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Seventh for Gordon and Byrne at Para Track Worlds in Kilo

Seventh for Gordon and Byrne at Para Track Worlds in Kilo

Seventh for Gordon and Byrne in Kilo on World Championship Debut in Los Angeles, USA

Ireland’s tandem of Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne finished seventh in the Men’s B Tandem 1km Time Trial at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles last night, with a time of 1.08.115. The gold medal went to the GB tandem of James Ball and Matt Rotherham, with GB’s Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean taking silver. Bronze went to Australia’s Kieran Murphy and Lachlan Glasspool. The new pairing are the sole Irish riders competing in the Paracycling Track World Championships, with this also being the first international outing for the Irish team since their phenomenal medal haul at the Paralympic Games in Rio last September.

The 1km Time Trial, more often referred to as the Kilo, is a flat out effort against the clock of four laps of the 250m track, with the medals going to the fastest three bikes. Gordon and Byrne were first on the track to record a time, and were happy with their effort. Dubliner Byrne felt it was a solid starting point for the pair:

“We had a solid enough start, similar to what we did in training, and managed to fully empty the tank over the four laps. We are glad to have the legs opened up now.”

Gordon and Byrne are a relatively new pairing, but believe there are plenty of positives to take from their first competitive event together:

“We were working well together and had clean lines; it’s a really good platform to work from over the next four years. We’re really happy considering we have been together for such a short period and we were the only team to ride on the drops. Tomorrow we are looking forward to the sprint, and seeing if we can improve on our position in the standings.”

Team Manager Mark Kiely has been impressed with the preparations and progress of the riders:

“Every time they get on the track they seem to get faster and faster. Their attitude and commitment is excellent, they aren’t overawed in this environment and are relaxed and excited about what may lie ahead.”

Today they compete in the Men’s B Tandem Sprint, an event that is more technical than the Kilo. The Sprint involves a qualifying round where the tandems race over 200m against the clock, with the top riders progressing to the Match Sprint rounds where the competition becomes a cat and mouse tactical event.

Cycling Ireland Performance Coach Neill Delahaye explains:

"Tandem sprint events are very technical and while they are not experienced as a pairing together, they are looking forward to the challenge and excitement of taking on some of the best tandems in the world at these championships. The experience they will gain from this event is really going to put them in a strong position to develop for the future.”

This is the first time that a World Track Championships for Para-cycling has been held in the post-Paralympic season and it is taking place in the Velo Sports Centre Velodrome, Los Angeles, USA from the 2nd – 5th March.

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