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Downey Top Finisher with 8th on First Day of Track World Cup

Downey Top Finisher with 8th on First Day of Track World Cup

Mark Downey was the top finisher for Ireland in the first day of action at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Pruszkow, Poland, finishing 8th in the Points Race. Downey had qualified for the final earlier today, finishing second in his heat. Lydia Gurley finished 14th in her Points Race and 20th in the Scratch Race this evening.

Downey has had a dominant year on both the track and road, winning five medals at the track world cups last season, as well as recording Ireland’s top finish in the World Road Championships in September.

Downey waited until a key moment before launching his attack in the race, saying “I went for my normal tactic of waiting until a key part of the race, and then going it on my own. It was either win big or lose everything, and that’s how it works. Tonight, it didn’t work – the riders chased me a lot when I got away.”

The gold medal in the Points Race went to Nikita Panassenko (Kaz), the only rider to lap the field. Greece’s Christos Volikakis, who was fifth in the recent European Championships, took the silver, with Liam Bertazzo from Italy winning bronze.

Tomorrow Downey will be competing in the Madison with Felix English – “I’m very excited for the Madison tomorrow, as it will be more based on strength. And after a good week in London I think myself and Felix could be on to do something special tomorrow.”

It was a busy night for recent European silver medallist, Lydia Gurley, with the finals of the Women’s Points Race and Scratch Race separated by just 40 minutes.

Gurley was pleased to be racing this week, following an injury at the London Six Day last week. Speaking after her race she said: “Considering that I spent last Saturday night in a London hospital thinking I broke my leg, I’m happy to be here giving it a go.”

An incident in last week’s Tempo Race was the cause “I crashed in the tempo race, and the pedal went into my leg. I still have some pain and swelling, but it’s time now to rest up and get ready for Sunday. Racing didn’t go my way today, but sometimes that’s the way it goes.”

Gold, silver and bronze in the Points Race went to the only three riders to lap the field – Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky (gold), Ganna Solovei from Ukraine (silver) and France’s Coralie Demay (bronze).

Earlier today the heats of the Scratch Race Marc Potts continued his top form, finishing second and qualifying for tomorrow’s final. Tomorrow will also see Robyn Stewart compete in the Sprint, Lydia Boylan in the Omnium, and the mighty duo of Mark Downey and Felix English compete in the Men’s Madison.

This is the first World Cup of the track cycling 2017/2018 season, and will take place from the 3rd – 5th November.


Women’s Points Race


Silver SOLOVEI Ganna (UKR)

Bronze DEMAY Coralie (FRA)

14th GURLEY Lydia (IRL)

Men’s Points Race


Silver VOLIKAKIS Christos (GRE)

Bronze BERTAZZO Liam (ITA)

8th DOWNEY Mark (IRL)

Women’s Scratch Race


Silver KACZKOWSKA Justyna (POL)

Bronze BALEISYTE Olivija (LTU)

20th GURLEY Lydia (IRL)

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