Dublin-born Lydia Boylan, became the second ever Irish woman to win a medal at the Track Cycling World Championships, as she claimed silver in the Women’s Points Race, in Poland.
Boylan, who won a silver medal in the Madison event with partner Lydia Gurley, at the 2017 European Championships, secured Ireland’s best ever finish since Caroline Ryan’s Bronze medal in 2012.
The Women’s Points Race is a 100 lap track event, where the aim is to accumulate as many points over the course of the race. Points are scored during the ‘sprint finish’ which occur every ten laps. For each sprint finish, the first rider takes 5 points, the second takes 3 points, the third takes 2 points and the fourth takes 1 point. Double points are awarded on the last lap.
As well as this, 20 points are awarded when a cyclist laps the whole field. This form of race requires riders to be tactical and possess great stamina and sprinting power, to ensure they gain as many points as possible.
Boylan’s performance was nothing short of superb. The three-time Irish National Road Race Champion took all five points in the third sprint. Following this, she plotted her next move and used a late attack in the race to gain a lap on most of her rivals. With just six of the 100 laps to go, Boylan was in the gold medal position.
In the final sprint, Australia’s Alexandra Manly took maximum points and narrowly edged out the Irish woman by a single point. As a result Boylan claimed a silver medal – her best result to date. The Netherlands’ Kirsten Wild placed third, to scoop bronze.
Boylan spoke of her delight afterwards:
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet that I have finally done something on the world stage,” said Boylan.
“The World Championship was always going to be a super-hard race but that sort of racing suits me because I know I can dig deep. It is something the Irish always say – we push ourselves so hard in training. I just can’t believe I’ve got a silver medal.”
With 17 months remaining until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the
31-year-old has ramped up her focus on track racing. Boylan will no doubt take huge
confidence from her magnificent performance, mixing it up with the world’s
— Brian Nugent (@brian_nugent) March 3, 2019
Women’s Points Race:
1, Alexandra Manly (Australia) 29 points;
2, L. Boylan (Ireland) 28 points;
3, K. Wild (Netherlands) 26 points