Mintlaw Academy pupil rides to gold

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A cyclist from a North East school has won gold at the Scottish National Track Championships.

Zak Loney of Mintlaw Academy also picked up a silver medal and two bronzes.

The 17-year-old Team LFH rider came first in the Junior 3000m Pursuit at Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome last weekend.

Having already gained silver in the 20k Scratch and the 1k Individual Time Trial and bronze in the Keirin, Zak had to wait until the last race of the Championships to top the podium.

The Pursuit final was a thrilling duel between Zak and Ruari Yeoman.

The 3k Pursuit involves 12 laps of the Velodrome whilst trying to chase down your opponent.

Zak led up until the ninth lap when Ruari caught up and started to edge slowly in front of Zak.

Keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats, with one last effort Zak re-took the lead and won with a perfectly timed sprint to the finish line.

To top a successful season it was recently announced by Scottish Cycling that Zak was successful yet again in being chosen for the Junior Performance Programme for 2014.

Zak said that it was a great way to end the season for himself and his sponsor LFH Engineering of Ellon.

Previous career highlights for the Peterhead based rider include a first place finish in the Scottish National Junior Madison with partner Fraser Martin and finishing as the overall winner of the Braveheart Youth Omnium Series Winner.

Zak has previously said: “My main goal is to be able to reach a point in life where I can make a living from riding my bike because that’s what I enjoy most.”

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, named after the six-time Olympic cycling champion, will host next year’s Commonwealth Games track events.

Organisers say they could have sold tickets for the Ralph Schurmann-designed track 25 times over.