Wilson leads World Championship charge

Wilson leads World Championship charge


World Champion Reece Wilson spearheads the 10-strong Scottish contingent representing Great Britain at this weekend’s UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Val di Sole, Italy.

Wilson’s (Trek Factory Racing) legendary run in the snow and the mud to claim the rainbow jersey in Austria last season was one of the greatest achievements a Scottish cyclist has produced in recent years. Whilst the course in Val di Sole looks to be far less muddy and a lot warmer, the Scot will be take encouragement from his recent performance in Maribor that saw him narrowly miss out on a top 10 position as he builds towards peak form in a bid to defend his title.

Greg Williamson (100% Commencal) has been struggling with an ankle injury but has travelled to Italy and is planning on racing, with fellow highlander Douglas Goodwill (555 Gravity Racing) in reserve should his injury flare up. Mikayla Parton is Scotland’s sole representative in the Women’s Elite race, and her 12th place in the world rankings has been more than deserved given her performances this year.

Pheobe Gale (FMD Racing) has been somewhat of a revelation this season in the Junior Women’s field, the teenager blowing the field away to claim victory in Les Gets and Maribor – as well as winning the British Junior title in Wales by an 11 second margin.

Ryan Brannen (555 Gravity Racing)and William Brodiewill both also be competing in the Junior categories; both will be looking to build on strong seasons with solid performances at UCI World Cup events.

The Cross-Country squad will be led by newly crowned British Champion Isla Short (Orbea Factory Racing). Short has had a fantastic 2021 season thus far with some brilliant performances, an 11th place in Les Gets being the best result at World Cup level. Last year’s World Championships in an extremely muddy Leogang saw the 24-year-old Scot finish a marvellous fifth in the Elites; a similar result in the Italian Alps would be a fantastic achievement.

In the Under 23 ranks, former Junior World Champion Charlie Aldridge (Scott Racing) will be looking to build on a promising season that included a silver medal at the HSBC UK National Championships in Portsmouth despite puncturing, and a strong showing at the European Championships on a course not suited to the 20-year-old.

Two Juniors complete the XCO squad in Elena McGorum (Peebles CC) and Corran-Carrick Anderson (T-MO Racing), who both won national honours in Plymouth last month.  

Elena McGorum will look to build on her first experience of the World Championships in 2020, as she told Scottish Cycling:

I’m super excited to have another chance to race at worlds! The course has lots of climbing and fun descents which will definitely make for some hard racing. Last year felt like a really steep learning curve and the conditions were super tough, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do this year. The atmosphere is always amazing too so I’m definitely going to try make the most of the experience!

On the Scottish contingent, Scottish Cycling MTB Coach, Paul Newnham, said: 

“To have 10 Scots on the team heading for Italy is a fantastic achievement and testament to all the hard work that has continued to go on behind the scenes during a testing 18 months. Last year Scottish riders enjoyed unrivalled success, notably with Reece taking the downhill world title, and I have every confidence we’ll have plenty more to shout about at the 2021 edition.”

The racing starts with Wednesday's Team Relay which features Scotland’s Isla Short and Corran Carrick-Anderson.

A Full Schedule, Living Timings and Results can be found here