Commonwealth Games heroes geared up to get back in the saddle

Charline Joiner with fellow cyclists Fraser Martin (left) and Evan Oliphant, NL provost Jim Robertson and tour series mascot Tobi.
Charline Joiner with fellow cyclists Fraser Martin (left) and Evan Oliphant, NL provost Jim Robertson and tour series mascot Tobi.
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Commonwealth Games silver medallist Charline Joiner can’t wait to race around the streets of Motherwell again next month.

On Tuesday, May 17, the town is hosting a leg of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series for the second year in a row.

Many of Britain’s top male and female cyclists will be in action, including Charline who took part in the Motherwell stage last year.

The Dunfermline native said: “It’s always great competing in front of a home crowd and having your friends and family there to cheer you on.

“Last year was a really tough course – I’d say you need to be in the top five going in to the final corner to get a decent placing and I just hope I can improve on last year’s performance!”

Starting and finishing on Hamilton Road, the circuit takes in High Road, Farm Street, Ladywell Road and Douglas Street and in addition to the main professional races Scottish Cycling will also host a number of support races for all ages.

North Lanarkshire provost Jim Robertson said: “This is a terrific event for Motherwell and North Lanarkshire.

“The skill of the athletes is incredible - it’s hard to grasp the speeds involved. I’d encourage everyone to come along and enjoy this first class sporting occasion.”

For the first time Scotland is hosting two rounds of the competitions, with the other taking place on the streets on Edinburgh, May 19.

The capital event will be special for Uddingston cyclist James McCallum as money will be raised in aid of the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist’s Ride for Charlene, in memory of his late sister.

James, who won the 2011 tour series, is aiming to break Mark Beaumont’s non-stop, 38-hour, 500-mile ride around the coast of Scotland this June to raise £10,000 for Thrombosis UK.

He said: “At the end of 2015 my family was hit by a heartbreaking tragedy when we lost our wonderful Charlene, at the age of 36.

“Having seen first hand the impact the loss has had on all of us, I decided to do something special as a tribute to Charlene and to raise awareness of thrombosis.

“On June 18 I will ride more than 500 miles non-stop from Inverness, with the aim of completing the route under the record time.

“I know Charlene will be with me every turn of the pedals and will be forever in our hearts and memories.”

For more details visit the Ride For Charlene page on www.facebook.com/RideForCharlene|Facebook|RFC}