Evan Oliphant among Edinburgh contingent racing down south

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Capital cyclist Evan Oliphant will kick off a busy weekend in the saddle when he contests the Leazes Criterium in Newcastle tonight.

The Team Raleigh rider features in a high class field, which includes a squad from the Paraguayan outfit Start Trigon.

Tonight’s busy programme is followed by several sportive rides tomorrow before the country’s elite men and women take centre stage on Sunday in nearby Stamfordham.

Oliphant will be joined on the starting line for the 117-mile Beaumont Trophy by James McCallum (NFTO), another Edinburgh-based rider with the Commonwealth Games on his agenda.

Claire Thomas (Velosport Pasta Montegrappa) will hope to be fully recovered from a crash last weekend to take her place in the field for the 62-mile Curlew Cup, the latest round of the British Cycling Women’s Series.

The Scottish contingent also includes former City of Edinburgh duo Katie Archibald and Charline Joiner, now riding for Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International.

Among the others looking to make a mark will be teenager Louise Borthwick (Matrix Fitness – Vulpine) and her former Edinburgh Road Club teammate Claire Martin, who lines up for Team 22.