The opening weekend of both the Track Nations Cup and Spring Classics on the road, combined with an excursion to Spain for a Scottish U23 squad of Cross Country riders provided an excellent weekend of racing action.
Track Nations Cup
A trio of Scots headed over to Jakarta for the opening round of the UCI Track Nations Cup – which forms part of the qualifying path for the Paris Olympics next summer.
Neah Evans continued her excellent form with a brace of medals in Indonesia, the triple Birmingham medallist won silver in an exciting elimination race before claiming a bronze in the women’s omnium. Riding with Sophie Lewis, Evans also claimed a fifth place in the Madison.
Lauren Bell was part of the Great Britain trio that claimed bronze in the women’s team sprint, with the Forres sprinter finishing off a strong showing from the team.
Jack Carlin was also in action in the sprint events, guiding the Great Britain squad to 5th place in the men’s team sprint.
The next round of the Track Nations Cup takes place in Cairo next month.
A Scottish Cycling MTB Performance Squad are out in Catalonia for a short training and racing camp, with a pair of Scottish pros also in action at the Shimano Super Cup.
Friday, saw Isla Short (Ghost Factory Racing) finish in 12th place and European champion Charlie Aldridge (Cannondale Factory Racing) come home in 5th place in the Short Track event.
Sunday saw the whole team in action, Aldridge finished in 17th place in the Men’s Cross Country event, with Short finishing in 21st place in the women’s. In the Men’s Under 23 ranks, Sam Chisholm came home mid-field in 39th place, not bad for a first race at this level with a 77th place spot on the grid.
In very tough conditions, Anna was just ahead of Elena in the battle of the McGorums, with the pair coming home in 44th and 48th place in the women’s race, which worked out at 15th and 18th in the U23s respectively.
Daisy Taylor produced a very strong performance to finish in fifth and Emily Carrick-Anderson also scored a strong top ten finish. While in the Junior male ranks, Reuben Oakley finished best of the Scots in 17th place, with Finn Mason in 51st and Ben Allan further down the field.
All in all, a strong showing from the squad in Catalonia to open the 2023 season.
Tour du Rwanda
Mark Stewart (Bolton Equities-Black Spoke) was on stellar form at the Tour du Rwanda this week. After losing time on the early stages, the Dundonian claimed five top ten finishes in succession to finish off the race, and finish in 13th place overall.
While the stage win did elude him, two excellent performances on Stages 4 and 7 saw Stewart claim a brace of second places, which included winning the Combativity Award on Stage 4 – after his day in the breakaway.
This weekend saw the opening of the Spring Classics with a packed calendar of racing in Belgium.
Sean Flynn (Team DSM) made his European debut in his new WorldTour colours at Omloop Het Nieuswblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, with the Scot coming 39th in Omloop before a better 25th place finish on Sunday at KBK.
The Junior Race at KBK saw Anexo-Group Race Team’s duo of Elliot Rowe and Joe Cosgrove in action, while Corey Whiteford (FlandersColor-Galloo) and Calum Moir (Zappi RT) racing. A strong performance from Rowe, formerly of Deeside Thistle, saw him finish in 20th place, best of the Scots.
Sunday also saw national circuit race champion Kate Richardson in action at the UCI .1 race Omloop van het Hageland. Despite a string of strong performances domestically last season it was Richardson’s debut at UCI level – as she’s made the step up to race with Lifeplus-Wahoo. A 33rd place finish for Richardson is a strong platform for the Scot to build off.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) sees Flynn and Richardson joined by the AT85 duo of Finn Crockett and Stuart Balfour in action at GP Le Samyn – so stay tuned to @ScottishCycling for updates of performances, or tune into the GCN+ for the action.