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Fifth for Felix English in Euro Track Champs

Fifth for Felix English in Euro Track Champs

Solid Start for Debut Riders in First Day at European Track Championships

On the first day of racing at the 2016 UEC European Track Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Velodrome in Paris the Irish team has had a solid start, with Felix English finishing 5th in the Men’s Scratch Race, and the Women’s Team Pursuit of Lydia Boylan, Eileen Burns, Lydia Gurley and Anna Turvey qualifying to the next round in 8th place, with a time of 4.40.347. In the Women’s 500m Time Trial newcomer to the Irish squad Robyn Stewart finished 12th in 36.663 seconds and Eimear Moran 14th in 37.296 seconds. Gurley was in action again in the Women’s Elimination Race later, where she finished 15th in the tactical bunch race. With this being the first competition in the new Olympiad for track cyclists, the squad is made up of many new names of talented cyclists, who will use Paris as an opportunity to gain valuable experience. Racing runs in Paris from 19th – 23rd October, with Irish riders competing across both sprint and endurance events.

In the Men’s Scratch Race English came agonizingly close to a medal in a race where two riders lapped the field, Gael Suter (SUI) and Adrian Teklinski (POL). In the sprint for the bronze medal English was pipped on the line, with the medal going to Wim Stroetinga (NED). Cycling Ireland Technical Director Brian Nugent said “That was a great display from Felix! He was one of the fastest in the final sprint and just missed out on a bronze due to the way the sprint worked out for him. He was well placed throughout and very vigilant and active at every point. Felix is maturing as a rider and the big result will come naturally.”

Boylan raced as the experienced rider on the team of Burns, Gurley and Turvey, who were competing in their debut championships, and the team started conservatively before building pace to finish in a time fast enough to earn them a pass to the next round tomorrow, where they get the opportunity to improve their placing in the race for fifth place. Commenting after their race Nugent was happy with their performance saying “The main goal of these championships for this group is to gain experience, so it’s a bonus for the women to qualify for the next round tomorrow. They have a lot to learn in the team pursuit, but I’m really happy with how they got on out there today. This group will just get stronger with more time and experience.”

Nugent was pleased to get the racing started, and felt all the riders performed well “The new women’s sprinters did great in the 500 TT recording pbs, and Lydia Gurley got stuck in during her individual debut at a major championships in the tactical bunch race. It’s just great to see so many new faces getting an opportunity to progress and really committing to it.”

Racing continues tomorrow with the next round of the Women’s Team Pursuit and Stewart and Moran will team up for the Women’s Team Sprint. Boylan will compete in the Women’s Scratch Race and Fintan Ryan will make his debut in the elite championships competing in the Men’s Elimination Race.

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