The boards of the Apeldoorn Velodrome in the Netherlands played host to the most promising young riders from across the continent for the UEC Junior and Under 23 European Track Championships over the last week. A strong Scottish contingent within the Great Britain Team did not disappoint – with every Scottish member of the squad leaving the low countries with at least one medal.
Ross Birrell (Spokes RT) was part of a British quartert which dominated the Junior Men’s Team Pursuit and broke the four-minute barrier with a time of 3:59.392 which was enough the beat the French squad in second position by over five seconds. The time was less than six tenths of a second off the Junior World Record set by Germany in 2019.
Junior Iona Moir (Welwyn Wheelers) built on her success at the British Junior Track Championships in Glasgow by winning three medals from her four events. A bronze medal in the Sprint, was followed up with a valiant GB effort in the Team Sprint to come away with a silver. The 500m time trial was a close fought affair for silver as Moir beat out fellow Briton Rhian Edmunds by 0.042 seconds to claim the second spot on the podium.
In the Under 23 categories even more Scottish success was forthcoming. Lauren Bell (Black Line Sprinting) was part of the Women’s Team Sprint squad that mustered a very respectable silver medal; only narrowly missing out on gold to a very strong Russian outfit by a whisker. The Individual Pursuit saw Abi Smith (Moonglu CC) win Bronze, before going one better in Team Pursuit to win a silver.
Ali Fielding (Glasgow Track RC) was one third of the Men’s Team Sprint squad that won Gold by over half a second from Germany in Silver. Whilst Abernyte’s Alfie George (Carse of Gowrie Velo) won Silver in the Team Pursuit to top off a great week of action for Scottish riders.
On the Scottish success at the championships, Scottish Cycling Endurance Coach PJ Barron said:
“It’s been a great week for the riders in Apeldoorn. The multiple medals won and national records broken is a testament to the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes over the last two years. It's great to see given it's the first taste of racing at this level for some of the squad. With the UCI World Championships in Glasgow in just under two years’ time it’s fantastic to see that the future for Scottish riders is bright.”