A slightly belated weekly round-up this week due to finale of the Youth Tour of Scotland, sees us look back at the British Madison and Omnium Championships, the Alba Series, some more mountain bike action and the return of our Scots Abroad section.
Youth Tour of Scotland
A magnificent weekend saw the long-awaited return of the Youth Tour of Scotland, with Cat Ferguson (BC Yorkshire) and Sebastian Grindley (BC North West) taking top honours at Strathallan, whilst Ahron Dick and Daisy Taylor taking the top Scot awards.
Full results from all of this weekend’s action can also be found here
Madison and Omnium
An exciting and powerful performance saw Scot Neah Evans and her partner Dame Laura Kenny ride to victory on the first day of the British Madison and Omnium Championships in Derby, taking the women’s Madison title. In the men’s event, Dundee’s Mark Stewart, alongside William Perrett, took the spoils, much to the delight of the Derby locals, where Perrett resides.
Evans and Kenny battled for top honours with Sophie Lewis and Maddie Leech, who only lost their lead in the final 20 laps. With nine laps to go there were only three points between the two pairs, with Kenny and Evans taking their marginal lead and ramping it up with a resounding win in the final sprint. In addition, Scottish duo of Sophie Lankford and Jenny Holl were able to finish in fourth, just off the podium.
Saturday’s Omnium saw Evans again on solid form, despite a lack of racing in recent months. Evans was once again fighting for the win with Sophie Lewis and Maddie Leech. After a great win in the scratch race and attacking in the tempo race, Evans was able to clinch the silver medal, a very good weekend’s work for the Aberdeenshire native.
Of her Madison success, Evans told British Cycling:
"I've done a little bit more racing since the Olympics, which I’m grateful of, but it was good fun. It’s always nice to race in front of a home crowd. We just wanted to go out and have a bit of fun, see what the form was at. We’ve got the Nations Cup coming up in Glasgow and we’ve been training, so we wanted to have a bit of fun today and see how the legs were. And I’d say, they weren’t bad - room for improvement - but not bad.”
In the men’s Madison, Mark Stewart and Will Perrett had to overhaul a very fast duo of Jack Brough and Oscar Nilsson Julien that were in the lead for much of the 200-lap event and by the halfway mark, there was only eight points separating the top four teams.
While Brough and Nilsson Julien rode strongly, holding onto their lead for a while, as the lap board approached 50 laps to go, Stewart and Perrett stepped it up a gear. With Perrett being a local, a boost from the home crowd was on the cards and as the pair opened up the lead with 48 laps to go, the crowd went wild, sensing a home victory, which they duly delivered.
After claiming victory in the Madison, Stewart’s Omnium challenge started in the same fashion, quickly leading after victory in the Scratch Race and working well with rival Nilsson Julien to finish second in the tempo race.
However, the final Points Race saw Nilsson Julien score points in eight of the ten sprints, and in the end, Stewart’s lead, which he’d held for the majority of the day, was snatched by Nilsson Julien who edged the overall victory by a mere point.
Mark Stewart told British Cycling of the battle that took place in the Madison:
"We definitely didn’t want to underestimate the young guys. This next crop of riders coming through are like almost a level above what we’ve seen before, so we really didn’t want to underestimate them and I’m really glad we didn’t. They gave us such a tough time out there.”
Stewart also found the cheering helpful, adding:
“I think it actually made a massive difference. Fair play to Derby for coming out and watching. I couldn’t believe the crowds, compared to say, National Champs we’ve done at other velodromes. They love cycling in Derby - it’s really cool to see.”
Alba Series Round #2
It was another fantastic victory for Finn Crockett (Ribble-Weldtite) at Round 2 of the Alba Road Race Series at Spokes RT’s Alford Road Race in Aberdeenshire.
The race route was one that was very familiar to the riders having hosted the 2021 Scottish National Road Race Championships, albeit only completing four laps of the circuit which included the Brindly and Suie Road climbs, as opposed to the five ascents of the Suie the riders faced in July.
After three laps of frantic racing, a breakaway stuck including Crockett, local rider Lee Rosie (Spokes RT), Ciaran Mc Sherry (The Cycling Academy) and Callum Thornley (Wheelbase Castelli CabTech) and they stayed clear to set up a battle royale on the final ascent of Suie Road. There was a plot change though, as Crockett punctured with 10km to go and had to thank a speedy wheel change from the Spokes RT neutral service, which allowed him to fight his way back to the group and just pip Lee Rosie to the line, with Mc Sherry coming in third.
Crockett now leads the Alba Series with two wins from the opening two races. The next round will come on the 24th April with the Drummond Trophy in South Lanarkshire (enter here). The Stirling Uni student also ranks in second position in the British Cycling Road Rankings – second only to teammate Zeb Kiffin.
The Support race was contested over 2 laps of the Suie course, with the bunch sticking together, despite Cameron Adam and Jamie Thomson (Spokes RT) repeated attacks, which were reeled in. As with the Elite race it came down to the final ascent of the Suie with Spokes RT claiming a 1-2-3 with Adam winning from Cormac McConville in second and Thomas Wisdish in third.
Thanks once again to Spokes Racing Team and Robbie Brown for organising another event on the #SCNatSeries calendar.
Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race
Isla Short was in fine form in Italy at the Marlene Sudtirol Sunshine XCO Race. Having just recovered from COVID-19, the Scot was able to force her way to the head of the action, before slipping back to her eventual finish in 11th.
Short, the British Cross-Country champion, had mixed feelings on her performance, stating on Instagram:
“The past month since the virus I haven’t been able to repeat my powers over a session and my general feeling on the bike has been bad. I managed good consistency earlier in the week, so I guess I am super happy to do a long race and know that things are improving, but I want my Spanish form back please!”
Richardson top of the class at BUCS
Cameron Richardson (University of Stirling) won the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) 25-mile Time Trial Championships in Cambridge with a time of 50:45 – averaging a cool 47 km/h for the TT. Richardson doubles up having won the Scottish Student Sport TT title in Edinburgh last weekend.
Adam Mitchell (Cycling Sheffield) claimed a strong second place at the Danum Trophy RR in Doncaster, after a two-up breakaway in the final stages, Continental Rider Toby Barnes just pipping him to the post.
Sean Flynn continued his great start to the season with another top 10 finish, this one coming at the prestigious UCI U23 race Tript. Monts Châteaux in Belgium. The Swiss Racing Academy racing rider claimed ninth overall, helped by a fantastic fifth place on Stage 2.
Meanwhile over the border in the Netherlands, Oscar Onley (DSM Development) rode to 35th place at the UCI 1.1 Volta Limburg Classic, a very solid effort.