Published: 08th Dec 2023 Images: Scottish Cycling

Friel breaks record in fast start to Scottish National Track Championships

Rob Friel (Vanelli-Project GO) provisionally broke the British Veteran 40 record in the Open 3km Individual Pursuit on his way to gold as the Scottish National Track Champs got underway on Friday evening at the Emirates Arena.

The Scottish National Senior Track Championships started in earnest on Friday evening with four national titles up for grabs, as the riders raced against the clock for honours.

The racing got off with a bang with the Open Veteran 40+ 3km Individual Pursuit, Rob Friel (Vanelli-Project GO) clocked the fastest time in qualifying of 3:21.106, which breaks the British record for Veteran 40 riders, subject to ratification.

Friel caught and passed teammate Andy Bruce in his Heat, who qualified second fastest with a time of 3:35.846.

The pair met again an hour later in the Gold Medal final, with Friel making the catch just over 2km into the race.

Karl Farmer (VC Glasgow South) won the bronze after catching Graeme Bodel (Vanelli-Project GO) in the Bronze Medal final.

The crowd inside the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome (tickets on sale here for Days 2 & 3) were treated to an excellent battle in the Female 3km Individual Pursuit between two Alba Development Road Team riders.

Scottish National Road Race and Circuit Champion Eilidh Shaw and teammate Victoria Smith met in the Gold Medal final – with Shaw taking the early advantage. However, Smith was able to claw back the deficit in the middle kilometre of the effort and turn the tide of the race to her advantage.

The final kilometre saw Smith consolidate her lead to claim the gold medal, with Shaw taking silver. The bronze medal went the way of Deeside Thistle’s rising star Millie Thomson, who once again impressed, only narrowly missing out on the Gold Medal final in qualifying by 0.18 seconds. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Commonwealth Youth Games Gold Medallist over the next two days.

There was action too for the sprinter this evening with the Open and Female Team Sprint titles up for grabs.

Glasgow Track Racing Club are a team that we will see a lot of this weekend, and the Open Team Sprint was no exception.

Their A squad of William Munday, Lyall Craig and Luthias Arthur is packed with UCI racing experience and lived up to their tag as favourites by claiming victory, but they have to work hard for their respective gold medals. Their opponents in the final were the GTRC B Squad of Jeremy Franks, James Ross and Issac Small who were a second behind their clubmates, to claim a well-deserved silver.

The Bronze Final ensured a Glasgow Track Racing Club lockout – with the David Blyth, Struan Ferns and Liam Scott Douglas – fittingly representing the C squad – edging out the team from the University of Glasgow to lockout the podium.

The Female Team Sprint saw the Scotland Performance Development Squad of Ellie Stone, Christina Smith and Kirsty Johnson become Scottish Champions. The trio did come into the Team Sprint as favourites but were pushed by a strong effort of the trio representing Glasgow Track Racing Club.

Stone, who comes into these Championships off the back of a strong block of racing including the UCI Track Champions League and Newport GP, finished off the national squad’s efforts – with their times just outside the 50 second mark (50.454) , a second ahead of the GTRC trident of Rebecca Howard, Sylvia Misztal and Madeleine Silcock.

It was a very busy night for Eilidh Shaw, who was part of the University of Glasgow team that claimed bronze – with Miriam Gilbride and Amelia Shuttleworth.

Racing starts at 09:30 on Day Two, which sees seven more National Champions crowned, a live stream of the afternoon’s racing is available here from around 13:30 GMT.