Cycling: even without Chris Hoy, Scotland could have wheels on fire

So what's in store for the Commonwealth Games cyclists this summer?

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Impressive mountain biking track.
Impressive mountain biking track.

Mountain Biking

The dangerous version of track and road cycling, this event will be all wrapped up on July 29, with both the men's and women's cross country events being held on the same day.

The venue is the Cathkin Braes Country Park, utilising the terrain of the surrounding area. The names for the interesting features on the course provide the most amusement for the casual viewer: "Broken biscuits" and "Brig O'Doom" to name a couple, so let's hope the riders can negotiate them in one piece. The layout has been designed with the input of Phil Saxena, a world leader in the design of mountain bike courses.

Road Cycling

While it doesn't appear as dangerous a prospect as the mountain biking, the Time Trial and Road Race events promise to be action packed, with the added bonus of being free to view along the entire route.

The time trial will be held on July 31. The route starts and finishes at Glasgow Green, but sends the riders to all areas of the surrounding countryside as they strive for the fastest time over the distance. A 40 kilometre loop for the men, and 30 kilometres for the women will take in much of North Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, as well as the east end of the city of Glasgow.

The road race will be held on August 3. A 14 kilometre loop of the city will take the riders past many of the landmarks that Glasgow has to offer. The men will do 12 laps of this circuit, covering 168 kilometres, and the women will navigate the course 7 times, covering a total of 98 kilometres.

Track

Track cycling has enjoyed plenty of publicity in Scotland in recent years, and the lion's share of the cycling will be done in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Four days of intense competition from July 24 to July 27 will decide the winners on the track.

Anything can happen over the custom built, 250 metre loop in the East End of Glasgow. The track was designed by Ralph Schuermann, another world leader in track design.

There will be medals up for grabs on the first day of the action at the velodrome. The men's 4000m Team Pursuit and Team Sprint winners will be decided on July 24, as well as the women's Para-sport Sprint B tandem finals and the women's 500 metre time trial final.

Over the next few blogs, I'll be looking more closely at who Scotland has waiting in the wings to emulate Sir Chris. For now though, here's a couple of names to look for in the coming weeks:

Kayleigh Brogan: Kayleigh is from Paisley, and after a great year last year in both road racing and track racing, she is fully committed to gaining selection for the Games. The 22-year-old's accolades from last year alone include Scottish Road Race Champion, Scottish Criterium Champion, silver in the Scottish Scratch Race Championships and silver in the Scottish Kierin Championship.

Eileen Roe: Eileen started racing in the velodrome in Edinburgh at the age of 13. In 2012, she won silver in the Criterium Championships, and bronze in the Team Pursuit and Madison Championships.

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