City of Edinburgh cyclist John Paul was today heading for home after the World Junior Track Championships in Moscow with a coveted champion’s rainbow jersey in his luggage.
The 18-year-old produced a polished performance as he saw off his global peers to land gold in the individual sprint.
Despite breaking the British junior record in qualifying, Paul was only fifth fastest. But he underlined his competitive instinct when it came to the knockout phase, easing through the first three rounds to book a semi-final slot.
There he clashed with the German Max Niederlag, who had broken the world record in qualifying. In a tense tussle, Paul took the first leg then lost the second before progressing when his opponent was relegated for dangerous riding in the decisive leg.
That secured a gold medal ride off against the Frenchman Julien Palma, Paul’s predecessor as winner of the Edinburgh Grand Prix. And, with impressive composure, Paul, who competed at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi, took another step towards the top in his sport when he delivered a comprehensive 2-0 success to clinch the title.
Perhaps understandably, he was short of his best form when he lined up for yesterday’s Keirin. A comfortable win in his heat augured well, but Paul was eliminated in the second round and eventually finished fourth in the minor final for tenth place overall.
Meanwhile, there were also celebrations at the Endura/Pedal Power Development team after David Lines benefited from the hard work of his team mates to see off pre-race favourite James McCallum (Rapha Condor-Sharp) and land the Scottish Criterium title in Paisley, with Michael Nicolson (Dooleys RT) taking bronze.
Eileen Roe (Leslie Bike Shop) won the women’s title from Jane Barr (Velocity 44 Stirling), with Jenny Stanning (Edinburgh RC) completing the podium.