The Youth Tour of Scotland is quite a unique race as you enter as a team and the whole race has been designed to be very much team based. Also everyone racing (and managers) stay at Strathallen Boarding School so it it’s a lot more social after the races than just staying in your own hotel. It was a great experience even though I didn’t the results I wanted. Even though I was competing as a second year A I hadn’t done the race before (due to it conflicting with holidays) so was not too sure what to expect but looking forward to the race as it is one of the few opportunities to race on (proper) close roads.

Stage 1— 60Km Road Race

The course consisted of a 6.6Km circuit which we raced on for 9 laps. This stage suited me well due to the hills and the length of the stage. In fact, this stage is just as about as long a race you get in youth so I was looking forward to it. I managed to be THE last rider on the grid at the start and as soon as the race started I was having to chase back on to the back of the bunch, due to being caught behind a crash in the first 100 metres. Luckily the race was neutralised and from there I moved my up the bunch to the front where I stayed for most the race. Coming into the sprint it was a bit sketchy with people jumping through gaps that weren’t there to get in the right position(but that’s to be expected). I managed to finish 13th which I was quite happy about.

Stage 2 — 45 mins Crit in Perth City Centre

The course was very tight and was all about corners and sprinting out of them (definitely not my kind of race) and it was one to forget. I had a second row griding after getting 13th on stage one, but from there I slipped further and further back until I was dropped… Can’t remember my position but it wasn’t good.

Stage 3 — 45 mins Crit in Perth City Centre

More of the same… After my performance earlier that day I wasn’t looking forward to it. However, this time I did a little better and stayed in the bunch but I was still well back. After the second day of racing any hope of a descent GC result were out the window.

Stage 4 — 40Km Road Race

The course consisted of a steep hill to the finish and lots of potholes. Bar the speed bumps and the potholes it was a really nice circuit which we did 15 laps of. I hadn’t made it a lap into the race (the race was still neutralised) and I hit a massive pothole and puncture. After a slow wheel change and a fast start to the face from the bunch, my race was over. I spent most of the race on my own just picking people off who had been dropped.

Overall not a very good result to the race finishing 35th in GC but none the less I enjoyed the experience. It’s a shame there isn’t more races like this in Scotland. I have to thank Neil Macleod for managing the team and supplying us with all the race food and also to Glasgow Riderz and Braveheart.

Calum Shackley


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