13 riders to represent Ireland at the UEC Junior & U23 Track European Championships in Apeldoorn from 17th – 22nd August

A large team is set to represent Ireland at the Junior & U23 Track Cycling European Championships in the Netherlands. The team comprises of eight junior and five U23 riders all aiming to perform on the European stage and gain valuable major event experience.

For the first time, Ireland will field a junior women’s team pursuit squad in a major Championships. The aspiring young riders will be looking to emulate some of the success enjoyed by the Elite Women’s Team Pursuit squad who recently won Gold at the UCI Nations Cup in Russia, just a fraction outside their National Record of 4:21.368.

A junior men’s team will also ride the Team Pursuit testing themselves against many of the top cycling nations.

U23 riders Lara Gillespie and Gaby Homer will partner for the Women’s Madison with Lara also racing the Points Race and Omnium. Gaby goes in the Individual Pursuit, Elimination and Scratch races.

Harvey Barnes will focus on U23 Sprint events while Cian Keogh and Chris Donald team up for the U23 Men’s Madison. Cian will also ride the Individual Pursuit while Chris focuses on the Omnium.

In addition to the Team Pursuit, junior riders Erin Creighton, Caoimhe May, Katie Neill, Maia Simmons, Stedan Caulfield Dreier, Odhran Doogan, Niall McLoughlin and Patrick O’Loughlin will compete in a range of events over the six days in order to maximise racing opportunities and experience.

Team Manager, Martin O’Loughlin thanked the riders for their commitment during a difficult period:

“The riders have worked very hard, both in Sundrive, travelling from all corners of the country twice per week, and in Mallorca where they’ve been on camp for 18 days. For the first time ever, we’ll have a junior women’s pursuit team, which will hopefully become a feeder team for our elite women’s squad. A lot of discipline has been required of all the riders on the bike, and particularly off it due to covid-19 restrictions.”

During an extended training camp at Cycling Ireland’s training base at Palma Velodrome in Mallorca, junior riders had the opportunity to learn from more experience track riders who have competed at senior elite level.

Martin O’Loughlin added:

“It has been wonderful to see Lara Gillespie and JB Murphy sharing their experience so readily while up on the Palma Velodrome. They’ve acted as two extra coaches alongside Mark Kiely and Hugh Byrne.”

Follow the action on social media at @Ekbaanapeldoorn and @CyclingIreland

Team Ireland

Junior Women

Erin Creighton, McConvey Cycles. Caoimhe May, Quanta Scott Orwell. Katie Neill, TC Racing. Maia Simmons, Canyon Development. 

Junior Men

Stedan Caulfield Dreier, Killarney CC. Odhran Doogan, Caldwell Cycles Omagh. Niall McLoughlin, Covey Wheelers. Patrick O’Loughlin, Panduit Carrick Wheelers.

U23 Women

Lara Gillespie, Team Rupelcleaning. Gaby Homer, Team Rupelcleaning.

U23 Men

Harvey Barnes, Spellman Dublin Port. Chris Donald, Spellman Dublin Port. Cian Keogh, Spellman Dublin Port.