Cycling gets underway

October 6, 2010

The track cycling programme got underway in Delhi today with Team Scotland enjoying an encouraging day, with some strong performances.

Jenny Davies’s fifth place in the women’s 500m time trial was the highlight, with the judo player-turned-cyclist smashing her personal best. “It was a huge personal best, 0.8 seconds faster than I went last week in the national championships,” said Davies.

Charline Joiner was eighth in the 500m, as was Callum Skinner in the men’s kilometre time trial.

Skinner flew round the first three laps, and appeared to be pushing hard for a medal until the effort started to tell over the fourth and final lap.

“I was really happy up to the third lap,” said Skinner. “The last lap was hard. This event isn’t on the Olympic programme anymore, so it’s not one I’ve been focusing on. It’s just one massive, painful effort, and everything hurts afterwards.

“Some people pace it, but I wanted to do it full-on, because that’s the kind of effort I’ve been making in training for the Games,” continued Skinner. “The big one for us is the team sprint on Friday.”

Later on Tuesday, in the heats for the men’s points race, all three Scots – James McCallum, David Lines and Evan Oliphant – qualified for Wednesday’s final.

The second day in the velodrome will also see Davies and Joiner in action again, in the women’s team sprint, which is a new event on the Commonwealth Games programme. “We’ve been working really hard on the team sprint,” said Joiner, “and we’re definitely hoping for a medal.”

Davies is the lead-out woman, with Joiner set to finish off the effort on the final lap. “I’m the powerhouse,” said Davies, “and Charline’s the engine.”

Ross Edgar, the Team Scotland flag bearer during Sunday’s Opening Ceremony, will also make his first competitive appearance of the Games on Wednesday, riding the keirin at lunchtime before men’s sprint qualifying in the evening. Edgar won bronze in the keirin in 2006, one of his three medals in Melbourne.

And another Melbourne bronze medallist, Kate Cullen, contests the women’s points race on a busy day for the track cycling team.

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