Cycling: McCallum ‘devastated’ as puncture dashes his hopes

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Lothians cyclist James McCallum (Rapha Condor-Sharp) was left to rue his bad luck despite securing a podium finish in yesterday’s Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic in the East Midlands.

The 2006 Commonwealth Games medallist featured in the main group as the race – which was cut from 114 miles to around 100 miles because of the appalling conditions – approached its conclusion.

Although Frenchman Alex Blain broke away to post an impressive win for the Livingston-based Endura Racing Team, McCallum was ready to battle it out with Canadian Jamie Sparling (Team Raleigh) for second spot. However, a puncture inside the final two miles put paid to his challenge.

Reflecting on his misfortune after a race which features several off-road sections and is the only one-day event in Britain which carries world-ranking points, McCallum said: “I’m devastated. After all that blood, sweat and tears, I punctured in the last three kilometres. I got a spare very quickly but so close to the finish, my hopes of getting second had gone.”

However, he is happy with his current form, adding: “All my hard work over the winter is just beginning to pay off. I’m now really excited about the rest of the season.”