Published: 17th Jun 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Scots ripping up road and trails

Whilst the weather still doesn’t feel like June, the racing action continues to come thick and fast, with young stars Phoebe Gale and Oscar Onley making waves in Europe.

Mountain Bike World Cup

The Mountain Bike World Cup continued in Val di Sole in Italy, with a number of Scots in action, notably Phoebe Gale (Canyon Cllctv FMD) who rode to an impressive seventh place finish in the Elite Women’s Downhill final. Louise-Anna Ferguson (Intense Factory Racing) was also on solid form, missing out on a final place by just a couple of seconds in 12th place. On the Men’s side, Greg Williamson (Madison Saracen Factory Team) continued his great season to date with a 15th place finish, one spot behind World Champion Charlie Hatton.

In the Junior Women’s race Heather Wilson (Muc-Off Young Guns) qualified sixth, but unfortunately was unable to start the final – we wish her well.

At Home

The Pippa Handley Road Race was the latest round of the Scotia Series, this classic road race taking place in extremely cold and wet conditions down in the borders. Not fazed by the weather, Rebecca Saunderson (Studio Velo) was an impressive solo winner, with Lauren Johnson (Hervelo) and Isla Easto (Solas) rounding out the podium. The Series standings are yet to be confirmed, but some quick maths suggest Easto leads heading into the final round in August, with Saunderson in close contention – all to play for!

Fife Cycle Circuit played host to the latest round of the British Youth Circuit Series, three stages of fast and furious action, starting with an individual time trial, only just enough to separate the next generation of cycling stars. There were plenty of Scots to the fore on home soil, Andrew Levinson (Edinburgh RC) leading the way with a superb second place finish overall in the Open Youth B competition, winning that opening TT and finishing second on stage two. Josh Stewart (Stepping Stanes) and Reuben McLardie (Johnstone Jets) also rode well to take 10th and 11th overall.

In the Female equivalent Zara Main (Deeside Thistle) was also on the podium with a bronze medal performance, third place in the TT setting her up for success. Her club mate Olivia Poole was also up there in fifth, whilst Millie Boothman (Glasgow Riderz) was eighth. Sticking with the females, Melanie Rowe (Deeside) was top Scot in the Youth A’s race with a fine fifth, whilst Elliot Speedie (Edinburgh RC) was 10th in the Youth Open A, notching up a strong second place finish on stage two.

On Friday night Anna Flynn (Spectra Racing) and Keir Gaffney (Vanelli-Project Go) sprinted to victory in the Female and Open races at the latest TCI Friday Crits at Linlithgow’s West Lothian Cycle Circuit.


Oscar Onley (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL) enjoyed a terrific week at one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious one-week stage races, the Tour de Suisse, where he finished eighth on the General Classification. Competing with some of the biggest names in men’s cycling, Onley would take sixth place finishes on the two big mountain days, rounding out his week with a strong 11th place in the Time Trial, a positive indication of his future GC potential. The Kelso man would also finish fourth in the Youth Classification.

In Italy, Callum Thornley (Trinity Racing) underlined his time trial prowess with a fifth place finish in the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia Next Gen, just 16 seconds back on the stage winner. Not done there, on stage seven he rode to a stunning second place, having got up the road early in the day and stayed away on the climb to the finish. All of this comes after a spell on the sidelines with a broken collarbone!

In Spain Callum Twelves took second on the GC at the Villa de Mallen, winning the U23 classification thanks to an impressive Time Trial performance.

Closer to home, Arabella Blackburn (Shibden Hopetech Apex) put in a brilliant ride to secure a spot on the podium at the CAMS Yorkshire Classic, coming home in third place in the latest round of the British Cycling Junior Road Series.

On the track there was Scottish success on the outdoor velodrome at Herne Hill at the UCI South London Grand Prix. Lauren Bell took second in the Women’s Sprint on Thursday night, before she won a competitive Keirin on Friday. Erin Boothman mixed it with her senior counterparts to take fifth in the Omnium, which included a third place finish in the Scratch Race. The next day, Boothman would team up with Lucy Glover for second in the Madison, and Madison Flying Lap, the latter of which was won by Team Scotland star Iona Moir, who also took third in the aforementioned Keirin.