ERC/Martin Currie Race Team

Tuesday, 16th April, 2013


I was asked to write about some of things I have been doing through the winter with the British Talent Team. My highlight of the winter was the Development World Cup. This was held at Glasgow Velodrome which was great for me. It’s a three day camp / competition where the whole of the sprint and endurance talent team and Olympic development programme squad race different track races. The endurance athletes ride in an Omnium which consists of the flying lap, point’s race, scratch race, elimination race, a pursuit and a kilometre time trial. Plus another couple of races for practice.

 The first race was the flying lap which is one of my weakest events and I was disappointed with my time of 15 87. But my highlight of the competition has to be my elimination race and scratch race. In the elimination I was started off right at the back but I kept my focus and when gaps opened up in front I slipped through and finally found my self near the front. I had to keep my focus because just a slight moment of laps in concentration and I could find my self at the back. As the laps passed the group started to get smaller and smaller and I found myself surrounded by all the best riders for junior and youth. Eventually all the youths were out and it was just me left to race the juniors. I found it hard as the juniors would try to bully me around the track to put me out but I put my elbows out and just rode my hardest. I stayed in for what felt like ages but eventually I was stuck at the back and met with a wall of juniors in front of me and no where to sneak through.  

The scratch race was not part of the Omnium but was a bonus race which I was the only endurance youth rider allowed to race after my performance in the elimination race. I was a little nervous as it was just me racing against the best in Britain and some of the best junior and under 23 riders in the world. I tried to stay confident and just ride my own race. With about 20 laps remaining I managed to jump away in a group of 5. It was a really strong group and I was confident we could get away and maybe get the lap. I was really pushing hard but still managing to give equal half lap changes with the group. We managed to gain the lap within about 13 laps and it was all down to the final gallop to the line. I struggled to beat the older riders in the final kick but I was really pleased to put in a good performance in front of all the talent team, ODP coaches plus a couple guessed couches like Paul Manning.

I would say on the whole I was pleased with my development world cup. It had its ups and it had its down but it was a great learning experience and I gained a lot out of it. It was great to race with some of the best up and coming riders that Britain has to offer and to learn as much as I can from them and the coaches.

Written by Stuart Balfour







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