Strong Scottish Cycling Team head to the boards of Manchester

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

Event Schedule

 

 

“STOP! Cyclists!” An Alternative View of the Cheshire Classic

Andy Wood of Weaver Valley Cycling Club has achieved many things in his first year as organiser of arguably the biggest and most hotly contested women’s race on the domestic calendar – the Cheshire Classic.  Not only did he source amazing sponsors in Epic Cycles, Delamere Dairy, De Vere Hotels and Roberts Bakery, as well as support from the Breeze Network and Halfords, but he also managed to persuade British Cycling to get their act together with the Accredited Marshals Scheme that has been promised for so long.

(c) Ed Rollason Photography

Closed roads for a road race are pretty much unheard of – for a start it costs too much, and when, as an organiser, you are often pushed to the limit financially to put your event on, then road closures are the last thing on your list.  It also depends on where your course goes too – and the Cheshire Classic goes up and down a bypass, so the local council are never going to go for that.  However, with Accredited Marshals comes a new concept – stopping the traffic with lollipop signs but instead of them saying “Stop! Children!” the say “Stop! Cyclists!”

 

The first thing that I noticed on the way to the headquarters, was the large number of “Caution! Cycle Event!” signs on your approach to the bypass.  This meant that drivers had warning from an early stage that there was an event on – not a small side hiding in a grass verge – but a sign on every lamp post in the couple of hundred metres leading up to the area where the accredited marshals were going to be in place, so drivers had no excuse.  The next tell tale sign was “Traffic Control Ahead” which is probably what the drivers didn’t want to see!

 

(c) Ed Rollason Photography

 

How did it affect the race?  Well there were two main sticking points on the course – firstly the entry on to the bypass – this is a single carriageway bypass, with no central reservation and cars will speed down that section of road so it is very dangerous.  The presence of the accredited marshals meant that the bunch was able to enter the main road from the sweeping left-hand bend without worrying about oncoming traffic.  The second tricky place was the main climb, where the finish is, “The Cliff” on Acton Lane, where the gradient gets steeper towards the top.  Again, the presence of the accredited marshals meant that cars had to stop at the top of the climb whilst the riders came through, which also meant that all of the road was used (until you came around the bend to find the stopped car!)

 

(c) Ed Rollason Photography

© Ed Rollason Photography

It was a classic Cheshire Classic, with Karla Boddy of MG Maxifuel taking the win in a tight sprint finish with Emma Grant of Matrix Fitness.  A superb ride by Karla, who was understandably emotional at the finish!  But, in my humble opinion, there was another star in the making – it was Andy Wood’s first solo attempt at organising a bike race, which was one of the most well-organised events I have been able to attend.  I only hope that the riders appreciate all the hard work and effort he put into the event to make it such a great success.

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