Birrell and Richardson claim top honours in Aberdeen

Birrell and Richardson claim top honours in Aberdeen


Images: Andrew Leinster
Published: 3rd September 2022

Ross Birrell (Team Inspired) and Kate Richardson (Alba Development RT) were both victorious as the Granite City welcomed the Scottish National Circuit Championships.

After an early afternoon of Youth Support races, the Senior Men kicked off the Scottish National Championships of the day.

An early break of four riders formed with Lewis Martin (Studio Velo) attacking first before Ross Birrell (Team Inspired) and an Aberdeenshire duo of Lee Rosie (Spokes RT) and Daniel Kain (Ribble ReCharge) bridged across.

David Duggan (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) and Jacob Smith (Spokes RT) were part of the four-strong chase group that provided the only opposition to the front attackers.

With the two groups out front, the rest of the race was a battle for minor places – as the riders were later pulled out with five laps to go.

It looked like the four attackers would contest the win, having an advantage reaching around the 40 second mark at one point. However, the group lost impetuous in the final stages as they victory loomed in front of them. A late charge by the chasers, saw the front four become a front eight on the final lap to set up a grandstand finish.

One of the pre-race favourites, Birrell launched his sprint as they made the turn onto Union Street for the final time and was able to hold off a marauding Rosie and Martin.

The Scot, who is part of the Great Britain Academy, said:

“One of the guys went off the front early on so I just saved my legs, saw one of the boys bridge across and I joined him.”

After completing a stint of racing in Belgium, Birrell put that down to the difference in the final:

“Being out in Belgium has been great, I’ve not had a chance to race much this year, but I went out and had races every second day so it was great and to train as well”

In the Senior and Junior Women’s race, it was a show of total dominance from one of the pre-race favourites. Kate Richardson (Alba Development RT) attacked in the first ten minutes of racing and wasn’t to be seen until the finish line by her competitors.

The 19-year-old has had a breakout season competiting at the Track Nations Cup for Great Britain as well as continued success on the domestic road scene and showed why. Richardson was never in doubt of her victory, and in the final stages caught sight of the rest of the only unlapped riders.

A battle ensued with in the six chasers with Eilidh Shaw and Morven Yeoman (Tofauti Everyone Active) riding for the junior honours – while the rest looked at each other for the minor podium places.

Richardson caught her opponents as she reached the chequered flag to double down on her display of dominance.  The minor medals were taken by Arianne Holland (Alba Development RT) and Rebecca Saunderson (Studio Velo), while it was agonising luck for defending champion Beth Maciver (Alba Development RT) who crashed on the final lap.

Shaw managed to holdoff Yeoman in the battle for junior honours – with Evie White (Deeside Thistle) coming home in third position.

When asked if attacking solo was the plan Richardson, in her new National Champions jersey, said:

“It wasn’t really a plan, just put an attack in about seven minutes in and turned around and no one was with me. I have to say as well a big thanks to the Alba girls for controlling stuff in the bunch behind, that really allowed me just to get on and do my thing and managed to stay out and take the win which is good.”

Her junior counterpart Eilidh Shaw added:

“It’s great I’ve absolutely loved racing tonight. It’s my second race, racing with the seniors and it just makes the race so much different, it was great.”

The final championship race of the day was the Junior Men’s Circuit Championship and Archie Ellen (The Cycling Academy) quickly let everyone watching in the Granite City know that it was his to win.

An attack after 15 minutes could not be countered by the group of chasers, as Ellen, who came off the back of a successful Junior Tour of Wales was able to quickly build a 40 second lead over the The Cycling Academy and Spokes RT dominated peloton.

Ellen came home with nearly a minute’s lead over his rivals and punched the air in delight as he claimed victory. It was triple joy for his team, as Corey Whiteford and Sam Chisholm finished second and third respectively to make it a 1-2-3 for The Cycling Academy.

Speaking after the race Ellen said:

“I went in there with a plan and my plan was I want to get away and I want to win this convincingly. I didn’t want to leave it to chance”