Kelly Murphy sets a New National Record to finish 6th at the European Championships

Top 10 finish for Ryan Henderson in BMX Freestyle

(Photo by Drew Kaplan)

It was a thrilling day of action at the European Championships for Ireland with Kelly Murphy finishing in 6th place in the Individual Pursuit with a new national record and Ryan Henderson produced a top 10 finish in the BMX Freestyle final. 

Ireland’s Kelly Murphy lowered the Individual Pursuit National Record by more than 1 second at the European Championships today. Murphy held the previous record which she set at the Track Cycling World Championships last year; the record now standing at 3:26.363 (subject to ratification). Her record-breaking ride saw her finish in 6th place, missing out on the bronze medal ride off. 

Thrilled with her performance in the Individual Pursuit, Murphy commented:

“I’m feeling really pleased about that. This is quite a hard track to ride, and we haven’t spent much time on the track in training, but we’ve been working on other things like our positions and stuff. I wasn’t terribly happy with the last IP (individual pursuit) I did; my pacing was a bit off so to be able to hold in my head what I needed to do and actually execute it today is actually quite a nice feeling.”

Murphy was up against the current World Champion Lisa Brennauer from Germany, but she didn’t let that impact her ride.

“You can’t control what other people do so it’s more a case of forgetting anything else around me and just being selfish and concentrating on your own ride. You know that’s where all your efforts should be going. I expected her (Lisa Brennauer) to catch me, and she didn’t and it’s her final race today, so to be up against her it was a great privilege really.” 

Brennauer’s impressive ride booked herself a spot in the gold-medal ride off against her teammate, Mieke Kroger with Kroger winning the gold medal. Italian rider Vittoria Guazzini beat Josie Knight of Great Britain to claim the bronze medal.

The track programme concluded today for Murphy who will now focus her efforts on preparing for the Time Trial on Wednesday, 17th August. The national champion will be joined by this year’s runner up Joanna Patterson in the event. 

(Photo by Drew Kaplan)

Ireland’s first representative at a major championship in the BMX Freestyle event, Ryan Henderson left it all out on the park to finish in 10th place. After qualifying 11th on Thursday, Henderson stepped up his game for the final. Henderson’s best score came in his second run where he was awarded 68 points, improving on his first run (64.4 points). 

Speaking after the event, Henderson said:

“I’m buzzing. Even to get into the final was cool but to place top 10, it’s amazing.” 

From breaking his neck in a motocross accident 10 years ago to competing at a European Championships, Henderson has had quite the journey to get to where he is today. 

“It’s something I never thought would be possible. After having an accident in motocross and breaking my C3, it just shows if you put the work in anything is possible” Henderson added. 

Earlier today, Orla Walsh competed in the 500 metre Time Trial finishing in 14th place with a time of 35.175. Walsh will now turn her focus to the Olympic events – Sprint and Keirin. 

“The 500 (metre Time Trial) is not my focus, it’s not an Olympic event so it’s just kind of another chance to race and see where I’m at.” said Walsh.

Today’s event has given Walsh an opportunity to prepare for the sprint tomorrow. 

“It really opened up the legs anyway.  I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, the legs should be good.” she added. 

Fresh from competing in the team pursuit yesterday, Alice Sharpe finished in 11th place in the crash-strewn elimination race this evening. Sharpe was unfortunate to get caught up in two early crashes but was determined to carry on after both crashes. 

Commenting on the race, Sharpe said:

“It’s all a bit of a blur. I was well positioned before the first crash and before the second crash too and then after we restarted after the second crash, I just was not able to go over the top. I was a bit lazy and snuck in the bottom and then I was eliminated. 
“It’s not ideal really but I think it’s just a consequence of the shorter track, it’s pretty hard to move around and I think any movement by any riders were really exaggerated by the track.
“I think I’ll hurt tomorrow but considering how many crashes and how other riders came away, I think I did okay.”



Orla Walsh 500 TT Qualifying – 14th

Kelly Murphy Individual Pursuit – 6th (New National Record)

Alice Sharpe Elimination Race Final - 11th


Ryan Henderson Men’s Park Final - 10th



11:30 – Sprint qualifying (Orla Walsh)

13:21 – Sprint 1/16 finals 

16:45 – Sprint 1/8 finals

17:17 – Sprint Race 1 Quarter-finals

18:11 – Points Race Final (Mia Griffin)


09:15- 14:30 – Men’s Road Race (Sam Bennett, Ryan Mullen, Eddie Dunbar, Rory Townsend, Matthew Taggart)