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North Argyll Cycle Club’s (NACC) Andre Paul Van took the fast track to success earlier this month when competing at the Scottish Student Criterium Championships.
Riding in the men’s open development race at Fife Cycle Park, Lochgelly, on Saturday April 16, Andre flew off the starting line and had opened up a sizeable lead in the opening kilometre.
With the race being run over 40 minutes, however, Andre’s sideline supporters were worried he had peaked too soon.
Clubmate Matiss Robertson was filming the start on his phone and couldn’t believe how far his fellow NACC rider had pulled away from the chasing pack.
‘I nearly dropped the phone in all the excitement,’ said Matiss. ‘Andre just shot in front from the off.
‘There was still a long way to go though and we had to wait and see if he could keep up that pace.’
By the completion of lap two, the chasers had indeed caught up with Andre but the NACC rider kept himself attached for the remainder of the race. The final lap – 15 x 1.5km – turned into a group sprint with Andre having enough left in the tank to cross the line in pole position.
‘It was one of the most exciting races I have seen for ages,’ said Matiss. ‘Andre rode a brilliant race and did himself and the club proud.’
Matiss himself competed in the students event under the UHI banner and took a well-earned third place having completed 18 laps of the twisty course over 45 minutes.
This placing means Matiss has finished second overall in the Scottish Student Cycling Championship series run across six disciplines – enduro, cross country, cyclocross, hill climb, time trial and criterium.
Every entrant to the series earns five points for their institution, with further points awarded to the top 10 finishers. Although Matiss only competed in three events, a third place in the time trial, third at the criterium and an eighth in the hill climb earned him enough points to land his second place.
Charlotte Forbes was the third NACC member to compete at the Fife circuit, finishing sixth by completing 11 laps in the allocated 30 minutes.
For more information on North Argyll Cycling Club visit www.nargyllcc.co.uk or look them up on Facebook.
Main photograph: Andre Paul Van topped the podium in Fife after winning the men’s development criterium. NO_T17_NACC_AndrePaulVan2
Photo 2: Competing under the UHI banner, Matiss Robertson took third place at the Scottish Student Criterium Championship. NO_T17_NACC_MatissRobertson