Tough Day For Irish At UCI Track Cycling World Cup

Cycling Ireland In what was a mixed day for the Irish team, Eoin Mullen came agonisingly close to seizing a semi round place in the Men’s Keirin by coming second in the opening round at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London. The Aran Islands born sprinter was narrowly beaten by Poland’s Krzysztof Maksel, finishing ahead of some big names. Mullen failed to progress out of the repechage in the next round. In the Omnium Caroline Ryan starts day two in 20th position, and Martyn Irvine withdrew from the race in the first event. Junior rider Josie Knight from Kerry clocked up more valuable racing experience, racing in the Women’s Points Race, where she finished in 23rd position. This is the second World Cup on the Track Cycling 2014/15 calendar, with more valuable Olympic qualification points available. The World Cup runs from 5th – 7th December. The Men’s Keirin is an exciting sprint event, with riders motor paced for a number of laps before the “derny” pulls off allowing the racers to compete over the last few laps. This race requires power and speed along with tactical awareness, and Mullen has been honing his skills in the World Cycling Centre in Aigle. Speaking after his race Head Coach Brian Nugent said “Eoin showed a level that was not seen before, he led from the front and stayed at the front the whole time; and just was beaten by fractions on the line, when it’s done once before; it’s only a matter of time before he does it again.” In the Women’s Omnium Caroline Ryan performed below par across the Scratch, Individual Pursuit and Elimination Race today, and will start day two in 20th position. Going into day two GB’s Laura Trott is leading in points, with Kirsten Wild (NED) narrowly coming second. Nugent said “Caroline is obviously not at her best, her pursuit time is her slowest indoor time since 2009, she’ll race on and get as much out of this event and get as much as she can. We can see she is way off her best, she had difficulties leading into the event, but we all know Caroline, being the tough competitor she is she will get as much out of this as possible.” Martyn Irvine, who was involved in a crash at the World Cup in Mexico, had to present himself in the Men’s Omnium, in order to be able to compete in the World Championships early next year. He started the scratch race and retired after a lap. In the Women’s Points Race junior rider Josie Knight competed against world class competition, and gained valuable race experience. Nugent was extremely happy with her performance saying “One of the best things to see today was our junior rider, Josie, mixing and riding with good tactical awareness against world champions. I have not seen many people do that in the Points race at this level at her age, definitely one for the future.”