Sport Focus Spotlight on Cycling

December 5, 2019

A gold medal-winning sport for Team Scotland at each of the last five Games, Cycling is next up in our ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ Sport Focus, which features all 25 sports in which Scotland has competed at the Commonwealth Games.

Look out for everything Cycling related on our website and social media channels in the coming weeks as we follow Scotland’s cyclists from their first appearance in 1934 to their best Games ever at Gold Coast 2018.

Cycling at the Commonwealth Games

Cycling is an optional sport on the Commonwealth Games programme and was first introduced into the sports programme in 1934. It has featured in every Commonwealth Games since, making many people think it is a core sport. It can include any or all of the three disciplines: Track, Road and Mountain Bike.

Only two events were on the programme for cycling’s first Games appearance in 1934: the Men’s 1km Time Trial and Men’s 10 Mile Scratch Race. A Men’s Road Race was added four years later and remained the only road event until the introduction of the Men’s Team Time Trial in 1982. The first three women’s events were introduced in 1990: Individual Pursuit, Match Sprint and Road Race. Mountain Bike events for both men and women were first raced in 2002 and have been included at each Games since with the exception of Delhi 2010. Para-Sport Track Cycling made its Games debut at Glasgow 2014 with four medal events and all four events featured again at Gold Coast 2018.

Team Scotland cyclists have won 28 Commonwealth Games medals: 9 gold, 9 silver and 10 bronze, with Brian Temple the first medal winner for Scotland with Scratch Race silver in 1970. Edward Alexander won bronze in the Match Sprint at Edinburgh 1986 for Scotland’s second cycling medal and the last until Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean, Ross Edgar & Marco Librizzi doubled the tally to four with gold and bronze between them at Manchester 2002. Scottish cyclists have gone on to win medals at every Games since with Gold Coast 2018 the most successful to date with four gold, four silver and two bronze.

Find out more about Cycling in the Commonwealth Games, including the competition format, rules and equipment on our dedicated Cycling page.

Scotland’s Commonwealth Champions

While Brian Temple won Scotland’s first cycling medal in 1970, it would be another three decades before a Scottish cyclist would stand on the top step of the podium. Manchester 2002 saw Chris Hoy deliver Scotland’s first Cycling gold medal in the history of the Commonwealth Games, beating reigning Olympic Champion Jason Queally to the 1km Time Trial title. Hoy also took bronze in the Team Sprint alongside Craig MacLean, Ross Edgar and Marco Librizzi. Melbourne 2006 saw Hoy come up short in the defence of his 1km title, having to settle for bronze, but there were better fortunes in the Team Sprint where he teamed up with Craig MacLean and Ross Edgar. Up against ‘the auld enemy’ in the final, the Scots pulled off the ride of the year to edge into gold medal position and post the second fastest time ever by a British team.  For Ross Edgar, these Games exceeded all expectations, returning home with a full set of medals.

Delhi 2010 saw David Millar take Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal on the road with victory in the 40km Time Trial, also taking bronze in the Road Race. Neil Fachie, piloted by Craig MacLean, was a double gold medallist at Glasgow 2014, roared on by the home crowd to win both Para-Sport Men’s B Tandem Sprint and 1km Time Trial. He repeated the feat at Gold Coast 2018 to bring his gold medal tally to four and become Team Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games cyclist of all time. Individual Pursuit gold for Katie Archibald, on the same night as her brother John won silver, and a sensational finish from Mark Stewart to take a memorable victory in the Points Race made Gold Coast cycling’s most successful Games to date.

Team Scotland Cycling Gold Medallists

Manchester 2002 Chris Hoy
Melbourne 2006 Ross Edgar, Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean
Delhi 2010 David Millar
Glasgow 2014 Neil Fachie, Craig MacLean
Gold Coast 2018 Katie Archibald, Neil Fachie, Matt Rotherham, Mark Stewart

Click here for a full list of Team Scotland’s Cycling medallists

Youth Games Success

Cycling has been included in the Commonwealth Youth Games on three occasions, making its debut at Bendigo 2004 with Scotland represented by four athletes. The Bendigo programme featured Track, Road and Mountain Bike events with Scotland’s best result at these Games coming from Shane Charlton with 7th place in the 1km Time Trial.

Road Cycling was back on the programme for the Isle of Man 2011 Games and Scotland’s four athletes performed well amid a host of World and European champions. Grant Ferguson in particular pushed the medal winners close coming 11th in the Time Trial, sixth in the Road Race and fifth in the Criterium. He went on the represent Team Scotland at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games and Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Team Scotland’s first Youth Games Cycling medals came at the most recent edition of the Games, Bahamas 2017. Dylan Hughes made history as Scotland’s first ever Youth Games Cycling medallist with silver in the Time Trial, swiftly followed by Rhona Callander taking the sport’s first gold with victory in the Road Race on the final day of the Games.

Scotland at the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games is the only occasion where Scotland gets to compete in a multi-sport event as a nation in its own right and is one of only six countries to have competed in every Commonwealth Games since their inception in Hamilton in 1930. Represented by 15 athletes participating in six sports at those first Games, winning a very creditable 10 medals, Scotland have gone on to win medals at every Games since.

Edinburgh became the first city to hold the Games twice in 1970 and 1986 and also became the first city to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Scotland hosted the Games for a third time when Glasgow welcomed athletes and officials to the XXth Commonwealth Games which was held from 23rd July – 3rd August 2014. Team Scotland celebrated their most successful Games in history, winning a total of 53 medals and went on to record their highest overseas medal tally ever at Gold Coast 2018.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Games and Team Scotland’s past success in our Past Games section.

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