The ERC Martin Currie Race Team (MCRT) was formed in early 2011 to provide a progression path for ERC’s Under 16 members who were keen develop their talent in cycle sport and were willing to put in the hard work and dedication required to achieve their full potential.
With funding coming from Martin Currie Investment Management, Sportsmatch and the Braveheart fund, the team has very quickly established itself as a top Youth team in Scottish and UK Road, Track and Mountain Bike racing.
This annual report gives a quick overview of a very long 2011 season and thanks are due to our sponsors, parents, coaches and riders for making this first season such a success.
The team has taken part in all major competitions in Scotland, including all national championships and race series Results achieved have been remarkable and we are now regarded as amongst the most successful youth teams in Scotland.
While achieving success on Track and Mountain Bike, these are areas where improvements could still be made. The opening of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow in October 2012 will at last provide all riders in Scotland with a year round facility which can be the springboard for further success.
In mountain bike we need to further develop the skills and speed required for the discipline and to continue to encourage the club’s younger membership to compete and improve.
Notable wins in Scottish competitions were:
U16 Girls Scottish Road Champion : Louise Borthwick
U16 Girls Scottish Time Trial Champion : Louise Borthwick
U16 Girls Track Sprint Champion : Louise Borthwick
U16 Girls Skinny Tyre Series Winner : Louise Borthwick
U16 Boys Skinny Tyre Series Winner : Sean Noon
U14 Boys Scottish Road Champion : Stuart Balfour
U14 Boys Scottish Time Trail Champion : Stuart Balfour
U14 Boys Skinny Tyre Series Winner : Stuart Balfour
U14 Girls Scottish Road Champion : Lulu Bartlett
U14 Girls Scottish Track Omnium Champion : Lulu Bartlett
U14 Girls Skinny Tyre Series Winner : Lulu Bartlett
U14 Girls Scottish Time Trial Champion : Emma Borthwick
In addition there have been numerous podium finishes in many Scottish championships and races.
For young riders a higher level of competition is encountered south of the border. The formation of the team has allowed its members to tackle this higher standard of racing and to undertake longer and more challenging trips.
This included a major team trip to the 3 day/5 stage Youth Tour of the North West. This competition attracted top teams from the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic as well as the UK – meaning standards were high are the racing exacting.
Riders also travelled to many races in the British Cross Country Mountain Bike and the British Road Race Series where they pitted themselves against the best in the UK. In addition the team was well represented at the Road, Track and Mountain Bike British Championships.
Notable results in British events were:
3rd U14 Boys Track Omnium Final : Stuart Balfour
6th U14 Boys MTB Cross Country Championship : Stuart Balfour
6th U16 Girls Road Race Championship : Louise Borthwick
5th U16 Girls Track Points Race Championship : Louise Borthwick
7th U14 Boys MTB Cross Country Championship : Francis Webb
10th U14 Girls Track Omnium Championship : Lulu Bartlett
10th U14 Girls MTB Cross Country Championship : Emma Borthwick
In addition Louise Borthwick, Lulu Bartlett, Stuart Balfour, Sean Noon, Francis Webb and Emma Borthwick all achieved a top ten finish in at least one round of the British Road or Cross Country series.
With the support of parents many of the team’s young riders took part in competitions abroad. This overseas experience is essential for riders to learn how to win races at home and abroad.
During July Hamish Carrick and Louise Borthwick both trained and raced in the Basque Country and both achieved success. Hamish combined with 3 other Scottish riders to post the best time in the Basque Team Time Trial Championship and Louise took the 3rd podium spot in the Under 16 age group of the prestiegious Gobierno de la Rioja women’s road race.
Stuart Balfour travelled to France and the Isle of Mann for competitions and many members of the team travelled to Ireland for the 3 day Tour of Co Mayo Stage Race. Podium places were achieved and the riders were proud to be sporting their ERC/Martin Currie RT jersey abroad.
Notable overseas results were:
1st U16 Girl Youth Tour of County Mayo, Ireland (winner stage 2,3 &4) : Louise Borthwick
3rd U16 Girl Gobierno de la Rioja, Spain : Louise Borthwick
2nd U14 Boy Youth Tour of County Mayo, Ireland (winner stage 1 and 4) : Stuart Balfour
8th U14 Boy Youth Tour of County Mayo, Ireland (winner stage 3) : Francis Webb
3rd U14 Boy Isle of Man Youth Tour : Stuart Balfour
3rd U12 Boy Youth Tour of County Mayo, Ireland : Sean Flynn
A key part of the success the team has achieved during the 2011 season has been due to the hard work of the coaches involved with the riders.
As well as our Edinburgh Road Club coaches Brynley Davies, Gary Bell and Rachel Henderson we have been lucky enough to have received coaching input from Scottish and British Cycling professionals.
Regular club runs and track coaching sessions have been augmented by invitations to Scottish Cycling Regional Schools of Racing in both the road and mountain bike disciplines. These events target riders with the potential to succeed and help riders develop the skills needed to win – as well as providing them with an opportunity to learn about racing at a national level.
Moving on from the Scottish level, the team have had a number of riders invited to British Cycling Regional Schools of Racing at the Manchester velodrome. Although these sessions involve a great deal of travel, the experience of the indoor track and the input of specialist track coaching has been a boost to riders with track racing ambitions.
The team will continue to work closely with all cycling development organisations and we will build on the excellent foundations we have with both the Scottish and British Governing bodies.
The success of the team would not happen without the input from parents, volunteers and sponsors. We are grateful for all the efforts and from the following companies who supported us:
Martin Currie Investment Management
Braveheart Cycling Fund
Dolan BikesThe Bicycleworks