Irish Track Cycling Success at Ghent International 

It was an exciting weekend for Irish track cycling with a team of up and coming Junior riders representing Ireland at the Ghent International Track Meet. 

The Belgian competition also provided an opportunity for members of the Irish Women’s Track Cycling Team to continue their preparations ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The team made history earlier this year by qualifying a team for the Women’s Team Pursuit for the first time in Irish cycling history. 

Junior Success 

Six Junior athletes were competing over the course of the weekend. Seth Dunwoody, Max Fitzgerald, Luca Holmes and Philip O'Connor in the Junior Men category, and Rhiannon Dolan, Mya Doocey and Lucy Bénézet Minns in the Junior Women category. 

The standout performance came from Bénézet Minns on Sunday, when she finished second in the Women’s Junior Omnium. Only last weekend Bénézet Minns claimed the Junior Road National Champion title at the 2024 Cycling Ireland Road National Championships in Limerick. 

Delighted with her results Bénézet Minns said:

“Super happy with yesterday, it was my first time racing track at a Junior UCI so really nice to know I have the legs to perform at this kind of level and looking forward to Junior Europeans in Cottbus soon!” 

Also competing in the Women’s Junior Omnium and making her international debut for Ireland was Dolan. Doocey and Dolan were paired together for the Women’s Junior Madison, while Bénézet Minns was paired with Austria’s Sophie Walcher. 

There was a strong Irish contingent in the Men’s Junior Points race, O’Connor, Fitzgerald and Holmes claimed fourth, fifth and sixth place. 

Dunwoody was 14th in the Men’s Junior Omnium, and Holmes and O’Connor competed in the Men’s Junior Madison. 

Ahead of the competition Cycling Ireland National Development Pathway Lead, Michael Black expressed his excitement about sending such a strong cohort of riders to the Belgian event. 

The weekend was an important part of preparations ahead of the upcoming European and World Championships, Black explained:

“We believe this experience will be instrumental in their growth and success in the sport and aligns strongly with our high performance development pathway. This race forms part of an overall track programme leading into the European Under 23 and Junior Track Championships in Germany at the beginning of July and the World Junior Track Championships in China on the 25th of August.”

Gillespie Claims Third in Women’s Omnium 

Lara Gillespie continues to impress. She has already had an outstanding season so far on the road, culminating in her signing a contract to ride on the World Tour with UAE Team ADQ. 

Now her focus turns to the track. An excellent third place finish in a very competitive field in the Women’s Omnium on Saturday cemented her place as a rider to watch. 

Erin Creighton, who will represent Ireland at the Under 23 European Track Championships later this month, continues to gain great experience. She competed in Women’s Omnium, Scratch race and Points race, finishing in 16th, 14th and 17th place, respectively. 

Alice Sharpe and Gillespie teamed up for the Women’s Madison. Narrowly missing out on a podium finish, the pair finished fourth. 

Click here for Full Results

Click here for the Under 23 and Junior Track Europeans Team Announcement