PEDALLING frantically through twisty, bumpy city centre streets for circuit after circuit won’t seem like everyone’s idea of fun but it all depends on your sense of perspective.

For Neah Evans, elite endurance rider with Great Britain and Team Huub, the Ovo Energy Tour Series events in Motherwell (Tuesday) and Aberdeen (Thursday) represent a chance to enjoy a spot of pressure-free cycling to the backdrop of enthusiastically boisterous crowds.

The 28-year-old from rural Aberdeenshire will line up alongside Katie Archibald, Anna Shackley and Zoe Watters in Scottish Cycling skins, the first time she has done so since her exploits at last year’s Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast where she claimed a silver and bronze.

Road racing had not been in her thoughts for this month but, having been asked to compete in this event, she is now eagerly looking forward to it.

“It’s a cliched thing to say about racing in front of a home crowd but it really does make a big difference,” she said. “They always give you an extra cheer when you’re going round. It doesn’t matter how the race goes – it’s always a good atmosphere. So I thought I would just give it a bash. Form-wise I’m not really up for it but I think it should be good fun.

“A lot of the racing I’m doing just now is for British Cycling and I’m hugely privileged to be in that position. But as soon as you put on a British Cycling skin suit there’s always an element of pressure. They’ve got such a strong history of producing results that people just expect that you’ll get results, which can be easier said than done.

“With this, it’s one of those rare opportunities where there is absolutely no pressure. I could come last and get the mickey taking out of me a little bit! But that would be the end of it. Obviously I don’t want that as I’ve got a competitive streak and always want to do well. But there’s no consequences if it doesn’t go my way. And that’s a nice change.”

The fact that this is an event that pulls in intrigued passers-by as well as hardcore cycling enthusiasts also appeals to her.

“This is a hugely different dynamic racing in a town centre with sharp little turns,” she added. “If you get a lot of speed up you’ve got to be careful going through the bends, and there’s all that extra street furniture like going over metal grids or bits of smooth paving to think about too. So there are different things to contend with.

“And the crowds are different, too. If you’re at a big event in a velodrome the spectators have made the choice to go and watch it. Whereas in city centre racing you’ll get your cycling fans but you’ll also have passers-by who’ve been in doing some shopping or out having dinner. And they think, “What’s this commotion?” and they come over to have a look.

“So you get a big mix of different people watching you which is special as you don’t tend to get that too often at other events. You might have young kids watching who then say “I want to have a go” and that could be the whole start of something.”

Evans has also “pencilled in” an appearance at the inaugural three-day women’s Tour of Scotland that takes place in August.

“We’ve just had the Tour of Yorkshire and they’ve got the world championships coming up later in the year and cycling has really taken off in that region.

“I’m hoping with the women’s tour of Scotland we can create something similar so when it’s our turn to have the world championships then we’ve been able to build up similar momentum.

“My own criticism of the event is that they’ve not gone far enough north in the route planning although I’m slightly biased! I’d like to see some big climbs in the Cairngorms. Having grown up there that would be really spectacular from a spectator point of view and really challenging for the riders. But as a starting point for the event it’s fantastic.”