A Scottish record and two Gold Coast 2018 qualifying standards for John Archibald and two Scottish Junior records for Luisa Steele were among the highlights at the penultimate event of the 2017 Team Scotland Series – the Scottish National Track Cycling Championships at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Elder brother of multiple global medallist Katie Archibald, John went into the Championships looking to secure qualifying times for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and stated his intent early on as he scorched to a new National record of 4.21.158 in the Individual Pursuit heats. Going up against Kyle Gordon in the final, he set a second qualifying time to take gold and put himself in contention for a place on Team Scotland next April.
Archibald was also instrumental in a second Scottish record as he joined forces with Pro Vision Scotland team mates Jason Roberts, Kyle Johnston and Rob Friel to smash the previous Team Pursuit best by over 10 seconds in their qualifying ride. In the final they were up against the RT23 team of David Blockley, Kyle Gordon, Peter Ettles and Alan Thomson and rose to the challenge, Pro Vision Scotland taking the title in another record breaking time – 4.22.822 – four tenths of a second quicker than their time in qualifying.
Archibald came close to a third National title in the 1000m Time Trial but was beaten to gold by Metaltek Kuota Race Team’s Tom Chandler. Archibald took the silver ahead of Andrew Leveton in bronze.
Tandem pairing Laura Cluxton and Emma Baird also had Gold Coast qualifying on their mind as they made their competitive debut together. Wining both the Flying 200m Time Trial and 1000m Time Trial, they were just two tenths of a second from a qualifying standard over the shorter distance and will go into the upcoming British Tandem Championships looking to secure the time.
Glasgow 2014 medallist Louise Haston took gold in the Women’s Scratch Race, but had to settle for bronze in the Sprint as Rebecca Dornan took gold in a tight battle with Luisa Steele. Steele’s time of 12.141 in the heats was a new Scottish Junior record and there was more success for the young rider, taking gold in the Team Sprint with Glasgow Cycle Team club mate Lucy Grant, and setting another Scottish Junior record when taking bronze in the 500m Time Trial, as Grant took the title. There was a further bronze for Steele in the Keirin as Dornan took a second gold and Haston the silver.
The final race of the weekend saw Glasgow Cycle Team’s Gemma Penman take gold in the Women’s Points Race, dominating the sprints in the final stages to finish on 34 points, well clear of silver medallist Anna Shackley on 16 and bronze medallist Lulu Bartlett on 11.
Attention now turns to the final event in this year’s Team Scotland Series, the Scottish Short Course Swimming Championships, which take place from 9-11 December at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool.