Published: 08th Aug 2023 Images: Scottish Cycling

Fachie completes the treble, whilst Stewart enjoys Madison silver lining

Neil Fachie secured the hattrick on final night of Para-Track at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, capping a magical week, whilst there was further silverware for Scotland in the Madison.

Neil Fachie and his pilot Matt Rotherham teamed up with Lizzie Jordan and pilot Amy Cole in the Mixed Tandem Team Sprint, a relatively new event to the para-cycling programme. With the females leading off over the first laps, it was tight all the way, the Italian’s making a good fight of it before Jordan and Cole peeled off to send Fachie and Rotherham away to a flying final lap and victory.

Of his landmark triple crown, Fachie said:

“It was fun today to be honest. If I could come in here and enjoy it; it’s still a developing event so there’s work to be done and we’ve done one training session together to get an idea of how we could make it happen. But we had a good run in training and qualifying this morning. We knew there were a few things we needed to tweak and I think we made those tweaks, it was a good ride, so we’re just delighted.

“I never thought I’d come away with three golds, I’ve never had the chance before to get three in one Champs. 19 is a nice number but 20 sounds nice, so I guess I’m coming back for more!

“This event was on my list as one I needed to be at as I was here in 2014 and it was one of the absolute highlights of my career. This week has been stunning and it’s just been great to have para-cycling on this platform, not just the tandems this time, but everyone, and I hope it’s a sign of things to come because the fans have been loving it, they loved the tandem sprint yesterday especially. Nothing fires you up like that audience. I’ll remember this week forever, I’ve no doubt.”

Mark Stewart and Ollie Wood delivered a high quality physical and tactical performance over 160 laps to secure a superb silver medal in a typically exciting Men’s Madison.

The field assembled, as you’d expect at a World Championships, was of high calibre, and so they knew they had to be at their best to have a chance of a trip to the podium, and they certainly were.

Picking up minor points early on, the duo took back-to-back wins on sprints eight and nine (with sprints coming every 10 laps), those 10 points putting them into the medal positions. Through the middle of the race a number of pairings tried for lap gains, including the Brits, but nothing was sticking such was the strength of the field.

That meant it would come down to the final few sprints, and particularly the final dash for the line, which offers up double points. Winning the sprint with 20 laps to go gave Stewart and Wood a chance, with three further points on the penultimate charge moving them into a medal position, now just four points off the Dutch leaders.

The last 10 laps were carnage, even more so than the rest of the race, but the finesse of Stewart and panache of Wood meant they ducked and dived, kept their cool, and delivered a superb final three laps to cross the white line in second place, six points securing silver.

Pleased with their efforts, Stewart said afterwards:

“Some of these guys we’re riding against have come off the Tour de France and they’re super strong, so we knew to be in with a shout we had to be clever, bide our time and we did that and we were just two points off [the win]. It’s contrasting feelings – gutted not to get the win as how amazing that would have been to deliver that, but at the same time to be here in Glasgow and to be on the podium, it’s fantastic.”

After adding the Madison World title to her palmares last night, Neah Evans put up a brave defence of her Points Race rainbow bands, but ultimately had to settle for fifth place after a gruelling encounter.

Having won the opening sprint the contest got off to the perfect start for the Aberdonian, but she got caught on the back foot when her main rivals Lotte Kopecky and Georgia Baker attacked to try and gain a lap. A long, hard solo chase later and Evans also gained a lap, but had dug deep into her reserves.

As it turned out she’d dug too deep, as she couldn’t quite find her usual acceleration to pick up enough sprint points to compete for gold. Still in the mix for bronze, she threw the kitchen sink at the last sprint, but came up agonisingly short of a medal in fifth.

Reflecting on her efforts, she said:

“That was tough. I knew how I wanted to race it, but it didn’t go how I was hoping, so I was trying to adapt. I tried to relax and recover [after a big effort to gain a lap] but I didn’t quite have the usual zip that I have in my legs.

“I went much earlier in the final sprint than I would normally, as I didn’t feel I had the zip to sprint, but I couldn’t hold them off. It’s a pretty frustrating day, but that’s bike racing.”

Earlier in the evening Jack Carlin produced a textbook Keirin performance to advance from the opening ride with ease. Drawn one and so starting behind the bike, he let the Israeli come round with two laps to go, laying off the wheel before rushing the gap at the bell, leading the whole way round the last lap to the delight of the crowd. Carlin is full of confidence this week, and it showed with that performance, which pushed Harrie Lavreysen into the repechage.


The Road events continued on the streets of Glasgow, the riders greeted by glorious sunshine as Anna Shackley was one of six riders in the Great Britain Mixed Team Time Trial team.

For those new to the discipline, teams are made up of three men and three women, the men going first and completing a 20.1km lap, before handing over to the women who do the same. Ultimately the country with the fastest combined time is crowned World Champion.

The male trio of Dan Bigham, Ethan Vernon and Josh Charlton got off to a strong start, Charlton pulling a few big turns before peeling off, saving his legs for the U23 Men’s Time Trial tomorrow, leaving his teammates to ride a great two-up to hand over with the team firmly in the medal hunt.

Shackley rolled off the start ramp alongside Pfieffer Georgi and Elynor Backstedt, the three riding as a tight unit for almost the duration until Backstedt peeled off at the foot of Montrose Street, Shackley pushing the pace with Georgi in her wheel over the main climb of the course. Crossing the line they had gone second quickest, but the Germans would go quicker before the Swiss defended their title to ultimately leave the British sextet in fourth place.

Of their efforts, Shackley said:

“It was a very technical course and we don’t ride together so often, so we’ve spent the last few days getting used to riding together. We can be proud of how we did, even if we’re a bit frustrated.”

BMX Flatland

Reece Thomson made history on Tuesday afternoon as he became the first Scot to contest the BMX Flatland at the World Championships.

Having mastered his craft within Edinburgh’s urban environment, Thomson, who is originally from Glasgow, was putting Scottish Flatland on the map today, as he contested Men’s Elite Qualifying. Drawn in the first of six heats, each containing six men, Thomson showcased his skills alongside fellow Brit Matti Hemmings as well as Brazilian, Dutch, Irish and Polish riders.

As you’d expect Thomson got a great reception from the assembled crowd at Glasgow Green, showcasing some great tricks and skills, and loving the experience, eventually finishing 34th.

Speaking afterwards, Thomson said:

“It is amazing to see the sport grow from a little niche activity into a legitimate part of the UCI. To be given the chance to represent my passion in my hometown of Glasgow is a privilege and an honour.

“To be the first Scot to compete is mind blowing and a dream come true, and makes all the years of hard work worth it.”

Wednesday night sees more road action, Callum Thornley going in the U23 Men’s Time Trial in Stirling, the MTB XC Relay in Glentress, before the final Track session of the Championships in the evening, where Carlin and Katie Archibald will go for glory.