In the searing heat on the first day of the Commonwealth Youth Games, Elliot Rowe rode to silver in the Men’s Time Trial and into the history books as Team Scotland’s first medallist of Trinbago 2023.
He becomes just the third cycling medallist for Team Scotland at a Youth Games, following Dylan Hughes’ and Rhona Callander’s success at Bahamas 2017.
Up in the second group of riders, Elliot quickly established himself as a potential medallist, clocking the fastest splits at 5km and 10km. He closed up on eventual bronze medallist Will Heath of Australia and passed Baron Musgrove of the Bahamas who had set off a minute ahead, crossing the line in 19:21.01, a time bettered only by South Africa’s Miles Liebenberg, who took gold by less than four seconds.
“I’ve not raced against most of the nations here before, so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Elliot.
“I felt like I did an OK ride, but I thought I might have died off a little bit towards the end so I wasn’t sure whether anyone would go faster than me. I was lucky enough to hang onto second and it was nice to share the podium with some new people.
“It’s good to know the legs are going fine after all the travel going into the road race. Four seconds isn’t much over the whole time trial, so maybe next time.”
The race had begun amid a torrential downpour that flooded the road and Scotland’s Joe Cosgrove was one of the first riders out of the gate, recording a time of 20:10.67 for seventh place in tricky conditions, as rain turned to blazing sunshine during the first lap.
Earlier in the morning the women’s race had thrown up mixed fortunes for Team Scotland’s two athletes. Evie White was the first competitor up and was going well until a misjudged line into one of the turns saw her come off the bike. She battled on to a creditable 9th place finish.
Millie Thomson was up next and put in a strong ride, battling with Isle of Man’s Ruby Oakes for a podium place. In the end it was the Manx athlete that came out on top, with Millie taking fourth place.
All four cyclists will return to action in Monday’s Road Race.
Over on Tobago competition kicked off with Beach Volleyball, with Team Scotland being represented by Iona Bell and Sasha Clegg-Mckeown. Taking place at Black Rock, the newly built beach sports facility was packed with local crowds coming to watch and support all of the beach volleyball pairs competing.
Up first, Team Scotland faced Canada. With Canada one of the top nations in the world and the opposition pair already competing on the world tour, the girls were up against some tough opponents. Despite losing the match 2-0 (21-11, 21-7), the girls put in a great effort and hit some fantastic aces.
Later on in the afternoon, with the sun still blazing down on the sand, the Scottish pair took on another top nation in New Zealand. Despite putting in another great shift and holding their own against the experience of the NZ team, the girls lost 2-0 (21-13, 21-6).