Youth Tour Of Scotland 2014

The Youth Tour of Scotland is a highlight of the 2014 Youth calendar and is one of the first national level Youth racing events taking place in the 2014.

As promised a full story of their experiences from the boys…  Thanks guys they make excellent reading.

Alexandar MacRae

amytosWhen my dad told me that i had been asked to ride in the tour for Glasgow Riderz i was very pleased especially as the others in the team were Calum, Ryan, and Innes.

We would be spending 3 nights in perthshire at Strathallan School together with our coach Neil and Manager Scott along with the other teams in the Tour.I could not wait to pack my bags and go and get on with it.

We arrived in Perthshire and after a ride around part of the circuit we signed on and soon made ourselves at home in our own rooms.We had our evening meal and a meeting with our Coach and Manager and it was off to bed.

We had been given the British Cycling proper warm up programme and we done this before every stage.

 

Stage 1 Perth City Centre Crit race.Sunday the 6th April.

 

A field of 74 Riders lined up and i was 4 from the back and although thre was plenty time to make up ground it did not help but after 3 or 4 laps I was in the leading group although it cost me a bit of energy getting there. I held my position well until the end of the race and finished in the bunch about 9 seconds behind the winner. I was happy with my performance and of the other Riderz too.

 

Stage 2 Time trial at Strathallan school Sunday the 6th April.

 

This was quite a difficult tt course as it had tight turns and speedbumps to get over but I gave it my best effort and it was enough to move me up from 35th to 33rd on GC.

 

Stage 3 Road race Forteviot Monday the 7th April.

 

I was really looking forward to this race more than any other as the course was fast and hilly which suits my style of riding.I managed to get a good starting position this time and after the first lap I was just about at the front of the peleton and going well.

I drifted back a little after that and despite the high speed of this race i really was cruising in the bunch and not struggling at all. I gave my dad my “Call Me Maybe” sign with about 5 laps to go to keep him entertained. A breakaway came with about 3/4 laps to go but i stayed in the main bunch and although I did not get a clear run on the last section i came in with 20th only about 15 seconds behind the winner. My race average was 23.5 mph for the 38 miles and I was very pleased and it moved me up to 19th on GC.25 seconds down on the leader.

 

Stage 4 Kermese race Strathallan School Tuesday the 8th April.

 

Last day and I needed a good finish to round off my first YTOS and having had a look at the course I felt I could get it. 16 times up a killer hill with a bit of cyclocross thrown in.I made a good start and I was cruising in the bunch until I got caught up behind a crash and lost touch with the leaders and although I tried my best to make up the ground there were only 4 or 5 of us in our group.On the final hill climb I had Jake Gray from the Irish Talent team and last years winner on my wheel and I was not having that and I put in my maximum effort and with 622 watts of power up the hill I pulled right away from him and finished 16th on the stage and overall 15th on GC 1 Minute 49 seconds down..Glasgow Riderz finished 8th on GC and we were pleased with that too. After the presentations it was all over but I really had a great time spent with my teammates Coach and Manager and I can’t thank them enough for what they done for us. Also thanks To Edd and Graeme for their kind invitation and needless to say I am sure we will all be willing to ride for Glasgow Riderz again in the future if selected.

Bring on the next one soon.

Innes Johnstone 

Stage 1 – Perth crit

Up at seven, breakfast then off to Perth to set up and start our warm up. I cycled a couple of warm-up laps on the circuit then we were held and gridded, luckily I was one of the randomly gridded people and was on the second row. I got off to a good start being mostly in the top 15 people for the first 10 minutes or so and then I suddenly found myself in the middle then hanging off the back of the bunch which turned out to be where I finished.

Stage 2 – Time Trial in Strathallan Grounds

Not the most physically challenging TT but it was more of a technically challenging course with a U-bend and would have had another hairpin bend but they took it out because the wind was too strong and blew the cones over. My performance was okay – I could have ridden better if I hadn’t taken the corner too tight and came out wide.

Stage 3 – Fortieviot Road Race

We had a bit longer in bed as our race wasn’t till a bit later. We warmed up outside our accommodation then rolled out to the start, where we had a long wait for a bus which was supposed to be on the course for a short time but it did not appear so the race started abruptly and quickly for a neutralised section. As the race was just getting started my di2 cable popped out of my derailleur which left me with two gears for the hills , and then I quickly found out that I needed more than the two so I had to stop and push the cable back in. When I got back on my bike I saw the peloton speed down the other side of the hill and then it was a long solo ride for me till I caught up with Ewan Mathieson. We worked together for a short time but the bunch lapped Ewan and I on our second last lap.

Stage 4 – Kermesse Road Race

This was the last race of the tour and one I wanted to do well in but sadly my bike did not want to work that day. Luckily Neil had brought his and he kindly let me borrow it but we had to block off the gearing which meant I was quite undergeared so I had no hope of staying with the bunch before we even started. The start of the race went quite well with most of the Riderz team in the top three rows which meant we all got a good start, and since it was neutralised it meant people didn’t go flying down the hill and I could keep up but on the second lap I got dropped on the decent and then I was by myself for a while I caught up with Ewan and a couple of other riders and worked a bit with them until our last lap when we got lapped by a one man breakaway but we still managed to get up the hill to the finish line before the main bunch caught us.

And, finally, thanks to Neil for all his advice and for the bike on the last day and also to Scott for helping out.

Calum Johnstone

IMGP5068I was excited and nervous for the Youth Tour of Scotland. I was excited because it was going to be a new experience and nervous because I didn’t know how was going to cope against the top riders in Britain. I knew it was going to be really tough. Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 were organised really well. The accommodation was excellent and the food was even better. I was taking every single minute in. I was around all my friends / team mates as well and we were all getting along really well. The whole event itself was really well organised. Everything from sign on to accommodation to bike check, everything was well thought out. Once the 4th stage (final stage) had finished, I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to keep racing every day. Massive thanks goes to Neil Macleod and Scott Glasgow for being our team managers – they were really helpful. Massive thanks also to our amazing sponsor ‘Billy Bilsland cycles’ for providing us with bottles, bars, gels and energy liquids. I really enjoyed the Youth Tour of Scotland. I would do it again and again and again. I would recommend it to any Youth A rider. It was a brilliant experience.

 

Ryan Glasgow

RG ytosHaving undergone the selection and training for the YTOS I was delighted to be asked to represent the Glasgow Riderz at this event.  As I am a final year youth A it would be my one and only opportunity to ride this event, and when I found out I would be in a team with Calum, Innes and Alexander it was all the better.

After all the preparation to actually get there arriving at Strathallan School which is very impressive there was a buzz of excitement and as teammates arrived we just wanted to get out and ride our bikes. So that’s what we did, taking a ride round the stage 3 and 4 routes and under the guidance of Neil McLeod.

After sign on that day and dinner with the team we had a team meeting that evening each being asked what our aim was, being realistic for me it was the experience to be gained from riding a stage race over several days as part of a team.

 

Stage one

 

This stage was in Perth city center and as the girls race finished the roads started to dry slightly but the surface was still greasy.  The first 5 rows were gridded randomly and I was not in them so starting near the back was going to make it difficult with such a large field. It went off fast and stayed with the bunch for some part when it settled I found myself in a group off the back of the bunch as it was difficult to move round people to fill the gaps. I finished in this group and had a good day racing.

 

Stage two

 

Was a short time trial on the afternoon of day one in the grounds of Strathallan school with some technical parts and a dead turn at one end of the course, I was told this is where seconds between winning and loosing would happen. I rode as hard as I could but after day one I was 53rd overall and 16th Scottish boy I believe.

 

Stage 3

This was the one we were all waiting for, an actual road stage, which was a 6.5km course with a steep hill (which is not my strong point). The race went off at pace and the race to the bottom of the hill was underway. I hung on for the opening laps and then found a bunch I was comfortable in and worked with them to limit the losses. Then on lap 7 of 9 I crashed going off the road and hitting a fence, this was to be the end of my ride in the tour.  After a trip to A&E in Perth for a broken nose and get a deep cut above my eye glued I returned to Strathallan for an amazing welcome from not only the Riderz but also the boys and girls WOSCA teams. I was glad to be back with the team even if my bike was not ridable due to snapped forks.

 

Stage four

Unable to ride the final stage I was on hand to help the team and collected jackets as well as provide a feed station on the narrow and challenging circuit.  I felt sad to have to sit this one out but tried to encourage my teammates from the side of the road and was proud to be part of their hard efforts.

 

All in all I had a fantastic time at the YTOS and would recommend anyone who wants to ride next year to train hard over the winter and go enjoy four stages of amazing racing.  I met and exceeded my goal of gaining experience not only of stage racing but more important what it is to be part of a team. Amazing, thanks to everyone who made the weekend especially Alex, Innes and Calum but also the WOSCA boys and girls, Parent helpers and Neil McLeod.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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