A WEST FIFE cyclist has claimed a European title after playing his part in Great Britain pedalling to glory.

Ross Birrell, from Dalgety Bay, is the proud owner of a gold medal in the team pursuit following the UEC (Union Européenne de Cyclisme) Juniors and Under-23 Track European Championships.

The competition, which took place in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, saw Ross – who earlier this year became a member of British Cycling’s junior academy programme – teamed up with Josh Charlton, Josh Tarling and Josh Giddings and earn an under-23 winner’s jersey.

Their time of three minutes and 59.392 seconds saw them finish ahead of second-placed France, and bronze-medallists Russia.

Ross also competed in the points race at the championships, having also finished second in the 2021 HSBC UK British Cycling National Youth and Junior Track Championships 1000 metres junior time trial, and third in the madison.

Fourth, fifth and ninth places were also achieved in the 3000m individual pursuit, scratch race and points race, while the Spokes Racing Team member also enjoyed victory at the recent Scottish National Junior Men’s Road Race, at the Battle of the Black Loch.

Ross is hopeful of securing a place in British Cycling’s senior academy programme, which is a full-time residential programme that involves significant periods of overseas training and racing exposure, and proud dad Stephen told Press Sport: “Being part of the academy and training is one thing but getting selected to represent GB, as it happened for these European Track Championships, was amazing.

“We got the inkling that Ross would be representing because he was always training with the top boys from that junior academy squad.

“When he got confirmed that he was going do it, to represent your country and go wearing that Team GB jersey, and have that experience of being out in Apeldoorn, he was just blown away by it all.

“They knew they were able to put in a strong performance because they knew what their times were in Manchester, but what they didn’t know was what was the rest of Europe like? Were they as well trained? As it ended up, I think they won in their final by five seconds, beating France, so it went to show that their relentless training that they were doing was all worth it. He’s come back absolutely delighted with his European jersey and his gold medal.”

He added: “He’s operating at the highest level that he can just now, and he’s just loving riding his bike, I think that’s the main thing.

“These accolades are nice, the medals are nice and the jerseys are nice, but he’s just a young lad who absolutely loves riding his bike.”