The Scots were on top form at the British Track Champs in Newport with Neah Evans and Fin Graham turning up the style in their World Champions jerseys.
British Track Champs
The opening day of action saw Neah Evans waste no time in adding another British title to her burgeoning medal collection as she dominatedthe Women’s Individual Pursuit with a new Scottish record (subject to ratification) in the first round, while Scottish champion Kate Richardson (Lifeplus-Wahoo) finished in a solid fourth place.
After her win, Evans said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s one of these things where I knew I’d been training really well and I hadn’t done a huge amount on the track, which was always the plan. It was a little bit of an unknown coming into it and I surprised myself with the time. Yes, I’ve got bigger targets this year, but it’s always nice to come to nationals and take away the title.”
Michael Gill (WattShop) qualified fastest in 4:13.774 in the men’s individual pursuit, and rode to a superb silver medal in the final – a great first outing in his new Huub-Wattshop colours. Tim Shoreman (Wheelbase CabTech-Castelli) came home in sixth place.
It wasn't just a day for the enduros as there was a bronze for Lauren Bell (Team Inspired) in the Women’s Sprint, as the Forres Sprinter battled her way through the competition, despite crashing last week in Portugal. Ellie Stone (Black Line) missed out on the medal rides as she bowed out of the competition at the quarter-final stage.
In the men’s team sprint, Glasgow Track Racing Club came home with an excellent bronze medal. The trio of Luthais Arthur, Lyall Craig and Niall Monks beat Team Enhanced in the bronze final with a strong 45.762.
World champion Fin Graham (Para-T) was unstoppable in the men’s C1-3 pursuit, crossing the line in 3:25.128 to break the national record and retain his title for another year.
Graham said: “It’s amazing to get another national title and race in the world championship kit too. It’s always special to win a national championships and gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the rest of the season. I didn’t really know where my form was at – the last time I did a pursuit was Track Worlds – so it gives me a lot of confidence to have broken the national record, especially with a home World Championships in Glasgow later this year.”
Paralympic bronze medallists Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl were crowned the women’s para pursuit tandem champions, finishing in 3:32.129.
Neah Evans animated the women’s scratch race, attacking multiple times on her way to claiming the silver medal, adding to her gold from Friday night.
It was also a case of another day, another provisional Scottish Record, this time set by Alba Development Road Team in the Women's Team Pursuit as their 4:41.6 in the final won them a silver medal. The quartet of Sophie Lankford, Evie White, Eilidh Shaw and Beth Maciver were caught in the final but stayed together to set a new record as they constantly improve as a quartet.
There was a great silver for Calum Moir (Zappi Junior RT) in the men’s Kilometre TT; it was a nervous wait for the Scottish national omnium champion, but Moir’s 1:03.713 was enough to claim second place.
The men’s sprint competition is always one of the highlights of any championships, and it was no different in Newport. Jack Carlin continued his return to racing with a silver medal, and was involved in one of the tightest finishes you’ll see on the track all year. A word too for Lyall Craig (Glasgow Track RC), a fourth-place finish was an excellent performance which saw the GTRC rider come home as the top amateur rider.
The final day of the championships mirrored the opening day, with total domination by Neah Evans. A second gold medal, this time in the points race, this time in her world champion's jersey.
Evans said afterwards:
“I’m delighted to retain two titles from last year so a very good weekend for me! Having the world champs stripes gives you a bit of a target on your back, but I went in with a plan and executed the race as I planned, so I'm really pleased."
There were also second gold medals of the weekend for our other World Champions, as Jenny Holl piloted Sophie Unwin to sprint success in the Women's Tandem Kilo, while Libby Clegg and Georgia Holt took the silver, less than a second behind on 1:09.988 – a massive achievement having only been paired together for six months.
Fin Graham (Para-T) stormed to his second national title of the week, winning the para time-trial MC1-3 in a time of 1:09.085, before adding silver in the Para-Mixed Scratch Race.
The men’s keirin saw Carlin claim another silver medal, while Scottish national champion Niall Monks (Glasgow Track RC) claimed an impressive bronze, wrapping up an impressive championship for the Scottish club.
In the Women’s Team Sprint a Scotland team of Lauren Bell, Iona Moir and Ellie Stone qualified third fastest and managed to secure the bronze medal with a 50.209 clocking, Moir matching her brother's medal winning escapades.
Michael Gill also claimed a bronze medal as part of a men’s team pursuit quartet representing BC East Midlands.
Alex Ball (Zappi RT) won the men’s race at the final Linlithgow Cross to be held before the new West Lothian Cycle Circuit opens later this year.
Ball beat out MTB star Charlie Aldridge, who was naturally on his MTB, by just under two minutes, with Ruan Vorster (West Lothian Clarion) coming home in third place.
Scottish national champion Anna McGorum (Edinburgh University) claimed the win in the women’s race, getting the better of Lotta Mansfield (Montezuma's Race Team), with Elena McGorum (DUMRCC) in third.
The race also acted as the Scottish Student Sport Championships with Alex Ball (Stirling Uni) and Anna McGorum doubling up as both race winners and Student Champions.
There was a first outing in the new British Champion's jersey for Cameron Mason (Trinity Racing) at the UCI Class 1 Flandriencross round in Hamme. Mason chose black shorts with his kit, a wise decision as the mud was pretty thick in Belgium.
A solid ride to sixth place prepares the Scot perfectly for next weekend’s World Championships in the Netherlands, where he’ll be hoping to claim a top result.
Tour of Sharjah
Kyle Gordon (Torq CT) became the first Scot to claim a UCI win on the road in 2023, as he won Stage 1 of the Tour of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. The highlander claimed the yellow jersey in the prologue, which he unfortunately lost on Stage 2 by a single second.
Despite the mountainous Stage 3, Gordon attacked off the front of the peloton to gain an advantage on the flat before the road went uphill – the Scot ended up in 20th place on general classification with two days to go.