).
The Madison is perhaps the most complicated of all track events and requires a whole host of commissaires to keep track of what’s happening. And what happened was that Brown and Claxton decimated the field. Smooth changeovers and consistent efforts meant that they gained three laps over the field as the race progressed. They also placed first in seven of the sprints to end the race on 108 points, a massive 72 points ahead of their nearest rivals!
In second spot were Martin and Yeoman on 36 points having taken three of the sprints. The Pro Vision Scotland/Dooleys pairing of Roberts and Norris finished on 19 points having secured two of the intermediate sprints. This was just ahead of Lonie and Clark on 18 points. It was a fantastically thrilling race to watch with some superb bike handling through the changes and a high-speed stop by Kevin Barclay on the back straight to take a drink before he was back into the fray.
Incorporated into the same race were the Junior Men and this was between the team of Alexander MacRae (Pro Vision Scotland)/Calum Shackley (Glasgow CT) and the Glasgow CT pairing of Douglas Crawford and Fraser Macdougall. It’s never easy when their race is within another but the honours went to Shackley and Macrae who ended on -56 points to Crawford and Macdougall’s -92. It was a fantastic effort from both teams and they certainly added to the spectacle!
In the Youth A Boy’s race over 15km there was no stopping the team of Jamie Penny (Discovery Juniors CC) and Daniel Kain (Speedflex RT) as they worked well together. Their final tally of 31 points to Matti Dobbins (Johnstone Wheelers CC) and Oran McConville’s (East Kilbride RC) 22 meant that the Gold medal was heading north.
Top marks to McConville who took a spill coming off the banking and ended with a rather nasty bruise but he was back up and into the race before most people had realised he’d gone down. The Bronze medal position was taken by Oscar Onley (Speedflex RT) and Kyle Thomas (Edinburgh RC) on 11 points but a special mention to Jack McManus (Royal Albert CC) and Kier Gaffney (Johnstone Wheelers CC) who were racing much older boys.
In the Women’s event it came down to two teams: Jeanette Hazlett (Glasgow Ivy CC) with Helen Wyld (Edinburgh RC) up against the RT 23 duo of Georgia Mansfield and Anna Fairweather. It was also going to be a difficult task for Hazlett and Wyld as they’ve only been riding together for a few weeks but they acquitted themselves admirably with smooth changes and good communication throughout. They were up against a formidable pairing though in Mansfield and Fairweather (both Scottish Champions in other disciplines this year already) but the RT 23 riders put in everything with Mansfield sitting close to the bucket for a while after the race!
The stars of the Women’s race though were the Junior riders and although there was only one team comprising Gemma Penman (Glasgow CT) and Anna Shackley (Glasgow Riderz) they were out to finish ahead of all of the senior women. And this they did with a top performance and a Gold medal to show for it. This was also probably the final race for Anna Shackley with Glasgow Riderz before she moves to her new team of Team 22 in the New Year.
In the non-Championship Sprint events, honours in the Women’s Team event (500m) went Team Farmer with Lucy Grant and Rebecca Dornan (35.900) over the Cyclepaths pairing of Lusia Steele and Louise Haston (36.490).
In the Men’s race (750m), the victory was taken by The Pain Train (49.910) comprising Jamie Alexander, Jeremy Franks and, making a special trip over from Ireland for the event, Tony Mairs…he’s promised to bring a team to the 2018 edition of The Glasgow Sprint Grand Prix! In second was Pro Vision Scotland with Jason Roberts, Kyle Johnston and Alex Macrae. Third spot went to the ever-improving SR Albannach trio of Craig Hamilton, James Wright and a special appearance by Jack Cruden.
In the Paracycling Tandems Laura Cluxton and Emma Baird (Rock and Road) again showed their class by posting a time of 1:11.69 (50.2kph) over the 1000m while the Fullarton Wheelers pairing of Natalie Jamieson and Fraser Maitland posted a time of 1:26.63 (41.6kph)…superb rides from both teams.
The unsung hero award goes to Lewis Steele who sat behind the podium throughout the victory ceremonies and stopped the backdrop from collapsing!
So ends the Championship campaign for 2017…it’s been a fantastic performance from the Tour of the Meldons in April right through to December. It’s also been trying with organisers having to cope with roadworks and unrelated road accidents but 2018 promises to be even better. We’ll be there to bring you all the action but in the meantime, from everyone here at the Scottish Cycling reporting team, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!