On the final day in the velodrome the Team Scotland cyclists finished close to the medals, with 4th and 5th in the team sprint and men’s scratch race.
For Evan Oliphant, fifth in the scratch race, it was another case of so near and yet so far after his sixth place in the points race. The Thurso rider rode strongly, and made it into a late move that appeared set to decide the medals until it became clear that the powerful Australians had other ideas, and Oliphant’s escape was chased down.
“It’s annoying not to get a medal but it was a really hard race,” said Oliphant. “There was a certain amount of luck involved in terms of what moves you followed, and I was trying to shadow [eventual winner] Cameron Meyer for most of the race. I got away with him at one point and thought: nice one. But it came back, and I didn’t get another chance.”
Oliphant will now look forward to Sunday’s road race. “I’ve had good preparation for the road race having ridden the Tour of Britain a couple of weeks ago. We’ve got six of us in the road race which should give us a few options and hopefully we’ll have a bit more luck there.”
The young team sprint trio of John Paul, Callum Skinner and Chris Pritchard did well to qualify for the bronze medal ride-off, in which they faced a strong Malaysia team. Fourth represented a good performance for a team that is looking towards the Glasgow Games in 2014.
“The whole idea of these Games is that they’re about development and experience,” said 18-year old Skinner. “They could have brought Ross [Edgar] in for the second ride [for bronze] but the whole point of sending us here was for Glasgow, to give us a chance to go out and prove ourselves. There’s a lot of scope to improve on that over the next four years.”
Paul, who at 17 was the youngest member of the team, was disappointed. “I’m not really pleased with my start, though we were happy to qualify.”
Pritchard said: “Anything can happen in ride off. All we had to do was do exactly what we’d done in qualifying and, if Malaysia made a mistake, we were all over it. We improved our time in the second ride, so we can’t really complain.
“I struggled to get on John Paul’s wheel in the first ride – when he’s flying like that, it’s difficult. He was brilliant. Regardless of what he says, for a 17-year old to come here and ride like that – he’ll look back on it one day and realise what he did.”