The Youth Tour of Scotland is a four day stage race around Perthshire which takes place between 7th-10th April. The event which is in its sixth consecutive year has 38 teams competing from all over the UK, Ireland and Isle of Man.
Keep up to date with startlists, results and reports all weekend here...
Stage 1: Forteviot Road Race
If we were to say that the weather was better than last year, then it would be an understatement. The sun was shining on the village of Forteviot for Stage 1 of the Youth Tour of Scotland 2017 and everyone who was there will now have the suntan to prove it.
The girls set off at 10.30 am – and they set off fast. When a strong bunch came back into Forteviot to start their second lap of the hilly course there was not two, not three but four Welsh jerseys in the group.
It was Elynor Backstedt (Team Wales) who proved the strongest though, sitting in podium positions for the sprint lap, and both Queen of the Mountains to finish the race with the Points, polka dot, Team and the well sought after Yellow jersey for General Classification.
Pedal Power RT were pushing hard on Stage 1 too, with Harriet Harmen (Pedal Power RT) taking second place to Elynor in the Points, Queen of the Mountain and General Classification. Pedal Power RT all took second place in the team competition too.
All of the 67 riders who took to the start line fought hard for their positions, and with a 20% rise in girl’s entries since 2016 they had a fuller, more challenging field to work with.
It was Amy Cole from Team Wales who made it onto the Yellow jersey podium behind team mate Elynor and Pedal Power’s Harriet.
Lucy Gadd (BC South) took third place in the points, and Olivia Bent (Team Jadan Weldtite) third place in the Queen of the Mountain competition.
BC South went on to take third place in the team competition, behind Wales and Pedal Power RT.
Not forgetting the Youth Tour of Scotland Scottish blue jersey podium, with Imani Pereira-James (SC West A), Anna Shackley (SC West A) and Eve Martin (Team Jadan Weldtite) taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Look out for Imani in the blue jersey tomorrow.
It was Amy Monkhouse from Team Jadan-Weldtite who was chosen as the deserving winner of the Peter Clark Memorial Award. Amy took ill the night before the race yet, adamant to ride, signed on and completed all of the laps.
Once the girls finished their race, the spectators had time to grab a cup of tea and a cake from Forteviot Village Hall and bask in the sunshine, before getting ready to cheer on the boys in the afternoon.
When the boys set of at 12.45, it wasn’t long before the bunch split – this multiplying of groups kept happening throughout – meaning that spectators didn’t have to wait for long in the village of Forteviot before seeing another group go past.
The Points and King of the Mountain jerseys were a battle between three, Alfie George (Scottish Cycling North East), Max Walker (RL 360 Isle of Man A) and Zach Bridges (Team Wales.)
Alfie took the green jersey for points, followed by Max and Zach on the podium; whereas Max got the spotty jersey, with Zach in second and Alfie taking third.
There was a slight crash in a bunch of riders, but they got back on their bikes and continued on – even one rider who had lost his saddle. Samuel Beckett from Team Wales powered on for a further two laps, much to the First Aid’s dismay! This determination to continue made him the definite winner of the Peter Clark Memorial Award.
The final sprint was between a group of five, and it was Scottish Cycling North East’s Alfie George who took the yellow jersey – starting his final Youth Tour of Scotland strong! Ollie Rees (BC Yorkshire) and Zach Bridges (Team Wales) were second and third respectively.
It was Wales who took the top spot for the team jersey, meaning that Team Wales is in the lead in both the girls and boys competition coming out of Stage 1. RL 360 Isle of Man A took second place with Lichfield CC in third.
Winning the blue jersey in the boys for the top Scot was Alfie George (Scottish Cycling North East), followed by Alex Dent (SC North) and Oran McConville (SC West A) respectively.
The prizes and jerseys were presented at Strathallan School by Earn Community Council for Forgandenny Paul Vallot, Earn Community Council for Forteviot Diana Roff and Scottish Cycling Board Member Kate Cullen.
Scottish Cycling were also delighted that Peter Clark’s wife Marjory, daughter Rona and grandson Ellis were able to come along and present the Peter Clark Memorial Award.
The Tour continues tomorrow at St. David’s, Madderty with a team time trial and road race.
Stage 2: St. David's Time Trial
Stage 3: St. David's Road Race
Scottish Cycling took the Youth Tour of Scotland back to the St. David’s circuit near the village of Madderty for Stages 2 and 3 of the competition. The tour hasn’t used the flat and picturesque circuit since 2012 and the locals were very pleased to have it back, lining the roads to cheer on the riders.
Stage 2 was a team time trial, when the girls set off the wind was picking up and the misty morning cloud was determined not to lift. The weather wasn’t much warmer when the boys took to the course – however it must have had an effect because both girls and boys teams were flying round the course in slick formation.
Even when Robyn Jones of Scottish Cycling East and Central B decided to take up Cyclocross when she came off the course, she stayed upright and got back on – this cross discipline skill put her up front for the Peter Clark Memorial Award in the Girls Stage 2.
It was Team Wales who were fastest in the girl’s race with a time of 9 minutes 14 seconds, Pedal Power RT were only 14 seconds behind, and BC South 26 seconds behind the leader.
Coming out of Stage 2, Elynor Backstedt kept the yellow jersey, Eve Martin kept the Scottish blue jersey and Team Wales stayed in top position.
The boy’s results were extremely close, with Ireland in the top position with 8 minutes 43 seconds, Wales and Yorkshire following behind missing out by only a tenth of a second and three tenths of a second respectively.
Fred Ball was the winner for the Peter Clark Memorial Award in Stage 2, after continuing to battle his way to line despite being dropped by his team; the Commissaires were particularly impressed by his sprinters push at the line.
By the time the afternoon’s road racing began black clouds were looming across the hills in the distance, but spectators were determined to believe the weather forecast – and that the rain wouldn’t start until 5 pm (they were right!)
The girls had an eventful race – tactically sticking together right up until the last sprint to the line. Eve Barrow (Salt Ayre Cogset) crossed the line first, quickly followed by Maeve Gallagher (Ireland) and Aleshia Mellor (BC West Midlands.)
Team Wales continued to hold onto their winning team title too – and will be in the red jersey’s going into the final race.
In Stage 3 Anna Flynn (SC East and Central A), Eilidh Shaw (SC East and Central A) and Eve Martin (Team Jadan Weldtite) were the top positioning Scots – however in the overall classification it is still Eve, Anna Shackley (SC West A) and Imani Pereira-James (SC West A) that will be in blue tomorrow.
The Peter Clark Memorial Award for Stage 3 Girls went to Amelia Southall from BC West Midlands who did a sterling job of getting back into the peloton after a mechanical.
However, it will be Elynor Backstedt who will stay in the yellow jersey tomorrow; she is also still leading the Points competition, with Harriet Harnden (Pedal Power RT) in the top position for Queen of the Mountain.
When the boys set off they started by following the girl’s tactic and staying together – however competition got the better of them and by lap five there was a strong lead group of six flying out of the front.
One rider from Scottish Cycling North, Jed Scott, became the obvious winner for the Peter Clark Memorial Award after riding most of the course one handed after a minor crash so he could cross the finish line – after a quick visit for an x-ray he appeared back at Strathallan School to collect his Endura Scotland socks prize.
The lead group was eventually swallowed up by the bunch in the last lap and it was Sam Watson (Yorkshire), Tosh Teare (RL 360 Isle of Man A) and Samuel Pugh (Sportcity Velo) who crossed the line for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. However the results were not enough to take the yellow jersey from Zach Bridges (Team Wales) who will go into the final stage wearing it tomorrow.
RL 360 Isle of Man A retained their team position and retained their red jersey’s. Alfie George from Scottish Cycling North East also managed to retain his lead in both the Scottish category and the Points competition after Stage 3.
The famous polka dot jersey for King of the Mountain will be worn by Max Walker of RT 360 Isle of Man A as we go into the most popular stage, the Forgandenny Kermesse.
Let’s hope the sun shines tomorrow!
Stage 4: Forgandenny Kermesse
Spirits were high as we woke up for the final day and Stage of the Youth Tour of Scotland, not even an inconsiderate downpour of rain and huge gust of wind put the riders off getting to the start line at Strathallan School campus for the Kermesse.
By the time the girls lined up to go, the rain and wind had eased but the new slick tarmac on the Kermesse course was slippy, and the sides of the course had become streams of mud.
The short, narrow, circuit only took the girls just over 4 minutes to get round once so the spectators got to see them again and again, particularly as the steep hill towards the finish line started to fracture the bunch from the very first lap.
It was Harriet Harnden, Pedal Power RT, who took the top podium spot for Stage 4 – a consistently strong rider throughout the whole competition. Scottish Cycling East and Central’s Anna Flynn came 2nd, a course which would have suited her mountain bike skills. Olivia Bent from Team Jadan-Weldtite took the final podium place.
However it wasn’t enough to knock Elynor Backstedt (Team Wales) out of the general classification lead who won the yellow jersey across all four stages. Team Wales also continued to keep their streak in the Team competition.
For the winning Scots of Stage 4 it was Anna Flynn (Scottish Cycling East and Central A), Imani Pereira-James (Scottish Cycling West A) and Anna Shackley (Scottish Cycling West A) who took 1st 2nd and 3rd. This meant that Anna Flynn also won the leading female Scot competition across the weekend.
Once the final points had been calculated it was Harriet Harnden (Pedal Power RT) who goes home with the green jersey, and also goes home with the polka dot jersey too for Queen of the Mountain.
It was Morven Yeoman from Scottish Cycling West who won the Peter Clark Memorial Award, a first year Youth B who was determined not to be left behind by the bunch, continually fighting to get back on throughout the race.
The boys were waiting eagerly to get lined up and when the start was called they were off like a shot – lots of aggression in the first lap so the leading riders could ensure their space at the front; with laps taking just over three and a half minutes each.
The sun had dried up most of the course by the time the boys started, however it didn’t make the tarmac any easier to get a grip of – a few topples on the climb saw chains come off – but every rider got back on and continued.
Much like the girls, the boys did start to string out along the course, working in smaller groups to get round – but by the time it came to the final sprint it was between two riders as they left the bunch behind.
It was Alfie George, Scottish Cycling North East, who came over the line first – sealing the deal for his overall general classification. Alfie has come to the Tour at every possible opportunity so we were delighted to see him win the yellow jersey on his last ever year before he becomes a Junior. Second and third place were both taken by British Cycling Yorkshire, Sam Watson and Ollie Rees respectively.
It was Green Jersey RT who were the leading team on Stage 4, but just not enough to knock RL 360 Isle of Man off the top spot who left winning the overall team competition.
Scottish riders Alfie George (Scottish Cycling North East), Charlie Aldridge (Scottish Cycling East and Central) and Louie Doig (Scottish Cycling West B) who were the Stage 3 blue jersey podium. Alfie retained his jersey to be the overall winner of the Scottish competition.
Not enough with yellow and blue, but Alfie George also took away the green jersey for the points competition, Ollie Rees (British Cycling Yorkshire) and Max Walker (RL 360 Isle of Man) sitting second and third place.
Max Walker (RL 360 Isle of Man) did however come away with the King of the Mountain title overall.
In the boy’s race, the Peter Clark Memorial Award was given to Hugo Lutz-Atkinson (Speedflex RT) who came off his bike, but got back on to chase down the bunch; sheer determination to finish the Youth Tour of Scotland.
The final prizes were presented by Mike Williamson, Perth and Kinross Council, Tracy Pattinson from Strathallan School, Kathy Gilchrist, Scottish Cycling Chair and Gary Coltman, Head of Performance at Scottish Cycling.
Scottish Cycling would like to thank Bridge of Earn Community Council of Forteviot and of Forgandenny, also to Forteviot Community for the teas and coffee’s at Stage 1. St. David’s Village also for being so welcoming – and an overall thank you to Perth and Kinross Council.
We would also like to extend thanks to all of the staff at Strathallan School and our volunteers and officials; the Youth Tour of Scotland would not happen without them.