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Finlay Young – a Junior, winning Senior Races

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Junior racing isn’t exactly flourishing in Scotland, so it’s good to see one of the youngsters getting a bit of the limelight – 17 year old Finlay Young took the honours in the Jack Murray road race at Dunfermline over the weekend. Finlay is a ‘chip off the old block,’ Dad Hamish was a Bonnyrigg man, back in the ‘good old days’ of Davie Toole and Alan Gray; now his company, Harley Haddow is one of Finlay’s team’s sponsors – good to see that dad’s money is being well spent.

Finlay Young
As he should, Finlay has tried many aspects of cycle sport.

A good win at the weekend, Finlay.

“Yeah, it was 50 miles, 10 laps of a five mile hilly circuit, we were racing with the 3rd and 4th cats but I managed to win it overall, not just the junior prize.”

You were away all day.

“Three of us went away from two miles out then we were caught by another eight at around half distance.

“I went again with about a kilometre to go, two went with me but one cracked and I jumped around the other before the line, I didn’t want to leave it too late, with the wind and the gradient.”

We don’t see many juniors at Scottish time trial champs?

“I think that juniors prefer to ride road races, it’s more fun than riding time trials where you just role up, ride, get your time and go home. [accurate appraisal, there!]

“There were eight or nine juniors in the field at the Jack Murray Road Race – I think that was out of a full field of 60 riders.”

Are there many junior road races in Scotland?

“No, we usually ride with the thirds and fourths but we can ride the Super Sixes.”

Do they still have the Peter Buckley junior race series, in England?

“Yes, but they don’t call it that any more, it’s the British Junior Road Series.

“I rode one in Wales the other week, there were 80 starters, with entries returned, I didn’t get on too well – it was the hilliest race I’ve ever been in!”

Finlay Young
Finlay has already represented his country, in the Tour of Wales.

I believe you have a trip to Belgium in the offing?

“Yes, Scottish Cycling are taking six of us to a four day junior stage race in Limburg, Belgium – I’m really looking forward to it.”

How do you fit training in with school?

“I used to rush home to get the daylight or do stuff on the turbo but now I’m in sixth year and can finish at lunch time to get out training – that’s pretty cool.”

How was 2009 for you?

“It was my ‘starting season,’ really and I’d never really raced properly before; I rode in Belgium twice and the British road and track Nationals – it opened my eyes to what racing is all about.”

Finlay Young
At the Inverkeithing cyclo-cross last winter.

Do you like the track?

“Yes, I ride scratch, points, pursuit and madison – I used to ride Meadowbank Track League but there are too many rules now, you even have to sit an exam.

“It’s £5.50 to ride and sometimes the field isn’t that big – you get more benefit from going out with the chain gang.”

Will there be other trips to the continent, this year?

“Hopefully yes, after school is finished I’d like to go to Belgium and race; and we have the Junior Tour of Ireland and a stage race in the French Alps with Scottish Cycling.”

Finlay Young
Racing in the unique Nocturne series event in Edinburgh’s old town.

Who’s your favourite rider?

“Lance is always there; but I’d have to go for a track guy – Alex Rasmussen [the new World Scratch Champion, Saxo Bank & Denmark], he’s cool.”

What do you want from 2010?

“I want to learn how to race properly and how to regularly get into a race winning situation.”

Good goals to have; but Lance?… still, he’s young!

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

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