Men’s team Wiv SunGod and their female opposite numbers, Pro-Noctis Rotor Redchilli Bikes Heidi Kjeldsen, both claimed team victories in round two of the Sportsbreaks.com-sponsored series.
As well as being the first time in the 13-year history of the series that it had come to the region, it was also the first time the women’s race had followed the men’s.
Both races, following a route taking in Bank Street and Channel Street, were flagged off by Scotland national rugby team head coach Gregor Townsend.
In the opening men’s race, setting off at 5.30pm, Wiv SunGod rider Jim Brown notched up his first individual win of the series, with his team and defending champions Ribble Weldtite taking four of the top five spots. The other, fourth place, was claimed by Noah Hobbs, of Tekkerz, and the 17-year-old also clocked the fastest lap.
“I’m buzzing. Taking the one-two in both rounds is really good and we’d like to continue that if we can, ”said West Yorkshire-born Brown, 21.
“We’ve got a good team, you know. We’ve got five really strong riders, so we can just get to the front and make it hard for everyone else.
“In the first five minutes, we started putting the hammer down and the race split into a group of about 15. After that, there were a lot of moves going on, but I managed to slip away in the final and take the win.”
Wiv SunGod now have a three-point lead over Wales Racing Academy at the top of the event’s men’s standings.
Pro-Noctis Rotor Redchilli Bikes Heidi Kjeldsen are even further ahead in the women’s series, having a six-point advantage over Torelli Cayman Islands Scimitar and Team Boompods.
Cams-Basso’s Megan Barker was the first female cyclist to finish, her third win in her last four races.
“It was pretty tough for me personally,” said the Welsh rider, 24. “I think we had quite a difficult night as a team, so I ended up quite isolated in that front group with the full Pro-Noctis team attacking me like five times every lap.
“We just had to go for the individual win tonight, so I just had to really stick at it, follow the wheels, not touch the wind as much as I could. I was kind of looking at the finish line every lap and figuring out where I wanted to step out into the wind and start my sprint. ”
Pro-Noctis Rotor Redchilli Bikes Heidi Kjeldsen team member Jo Tindley, 35, of Hertfordshire, added: “It was really interesting to actually see the men racing first.
“They do race differently to us and they are going to be faster, but it was interesting to see just how they attacked – they literally strung out on the first lap – and how it all formed for through the bunch, so we got a good impression of how it would be for us.
“We were aware that the other teams were going to go out hitting it hard after round one in Guisborough, so we just waited to see how it played out. It just stayed fast. It was a fast night. It was full on. ”
Highlights of the Galashiels event will be broadcast on ITV4 at 7pm tonight, May 5.
Racing resumes next Tuesday, May 10, in Sunderland, then continues to Stranraer for round four next Thursday, May 12, concluding with a final in Manchester on Tuesday, May 24.