Interview with World Cup Gold Medalist Kelly Murphy

It was a hugely successful weekend of racing at the Track Nations Cup in St.Petersburg for the Irish track cyclists. In particular, Kelly Murphy excelled winning two Gold medals over the four-day competition. Murphy, along with her teammates Lara Gillespie, Mia Griffin and Alice Sharpe secured Ireland’s first medal taking Gold in the Team Pursuit. Murphy claimed a second Gold medal in the Individual Pursuit while setting a new National Record in the process. 

We caught up with Kelly Murphy to see what she had to say after her medal winning performances at the weekend.

Speaking about the Team Pursuit and their training leading up to the event, Murphy said,

We started out six weeks ago in Palma. Because of COVID we didn't really know what races were going to be going ahead. We were aiming for European Championships three weeks ago but they were cancelled. We kept our heads down and kept training away, honing our good form waiting for a race to be put on. Last year, we'd all gone away and worked on ourselves and then when we came together, we were a bit wiser with a little bit more experience. We had confidence in our own knowledge and experience and it helped us feel more collaborative. 

It's pretty normal to have nerves before we race but the atmosphere before we rode in Russia, it was a little bit more business-like. Our focus was a bit stronger, we were in synchrony with one another and as teammates we had the will to produce a good ride. It just felt like a line under the sand for us, like we were ready to step up. 

Commenting on the process of the Team Pursuit and her goal for the Track Nations Cup, Murphy said, 

For Team pursuit, normally what would happen at a race is you have three rounds if you medal. You've got your qualifying round in the morning, that's where you want to set a fast time. Then you've got your round one right after it when you've got two teams on the track. That means the track runs a little faster and then if you win your ride-off, you then go to the medal rounds, and normally we would produce at previous competitions, our fastest ride in the morning.

For me, the goal prior to Russia was to produce equally strong second and third rides. The fact that we were able to go faster in the evening on our last ride and equal our best time really showed to me that we're ready to move on. The time was very good, but it's the consistency for me and the fact that we've shown that we can be medalists. It represents an overall change in attitude and I'm excited for more to come. 

Adding to the success of the Team Pursuit, Murphy’s great form continued on Saturday when she took Gold in the Individual Pursuit.

I think for individual events, I always go into them a little bit more relaxed, I think, especially because it's non-Olympic and there's no pressure of having to perform for teammates either. My training has been pretty consistent. I think it was a slightly cleaner ride than I've been able to produce before.  Tactically, there's not really a lot you can do, you just have to focus on your own performance. I had to trust my legs, and thankfully it paid off which was nice.