FWCC are feeling proud this week after junior rider Zoe Watters competed in the British Youth and Junior Track championships at Wales' Newport Velodrome. This was top class riding from the very best in the UK, which includes Zoe, who is a current double Scottish track champion sponsored by Sprockets Cycles in Kilmarnock. The week's racing saw British records tumbling almost daily and the pressure was definitely on. The forty lap scratch race saw explosive action, with Zoe forcing the pace on the front and, with five laps to go, roaring up the banking and back down again at full speed in a blocked attempt to get near the front for the final sprint. Ninth place overall was a superb result. In the eighty lap points race Zoe was feeling in good form and it showed. The pace was furious from the off but Zoe proved she could mix it with the UK's best, working hard and getting involved in all the sprints for the line, securing fifth or sixth place in the first five of them. Two riders attacked off the front and, in the mix as ever, Zoe jumped on their wheel, the break lasting a few laps before the sprinting pack caught them. Zoe then spotted another opportunity, attacking again in a sprint lap and successfully winning three points for second place. Double points were now looming for the final sprint and the racing was chaotic but Zoe found herself on the front with two laps to go. She again moved up the high banking and used the downhill slope to attack off the front, creating a gap. Head down and at maximum effort for the last two laps, she was only caught on the finishing straight by the strong sprinters who just managed to rush the gap. An aggressive ride, Zoe finished 11th overall in a race which saw a large chunk of the field dropping out simply because of the fast pace. The final race was the 2K Individual Pursuit for which Zoe is the current Scottish Champion. The full stands of spectators meant the atmosphere was crackling with tension, which certainly got the better of some riders. Not Zoe though. The cheering crowd energised her and she dug deep, beating her Scottish Championship winning time and scorching to a 2.37.51. It was a tense wait as only the top eight riders went through to the final. Some blistering performances saw Zoe move down the table, and the game was up as one rider smashed the British Record by over two seconds. A final placing of twelfth shows just how high the standards were, but it also shows just how much potential Zoe has: this was her first British Championship and there are many more to come.

Image source: All Bikes Scotland Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1010876812274663/