30th July 2014

Mountain Bikers Take to the Braes

Day six saw spectators flock in their thousands to Cathkin Braes Country Park to watch the Commonwealth elite take to the trails, with the Team Scotland’s Mountain Bikers giving it their all.
After a brilliant display of team work from the Scotland men, National Champion Grant Ferguson crossed the line in 5th with Kenta Gallagher in 10th. A puncture in the 4th lap interrupted Gareth Montgomery’s form but he managed to finish in a very respectable 11th place.
It was a top two for New Zealand with Anton Cooper taking Gold and Samuel Gaze the Silver. Daniel McConnell crossed the line in third and brought home yet another medal for Australia.
Although he missed out on a medal, Ferguson was pleased with his ride commenting: “We knew they would go out quite hard, that was expected but I felt myself behind the South African. I think if I’d bridged the gap, but I was just a wee bit off trying to go with it and I just couldn’t quite get there. I think it would have made a big difference if I was in that group. It’s quite a windy track up there and it’s a bit open at places, just for your head, you get to use the wheel a bit.
“To be honest I thought that front group would, not ease up, but look at each other a bit especially so early in the race and they just didn’t look at each other, they just went and that was it. Obviously I missed a move a wee bit there but the sport was nuts and I’m pleased with 5th place in my first event. To come away with 5th and to know I’ve performed my best, I can’t say much more.
“It’s the first time I’ve done such a big event. At 20 years old with a crowd like that behind you, I was nervous coming into it. I’ve put a lot of work into it since last year. I planned the whole year around this really, I even sacrificed a few World Cups this year. We’ve missed a couple of rounds to come here in the best shape possible.”
Lee Cragie finished 7th in the women’s event in a race won by Canada’s Catharine Pendrel. Jessie Robert was just outside the top 10 in 11th and Kerry MacPhee in 13th.
Lee said: “That was a really, really hard race, I was in a world class field and I was in front of a home crowd so I had no choice but to up it a level. I gave it 110% today, that was absolutely everything I had.
“Unbelievable support, they gave me another 10% out there I reckon, I owe them at least two places, they absolutely spurred me on, there were shouts of my name on every corner, it was incredible. It’s amazing what a home crowd can do.
“The course is fantastic, it flows really nicely. If you get your flow at the start of the race it’s loads of fun to ride, lots of little drops and jumps. Really fast, fairly technical in places and some of those climbs are just killer. It absolutely exceeded all expectations today. It was worth every graft, every international race I didn’t really want to go to, every horrible interval session up Cathkin Braes, it was worth absolutely everything.
“I’ll always race my bike and I’m quite keen to encourage the next generation of young Scottish riders to come through. This will be my last Games. In terms of an inspiring event you don’t get much more inspiring than the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, at Cathkin Braes. I really hope this encourages more and more people to get on their bikes, no matter what sort of bikes they want to ride – going down to the shops on their bikes or doing this sort of stuff. I hope more people are inspired to get on because it will change your life riding a bike.”
Commonwealth Games cycling will continue on Thursday with the Road Time Trial.

Photo Credit: Rob Hardie

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