Borders cyclist Stuart Balfour excited to compete at UCI Road World Championships

Former Galashiels Academy pupil Stuart Balfour racing in men's under 23 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire
Former Galashiels Academy pupil Stuart Balfour racing in men's under 23 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire

Galashiels Academy alumni and Great Britain cyclist Stuart Balfour admits he can’t wait to race in front of friends and family at the UCI Road World Championships.

The 22-year-old, originally from Heriot, but now based in Brittany in France, will be competing in the U23 men’s road race on Friday as part of Great Britain’s five-man team.

Balfour admitted this season’s target was to qualify for the team and he’s looking forward to racing despite horrendous weather conditions in Harrogate this week.

He told the Southern Reporter: “I’m buzzing, to race in a home world championships is pretty special.

“Having friends and family there will make a difference, I’m based in France so they don’t normally get to see me race.

“I have been cycling for quite a while so you always hope that this chance would come up. My aim is turn to pro, teams are massively looking at this event to see who is going to make the step up and lots of guys will step up at some point.”

The race starts in Doncaster with a flat opening 90km before the main climb of Greenhow Hill which will push riders to the limit before finishing in Harrowgate.

He said: “I got to see the track for the first time on Monday. I think the climb is going to be pretty savage but it suits me having a good climb.

“Everyone in the team is confident. Tom Pidcock is the man in form he has won some big races and is a big favourite. I’ve not set any personal targets I just want the team to do well.

“Cycling is huge down in Yorkshire. It’s absolutely mad. There’s a real buzz about the place.

“It was a slow start to the season but it’s picked up well. I’ve been doing well the past couple of weeks so that gives me confidence.”