Ireland are represented by six female riders at the UCI Track World Championships in Berlin. This tournament has huge ramifications as it is the final event before the 2-year Olympic qualification window for track cyclists closes.
The Women’s Madison team are ranked ninth overall, well placed inside the Olympic qualification zone. Their top ten finish at the 2019 Track World Championships and eighth-place at the 2019 European Championships is a big part of their position.
The Irish team over in Berlin will compete across 6 events: Women’s Team Pursuit, Women’s Scratch, Women’s Omnium, Women’s Individual Pursuit, Women’s Madison and the Women’s Points Race.
It was a record-breaking opening day for Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe and Lara Gillespie. The Women’s Team Pursuit squad posted their best result at a World Championship finishing 8th in Berlin on Thursday – setting a new national record in the process.
Their time of 4:21.368 was a massive four-second improvement on their PB set in Minsk last October. The effort saw them progress to the first round where they faced 2019 World Champions, Australia.Ireland’s quartet were beaten and finished 8th overall.
The result is another huge step forward in the team’s development, taking almost 8 seconds off their 4,000-meter time within a 12-month period.
Lydia Gurley was up next as she lined up for Ireland in the Women’s Scratch Race. Gurley crossed the line in the main bunch, in 21st position. Her key focus remains on Saturday where she will compete in the Women’s Madision with the primary objective of securing Olympic qualification.
Team Ireland Schedule – live on BBC and Eurosport
Friday, February 28th
Women’s Omnium: Lydia Boylan @ 14:00, 15:55, 18:34 and 20:01
Men’s Points Race: Mark Downey @ 17:32
Saturday, February 29th
Women’s Individual Pursuit Qualifying: Kelly Murphy @ 12:13
Women’s Madison: Lydia Boylan, Lydia Gurley @ 16:10
Sunday, March 1st
Women’s Points Race: Alice Sharpe @ 13:02
Men’s Madison: Mark Downey, Felix English @ 14:03