Positive Day On Track For Ireland At UCI Cycling World Championships
Lara Gillespie and Alice Sharpe competing in the Madison (Image: SWpix)
Ireland enjoyed a largely positive day in the UCI World Championships on Monday, August 7th, as the majority of the action saw the focus firmly on the track in Glasgow.
There were encouraging performances for Chris Burns, Richael Timothy and men’s tandem duo Martin Gordon and Eoin Mullen in the Para-cycling Track World Championships while Alice Sharpe and Lara Gillespie battled through a tough women’s madison race in the Track World Championships.
Chris Burns set a new national record on his way to finishing 6th in the MC2 1km Time Trial today on track. Earlier in qualifying, Burns set a new record to qualify in 6th place with a blistering time of 1:14.377.
In the final, the man from Banbridge matched his qualifying performance. After four events on track, Burns placed 6th overall in the Omnium rankings, consistent with his performance in Paris at the 2022 World Championships.
Racing in their final event of the Para-Cycling Track World Championships, tandem duo Martin Gordon and Eoin Mullen competed in the Sprint final to determine 5th and 6th place.
Martin Gordon and his pilot Eoin Mullen racing against USA (Image: SWpix)
Racing against USA, Ireland duo made a decisive early attack which they held right until the line to finish 5th.
Richael Timothy was in action today competing in the WC3 500m time trial setting a time of 42.354. Timothy has one event left – Tuesday's scratch race.
In the Track World Championships, Lara Gillespie and Alice Sharpe combined for the 30km Madison race.
In a tough field, Ireland earned a point in an early sprint to sit in eighth but as the favourites upped the pace, much of the field were lapped as Ireland dropped to eleventh place.
The duo weren’t phased however and kept a high pace in the following laps to pick up another point in a sprint before a chaotic finale.
Sharpe suffered a crash with an Australian rider but was quick to her feet and continued before another crash with nine laps to go saw Gillespie crash after a Dutch rider fell into her path, seeing the race neutralised.
Gillespie too was able to get back on her bike and continue as the Irish pair finished the race in 12th place.
Reflecting on the race, Alice Sharpe said:
“Lara’s crash was really unlucky there, she got smashed down onto so there was nowhere (to go) and then I just got caught by a resting rider, whether to go left or right and I picked the wrong way and then I crashed.”
“But on the whole, it was quite a positive race. Worlds is always a level up from the Nations Cups so whilst we did lose a lap, I think we can be pleased with our performance as a whole and there’s something to work on moving forwards.”
“Last year at worlds we were just totally outclassed and yeah it was quite demoralising, but I think we’ve taken a big step forward here so it’s something positive to work on for the next lot of Nations Cups and hopefully to take into the Olympics because that was still a good performance and we’ll still have good points there for qualification.”
Speaking about the level and intensity of the Madison, Sharpe added:
“That is the way the Madison is, you have to be super aggressive and the race was just getting more and more physical. As well as dodging bodies and there’s so much to look at, you have to be assertive and throw your weight around a bit and make sure you’re not getting pushed out of the way and hold your position.”
The Gran Fondo Individual Time Trials took place today with a number of Irish riders competing across a range of age categories.
After coming agonisingly close to medalling in the Gran Fondo Road Race on Friday, Paul Kennedy sealed an impressive silver medal in the 40-44 age group today in the 22.8km Time Trial.
BMX Challenge Racing continued today with more age categories competing across the day. Action continues tomorrow with the final day of racing. A full list of results can be found here.
On Tuesday, Para-cycling Track, Cross-country and BMX Freestyle Flatland take centre stage.
52-year-old BMX Freestyle Flatland veteran Dino Jeffers will represent Ireland for the first time at the World Championships. A deaf rider, Jeffers has competed in the UK and around Europe since the early 1990s.
Ahead of competing, Dino Jeffers said:
“I'm so happy and proud to be representing my country at the world UCI championships in Glasgow and being given the chance to show what Deaf people can do. My hope and aim is to continue to teach and encourage young Deaf & Hearing people to take up our sport.”
7th August, Monday
Men C2 1km Time Trial - Final (Omnium): Chris Burns – 6th (event & overall)
Women C3 500m Time Trial - Final (Omnium): Richael Timothy
Men B Sprint – 5-6 Final : Martin Gordon & Eoin Mullen - 5th
Women Madison 30km: Alice Sharpe, Lara Gillespie
Individual Time Trials – Full Results
Paul Kennedy (40-44) - 2nd
BMX Racing: Challenge
Challenge – Full Results
8th August, Tuesday
BMX Freestyle Flatland
15:00 Men Elite - Qualifying: Dino Jeffers
11:30 Men Elite Short Track Qualifying: Chris Dawson
17:49 Women C3 10km Scratch Race - Final (Omnium): Richael Timothy
BMX Racing: Challenge
World Challenge Schedule is available here.