Scottish Cycling athletes travel to Manchester ahead of the British Cycling National Track Championships
This week sees the Manchester Velodrome play host to the British Cycling National Track Championships. A line up of 284 riders are confirmed to appear throughout 5 days of competition (25th – 29th September) including World Keirin Champion, Jason Kenny, who will go up against fellow London 2012 Team Sprint gold medallist Philip Hindes in the men’s sprint events. The men’s endurance events will feature Olympic Gold Medallists Ed Clancy and Steven Burke as well as former World Champion Andrew Tennant and Olympic Champions, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King.
In the women’s events, Scottish Commonwealth Games silver medallists in Delhi; Charline Joiner (MG Maxifuel) and Jenny Davis (City of Edinburgh RC) will compete for the 500m time trial title alongside Katie Archibald (City of Edinburgh RC), Louise Haston (City of Edinburgh RC), Emma Baird (City of Edinburgh RC) and Eleanor Richardson (Edinburgh RC). Joiner and Archibald will also compete in the 3000m Individual Pursuit and Davis will compete for the women’s sprint together with Haston, Baird and Richardson. Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC) will be joined by Eileen Roe (Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team), Archibald and Joiner in the points and scratch race. Baird, Davis and Haston will also be lining up for the women’s keirin.
Also taking to the boards will be Commonwealth Games hopefuls Callum Skinner (City of Edinburgh RC) and John Paul (City of Edinburgh RC) competing in the men’s keirin on Friday and the sprint event on Saturday in which Skinner, as reigning champion, will look to defend his title.
Speaking to British Cycling, defending British sprint champion and Commonwealth Games hopeful Callum Skinner, originally from Glasgow said: “It (winning the British National Sprint Champion title) was probably one of my best achievements last year, so to be able to hold onto that or even be close to it would be a great thing.”
“The Commonwealth Games is also big target for me; want to hit that event full on. With ticket sales having drawn to a close, it seems like it is really on the horizon now.”
John Paul, Bruce Croall (City of Edinburgh RC) and Jonathan Biggin (Glasgow Life Track Cycling Team) are hoping to bring a British National Championship medal home to Scotland when they compete for Scottish Cycling (Scotland) in the Team Sprint, however they will be up against strong competition from the likes of Callum Skinner, Philip Hindes and Matthew Rotherham who will be competing for the North West of England.
Team Raleigh rider Evan Oliphant, straight from the Tour of Britain, will be competing in the points and scratch races alongside James McCallum (Rapha Condor JLT) who will also be competing in the omnium.
Another Commonwealth Games hopeful taking to the Manchester track will be Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) who will compete in the 4000m individual pursuit scratch and point’s race.
Paralympic gold medallists Neil Fachie (Ythan CC) and Aileen McGlynn OBE (Champion System/Maxgear/Base) will compete in the para-cycling kilo time trial and flying 200m TT. Scottish para-cycling pilot Craig McLean will also be competing in the keirin and sprint races.
Follow all the latest action at www.britishcycling.org.uk/britishtrackchampionships
Full Rider List
You may have already seen the press release about the return of the Milk Race after a 20 year absence, and, although it’s format for this year is not the stage race of the past, it is still pulling punches by offering equal prize money for both the men’s and women’s events.
“The Dairy Council is proud to announce that legendary cycling event The Milk Race is to make a return to the British sporting calendar after a 20-year absence. “The event, which initially ran between 1958 and 1993, will be reborn as a major city centre race – to take place this year in Nottingham on Sunday 26 May 2013. In its previous incarnation, The Milk Race was the most prestigious multi-stage event in the UK and the (now disbanded) Milk Marketing Board’s 35-year sponsorship remains the longest association that the sport of cycling has ever had. For 2013, The Milk Race will constitute an elite men’s race and an elite women’s race to happen on the same day alongside a full day’s festival of cycling for all the family in Nottingham. The decision to bring back the event, and to re-ignite the link between the ‘white stuff’ and the sport of cycling, was taken by industry bodies The Dairy Council and the Milk Marketing Forum. Dairy Council chairman Sandy Wilkie said: “The Milk Race is undoubtedly the most well remembered and most well regarded cycling event that there has ever been in this country. So to bring it back, and to re-establish such a strong link between milk and sport, is a very exciting development. Much like British cycling, the ‘white stuff’ has gone through something of a renaissance in recent years through the establishment of the celebrity ‘make mine Milk’ campaign, which has included Olympic champion cyclists Ed Clancy and Laura Trott. It’s therefore a perfect partnership for what promises to be a momentous occasion in Nottingham in May.”
Both races have total prize money of over £4,000, which is pretty unheard of for the majority of women’s races in the UK. Entry is open to elite, first, second and third category riders, and the Race Director, Tony Doyle MBE, is keen to attract a field of 60 riders for the women’s event.
The cost of an entry is only £5 – for an event with such a legacy, on closed roads, with crowds, atmosphere, equal prize money and a chance to race with the likes of Olympian Dani King, what more could you ask for?
If you may be thinking about racing but are worried about your other half or your kids, then do not fear, the Milk Race is taking over Nottingham town centre for the day on 26 May, with rides for all the family, face painting, cyclists doing stunts – check out their website for more information: www.themilkrace.com
Men’s Team Pursuit
GOLD – Denmark (FOLSACH, HANSEN, NIELSEN, QUAADE) – 4:01.289
SILVER – Germany (BEYER, BOMMEL, REINHARDT, THIELE) – OVL
BRONZE – Belgium (DE KETELE, DE BUYST, DE PAUW, VAN HOECKE) – 4:06.951
Denmark took GOLD in the Men’s Team Pursuit Final, beating Germany convincingly to win the first gold medal of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Glasgow. Germany lost two riders which gave Denmark the chance to catch their opponents finishing with a time of 4:01.289.
Spain and Belgium faced each other in the bronze medal shoot out on the track, both evenly matched. Spain was the first team to make a mistake as Spain went down to three riders, giving Belgium an immediate advantage. Spain never recovered from their error, resulting in Belgium taking the bronze medal with a time of 4.06.951.
The big shock of the day came in the qualifying when the relatively inexperienced Great Britain team crashed out earlier in the day, with Owain Doull the only rider to stay on his bike as Sam Harrison, Joe Kelly and World Champion Andrew Tennant crashed onto the boards.
World Cup standings after 2 round:
- Belgium (15 points)
- Switzerland (14 points)
- Denmark (12 points)
Women’s Team Sprint
GOLD – Great Britain (VARNISH, JAMES) – 33.428
SILVER – Spain (CALVO BARBERO, CASAS ROIGE) – 34.102
BRONZE – France (CLAIR, MONTAUBAN) – 34.197
Jess VARNISH and Becky JAMES won Great Britain’s first gold medal of the competition, riding a great race to take gold against Spain in a time of 33.428. James replaced the retired Victoria PENDLETON and she and Varnish brought the packed Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome crowd to their feet with a fine ride. This was the second World Cup win for the pair who took gold in the first round in Cali last month and are already proving themselves on the road to Rio 2016.
The bronze medal race saw France and Russia go head-to-head. The race was tipped to be close but France edged out Russia for the medal with a fine performance on track.
World Cup standings after 2 round:
- Great Britain (24 points)
- Japan (13 points)
- Spain (10 points)
Women’s Team Pursuit
GOLD – Great Britain (TROTT, BARKER, KING) – 3:21.043
SILVER – Australia (ANKUDINOFF, CURE, HOSKINS) – 3:22.026
BRONZE – Belarus (SHARAKOVA, DYLKO, PAPKO) – 3:25.737
The two big rivals went head to head in the Women’s team pursuit. The race was a closely fought in the early stages but Great Britain started to pull away at the later stages, gaining a narrow lead over their rivals. The Great Britain trio featured two of the Olympic gold medal winning squad in Laura Trott and Dani King alongside British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme rider 18 year old Elinor Barker.
In the bronze medal race Lithuania always had a lot of work to do if they hoped to beat Belarus. The pattern was set early with Belarus starting well and leaving too big a gap to the Lithuanians to close. Belarus took the bronze medal and lead the standings after two rounds of the series.
World Cup standings after 2 round:
- Belarus (15 points)
- Great Britain (12 points)
- Italy (12 points)
Men’s Team Sprint
GOLD – Germany (ENDERS, FOERSTEMANN, BOETTICHER) – 43.887
SILVER – Great Britain (HINDES, KENNY, CLANCY) – 44.175
BRONZE – France (PALMA, SIREAU, LAFARGUE) – 44.803
Germany won Gold in the Men’s Team Sprint, beating Great Britain in the final. Germany’s performance was just too good for the Olympic Champions who took silver in Ed Clancy’s first race since making the transition from endurance to sprint to fill the place of Sir Chris Hoy’s in the new-look team.
Bronze medal went to France who beat Poland.
World Cup standings after 2 round:
- Germany (24 points)
- Japan (12 points)
- Russia (12 points)
Women’s 500m TT
GOLD – Belarus (PANARINA) – 34.121
SILVER – Germany (VOGEL) – 34.318
BRONZE – Spain (CALVO BARBERO) – 34.451
The Women’s 500m Time Trial race saw Olga PANARINA take gold with Germany’s Kristina VOGEL taking silver and Spain’s Tania CALVO BARBERO taking bronze. Fresh from winning gold in the Team Sprint Great Britain’s Jess Varnish took to the track again, this time finishing 6th.
World Cup standings after 2 round:
- Belarus (12 points)
- Germany (10 points)
- Spain (8 points)
Men’s Scratch Race
GOLD – Switzerland (MARGUET, Tristan)
SILVER – Ireland (IRVINE, Martyn)
BRONZE – Netherlands (EEFTING, Roy)
The race saw a lot of movement in the initial stages with a number of break-out groups through the race. With 23 laps to go, the group came back together with nobody able to get a decent amount of daylight between themselves and the main pack. No one seemed able to make that move that would separate themselves from the pack. Great Britain’s Simon YATES was involved in a number of attempted break away packs. With 15 laps to go another breakout group tried to break away from the peloton but in the end it came down to a sprint which was won by Tristan MARGUET from Switzerland. Martyn IRVINE from Ireland was hugely committed through the entire race and was rewarded with silver. In the bronze medal place was Roy Eefting of the Netherlands.
Omnium I – Flying Lap
Rank 1 Germany (LISS) – 13.252
Rank 2 Switzerland (BEER) – 13.349
Rank 3 Australia (O’SHEA) – 13.354
Omnium II – Points Race 30km
Rank 1 Australia (O’SHEA)
Rank 2 France (BRISSE)
Rank 3 Netherlands (VELDT)
Omnium III – Elimination Race
Rank 1 Spain (ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR)
Rank 2 Australia (O’SHEA)
Rank 3 Czech Republic (RYBIN)
Overall standings after 3 events
Rank 1 Spain (ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR)
Rank 2 Germany (LISS)
Rank 3 Switzerland (BEER)
The crowd were treated to some great action during the first three of six Omnium events on Day 1 of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Glasgow.
Germany’s Lucas Liss drew first blood, posting the fastest time (13.252) in the Flying Lap. Next up was the 30km Points Race which was won by current World Champion Glenn O’Shea of Australia. O’Shea narrowly missed out on a second win as he was outsprinted by Spain’s Unai ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR on the final lap of the Elimination Race.
ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR, who now leads the Omnium at the midway stage. The German, LISS, is in second overall with BEER in third. Great Britain’s Jon Dibben lies in 11thoverall.
BBC Broadcast Times
- Saturday 17 November:
- Sunday 18 November
Newport Velodrome – ©Dave Gratton AKA SunflowerDave (on Flickr)
For someone who always has a lot to say for himself, thinking what to write about is more difficult than I thought! I should hasten to add, that’s not because I can’t think of anything, it’s because I’ve got so many ideas running around in my head it’s so difficult to chose.
So my decision has been made for me because for the first time in weeks I have an hour or so to spare to put pen to paper (yes, I am actually writing this on paper) as I’m sitting in the stands watching my daughter Ffion take part in a Welsh Cycling youth track session. So the subject: the importance of good cycling facilities, specifically Newport Velodrome.
The difference this sporting facility has made to Wales is difficult to quantify, but if you look at the numbers of riders both before and after this facility was built who are at or on their way to the top of the cycling tree, it’s obvious that its impact has been massive! The same can be said of Manchester Velodrome and I am sure it will be the case with the Olympic Velodrome; we should also consider Herne Hill and the riders that have benefitted from that facility. What it shows it that good facilities really do make a difference to the progression of riders coming through the ranks, whatever their cycling discipline. Of course we also need champions to inspire youngsters into the sport, but we’ve got such a conveyor belt going at the moment there is no worry about these facilities being under used.
So what memories have I taken from Newport Velodrome over the last 8 or 9 years that I’ve been making the 30-minute drive from Abergavenny to get here?
Well I might as well start with my number one memory and also because “why shouldn’t women’s cycling be given priority over men’s for a change?” If I can find the photo to accompany this when I next go hunting in the attic I’ll post it at a later date, as even now I find it quite hard to believe. Picture this: a women’s keirin with six riders on the start line. In amongst the six, the current senior World Champion wearing her stripes Clara Sanchez. Also on the start line I think it was Sandie Clair. Next up to them, a few star struck young girls from the UK including two from Wales, my 13-year-old daughter Becky and Katie Curtis. I can’t recall another current senior world champion ever racing in Newport, so that line-up is implanted very firmly in my head. By the way, it was France first and second with Becky coming in third to the disbelief of the French coach, especially when finding out Becky’s age.
As for other memories of female competition in Newport, between 2006 and 2007 the Youth and Junior Track National Championships had such strong fields the racing really was fantastic to watch. Seeing Becky, Lizzie Armistead, Joanna Rowsell, Jess Varnish, Laura Trott, Dani King…(I could go on) racing against each other with Hugh Porter getting very excited on the microphone really was brilliant. Looking back now I honestly think you could see then who was going to make it to the top and they weren’t all winners. The look of determination in a rider’s eyes is something I believe is what sets them apart and that is something you can spot at a young age. If someone happens to win a Youth National Championship on the way to the top that’s nice, but ultimately you need to look at the bigger picture and remember it’s not a sprint, it takes a lot of time and effort to win at elite level. And that’s what people will remember; senior champions not 11-year-old ‘superstars’!
On that last point, some really bad memories for me have been watching young girls of Under 12 and Under 14 level attempting to break a National Record as if it was the be all and end all. They have been all kitted out with the best equipment money can buy and their parents have been shouting so loudly at them as if they were doing it themselves, but why? Many of those I have watched are either no longer riding or just riding now and again. And why provide the best equipment at such a young age? Good equipment yes, but keep the very best as a reward and as an incentive when they are racing at international level. I really would like to see some sort of equipment specification cap on all youth riders to make it more of a level playing field and to give them something to aim for.
While I’m in the process of airing my concerns, the other thing that really worries me is that young riders seem to be specialising on one cycling discipline at ever-younger ages and training to the detriment of their education. Youth sport should not be like that. If I could single out one young rider who has got the balance right and sets an example for other to follow it is Elinor Barker and look where she is now! Elinor has given most forms of cycling a go, but over the time I’ve known her and the family her education has come first. She’s obviously had coaching, but it has been Elinor’s drive and determination to succeed that has won her the Junior World Time Trial and of course her supportive parents (I believe there could be another reason and the same applies to Becky as well; both Graham, Elinor’s dad and myself are ardent Newcastle United followers and maybe it’s because the girls have never seen us celebrate the winning of a trophy that they are doing their bit to cheer us up!).
On the male side of things, at the same time as that outstanding crop of girls I mentioned the boys’ fields were also amazingly strong and they provided fantastic racing to watch. Jason Kenny, Peter Kennaugh, Alex Dowsett, Luke Rowe, Adam Blythe, Andy Fenn…(once again, I could go on) are just a few of the names that cycling fans would recognise from the Olympics and pro-peloton this last year. Despite many outstanding races and individual performances the one that stands out still after these years is Andy Fenn’s Youth 500 metre time trial. Here was someone mixing it up with the best youth riders this country had to offer in all the circuit races around the country and he was winning the endurance and pursuit events on the track. In the 500 metre time trail he was up against all the best youth sprinters in the country including current BC Academy sprint member Peter Mitchell. I can still picture him going around the track now. I seem to recall I was sitting in the stands next to Iain Dyer, National Sprint Coach and Trevor King, father of Dani and a few others and the first thing that came to my mind was that here was the person to follow in Jason Kenny’s footsteps. Well I was wrong on that front, but I really think he has the potential to be the next big road sprinter from GB. I am not saying that Andy will be another ‘Cav’, because I am not sure there’ll be another in my lifetime, but I am sure that he’ll be winning many races and stages over the next few years. Another rider I’ve watched in Newport in a similar mold to Andy is Sam Harrison, although he’s got a few years to catch up yet.
As recent as last winter I was sitting in the stands of Newport Velodrome watching the annual ‘Winter Track League’, which mixes all abilities up into different races, both male and female. In Wales we are very lucky indeed to not only have Elinor Barker coming up into the senior ranks, but we also have Amy Roberts. To see both Elinor and Amy mixing it up with the men in the ‘A’ league really is a great sight and I am really excited about the prospect of those two girls representing Wales and GB around the world over the next few years. The girls often found themselves riding in amongst elite men, well not just elite, but professional riders. Last year watching Luke Rowe, Magnus Backstedt, Jonny Bellis and many more on a Tuesday night with the rain hammering down on the velodrome roof, whilst sipping a cup of tea, is fascinating, enjoyable and a relaxing time in amongst my hectic lifestyle.
I have never been in Newport Velodrome with a full stand of spectators, but with the success of this last season and the accessibility of cycling stars to the general public I think I might get to see that over the next couple of years. What Newport needs is the right event to fill the stands, something that has got my mind running wildfire again! Now, if that event gives equal precedence to the women riders or better still star billing, wouldn’t that be amazing?
…Next time, whenever that will be, I’ll probably write about organising my first ever hill-climb and also about the importance and thrills of cyclocross.
Thanks for reading.