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Euro Championships: DAY ONE Pbs and National Records

Euro Championships: DAY ONE Pbs and National Records

National Record for Men’s Junior Team Pursuit Kick Starts European Championships in Italy

The Junior Men have kick started the Irish campaign at the UEC Track Juniors and U23 European Championships by breaking the National Record in the Team Pursuit. The Championships take place in Montichiari, Italy from the 12th – 17th July. In the U23 Women’s Individual Pursuit Josie Knight finished in 9th place with a time of 3.42.745, and Mark Downey was 17th in the U23 Men’s Individual Pursuit with a time of 4.31.734. In the Junior Scratch race Shenna McKiverigan rode a superb race to finish in 6th place and a crash meant Luke Smith was listed as a DNF. This weekend eleven Irish riders will compete in twenty four events in one of the major events in junior and U23 track cycling.

The time of 4.19.825 for the Junior Men’s Team Pursuit was particularly impressive considering most of the team are in their first year in the junior ranks. The team of Tom Knight, Cathal Purcell, Luke Smith and Xeno Young finished 3 seconds faster than the existing national record of 4.22.798. Shenna McKiverigan who, along with most of the team, has come through the Talent Team Programme dominated the women’s events at the Junior National Track Championships earlier this year, outlining her form as a second year junior. While Luke Smith crashed out of the Junior Men’s Scratch Race in the final lap, this result does not reflect his performance in a race where he was active from the start.

In the Individual Pursuits Knight finished in a time of 3.42.745 in her first year racing as an U23. Finishing in 9th place at this level is a good improvement from last year’s 15th place, when she rode as a junior and Downey’s time of 4.31.734 was a personal best by 14 seconds.

Both of these riders were medallists as juniors at these European Championships in 2014.

Cycling Ireland Technical Director Brian Nugent was happy with the strong start made by the team “We have come here with a large team with a full week of racing. To kick start it with a national record in the junior team pursuit along with a string of other top results is a great start to the week. Most of the team are still in their first year in the junior ranks, so to get 4.19 is huge and they have a big future ahead of them.

Shenna rode a fantastic race to finish 6th, she has been going well all year, so it’s great to see her perform so well in a major championships. She was as good as any of the competition. Luke was impressive in the junior men’s race, he was unlucky to crash when he did when a top result looked on the cards, but he has plenty of time.

Josie and Mark went for it in the pursuits. For Josie, it wasn’t her best day, but it is still an improvement on last year’s 15th place. Mark rode a 4.31 –knocking 14 seconds off his personal best, super improvement. You have to be pleased with that as an opening day.”

Tomorrow McKiverigan is in action again in the Sprint event, and Ciara Doogan and Nicole Gorry compete in the Women’s Junior Individual Pursuit. Xeno Young and Luke Smith will compete in the Men’s Junior Individual Pursuit while Smith will compete again in the Kilo along with Cathal Purcell. Racing at the UEC Track Juniors & U23 European Championships runs from the 12th – 17th July in the Montichiari Velodrome in the Brescia region of Italy.


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