Lyall Craig (Glasgow Track Racing Club) won his first individual national title in style during a very exciting Sprint event.
Off the back of his gold in Friday’s Team Sprint Craig qualified quickest with a Championships-record of 10.128 for 200m in the early qualifying session.
Progression in the Quarter Final set up a semi-final against rising star Issac Small (Deeside Thistle), where Craig was able to progress through in straight rides.
The other semi-final saw William Munday (Glasgow Track RC) just edge out Ryan Lateward (SES Racing) by the barest of margins in the first of three rides and did enough in the second heat to set-up an all-GTRC final.
After victory by the slenderest of margins in round one, Craig led out the sprint in round two and despite a late charge by his teammate, was able to hold on to claim the National title.
Lyall Craig claims his first ever individual Scottish National title after an impressive 2-0 victory in the final of the Open Sprint, with Glasgow Track RC teammate Will Munday claiming 🥈
Ryan Lateward (SES Racing) wins 🥉
— Scottish Cycling (@ScottishCycling) December 9, 2023
The first medals of the day were decided in the morning with the Female 500m Time Trial.
It was welcome to see the return of Lucy Grant (Peebles CC) to racing after a lengthy spell out with injury, however there was no sign of sluggishness on her return with the sprinter producing an excellent performance to take the clubhouse lead with a time of 35.667.
It was the pre-race favourite of Ellie Stone (Black Line) who was able to usurp her friend and training partner to the gold medal, with her 35.136 a commendable time from the Scot after a heavy racing programme in recent weeks. Glasgow Track Racing Club’s Sylvia Misztal claimed bronze with a strong 36.236.
The morning session also saw the Female Team Pursuits with a mix of composite and club teams challenging for the medals.
The bronze final saw the RT23-led composite team catch the team from University of Glasgow.
The gold medal final saw a battle of youth against experience with over 130 years age difference between the two teams combined; the Junior Deeside Thistle/JRC-Interflon composite team catch the team from VC Astar Anderside – who are the World Masters Champions in this discipline.
The 4km Individual Pursuit is always a test for the endurance riders, and is arguably the toughest event on the track, mentally.
There were some strong rides in qualifying, but Callum Twelves (Torres-Fernando Barcelo) was top of the charts come the final. A solid time of 4:35.730 was enough to best Ahron Dick (The Cycling Academy) in the final by a couple of seconds, with the young rider in the orange and blue kit of the The Cycling Academy keeping Twelves honest throughout.
Lewis Dey (RT23) was able to remain consistent throughout the bronze final to take the medal after a clawing back a deficit on the fast-starting Liam Scott Douglas (JG Cycles).
The Keirin is always one of the most exciting races of any track meet, and Saturday’s Female final was no different. Sometimes committing to the front of the race is important in the keirin and it proved true for Kirsty Johnson (Edinburgh RC). Johnson went out front early and despite both Madeleine Silcock and Lucy Grant attempting to come over the top, neither where able to displace Johnson, who claimed the victory.
Ellie Stone managed to navigate the physicality of the keirin the best to claim silver, and Sylvia Misztal the bronze – her second of the day.
The bunch races closed off the afternoon’s action, and 120 laps faced the hardy souls that took on the 30km Points Race.
The format is pretty simple, a sprint every ten laps (points awarded for the first four across the line 5,3,2 & 1) with 20 points for gaining/losing a lap – and double points on the finish line.
An early lap gain was crucial by Aaron King (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) to give the Perth native a 20 point lead and set the tempo for the race.
As we entered the closing stages, King’s lap gain kept the mathematics simple – stay on the lead lap and the gold medal would head his way.
Callum Twelves, not content with one gold medal on Saturday, knocked on the door with constant attacks to try to break the elastic of an ever-tiring and shrinking peloton. His move with 35 laps to go, had strong potential but a concerted effort by Kier Gaffney (Spokes RT) and King shut it down – but only after Twelves had consolidated his second place.
The final sprint saw double points awarded and was crucial for both Gaffney and Ahron Dick, who were chasing the final step on the podium. Once Matti Dobbins broke free to take the 10 points on the line, it meant that the winner of Dick and Gaffney would take the bronze medal.
After a thrilling climax, Dick did just enough to score second across the line and take the bronze medal on countback.
The Female 10km Scratch Race over 40 laps was our final race of the day, and Eilidh Shaw (Alba Development RT) was determined to improve upon her silver medal from Friday, by taking the initiative and gaining a lap in the early stages to dictate how the race would pan out.
Several attacks from teammate Vicky Smith and Bella Butler (GTRC) were unable to come to fruition – leaving the fight for the minor medals up for grabs.
The sprint for the line saw Butler take on the sprint, marked by Shaw, with Jude Patterson (RT23) claiming bronze after riding a very disciplined and quiet race until the final stages.
Throughout the day, we saw a number of non-championship Para-cycling events, with Christopher Burns (Ireland) winning the Male C1-C5 Kilometre Time Trial, with a factored time of 1:07.372
While the tandem of Thomas Wing & Joshua Dunham won the Tandem Sprint and the Kilometre events – the latter with a time of 1:09.795.
It’s hopefully more of the same again tomorrow for Day Three to round off these Championships, as we’ll see the Female Sprint and Points Races, the Open Kilometre, Scratch Race and Keirin amongst the action as a magnificent seven more national titles will be awarded.