Friday, May 30, 2014

Cycling Edinburgh's Grassmarket

The Grassmarket in Edinburgh has seen many things over the years! On Thursday though, it was the venue for a series of cycle events as the Pearl Izumi Tour Series visited the city for the first time.

Sir Chris Hoy was in town, launching his range of children's bikes. Some fifty cyclists had won a competition to join him in a fun ride round the competition circuit, and it was great to see Sir Chris encouraging this youngster on the climb up the cobbled West Bow.

It was interesting to see the media hard at work, and to watch all that was going on live, and then see it made into the highlights programme on ITV4 the following evening. Here Ned Boulting interviews Helen Wyman prior to the start of the women's race, the third round of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series.

For the record Jon Mould won the men's race and Raleigh were team winners on the night, see here.

But as women's cycling never gets as much coverage as the men, I've just a few photos of their race below.

Seconds to go before the start.

A tight turn at the bottom end of the Grassmarket was a good place to watch the action. It was a brutal course though, and the race fragmented very early on. Here Helen Wyman leads with Eileen Roe, the series leader, on the right and Katie Archibald in third wheel.

Following the race live is somewhat difficult out on the course if you are away from the commentary going out from the start line. But at least you know that the camera motor bike is always with the leader!

Katie Archibald is a twenty year old, from Milngavie, already with World and European cycling titles to her name, see here.

The one positive was that at least the cobbled course was dry!

Hard going uphill, Katie lapping other riders!

Fast and scary downhill! Eileen Roe, in the centre, is another Scot, from Fife.

What comes over when seeing the race live, as compared to watching on the box, is the effort the competitors are putting in. Here's Katie again, Thursday's pain well rewarded with a convincing win on the evening.

That's Katie Archibald, on the left, with the others of the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team on the podium. This team is riding the Matrix Fitness GP series to raise funds and awareness for the Boot Out Breast Cancer charity, which aims to ensure everyone knows about the importance of early diagnosis of that disease. Read more about the team here.

The winner has time and a smile for a reporter. What a star!

The list of finishing positions and more on the race is here. And if you want to see the GB women's pursuit team win the gold at the 2014 Track Championships in Colombia, there's a video here.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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