Irish pursuiters vow to fight on after disaster at European Champs

Posted on: August 4th, 2018

The Irish team pursuiters had an experience they need to forget quickly. Above, Kelly Murphy in the individual pursuit.


Ireland’s team pursuiters have already dusted themselves down and vowed to fight on after suffering a disaster at the European Championships.

The four riders split into two groups of two, with the second pair then splitting on the velodrome in Glasgow.

In an event where staying together is the key and the time of the third rider over the line is the one that counts; it was a disaster.

It also appeared as if the leading two were unaware their two team mates were not with them and so they pressed on.

They ended the race some 38 seconds down on the winners Great Britain.

The four women were first off in the competition, indeed they got the track cycling begun at the championships.

And while their splitting up was a difficult experience that they must learn from but also move on from quickly, there was clear evidence they had already begun that process.

The team included Alice Sharpe, Orla Walsh, Mia Griffin and Hilary Hughes.

“We got to be the first athletes to step on the track; that was an honour,” said Hilary Hughes.

“It’s incredible to be here and to be competing with the greats; it’s a dream of all of ours. We are absolutely chuffed to be here.

“Things don’t always work out how you want them to, but that doesn’t mean you stop. It just means you get back, regroup and work even harder.

“We are a new team, this is our second big event,” she said of the development quartet.

“We have high hopes, we have big plans, and we will continue to work towards them best we can.”

And the 32-year-old said while things had not gone to plan in the race, the preparation they had done with Cycling Ireland in recent weeks in Majorca would stand to them.

“We have put in really solid work. We worked as if we were racing every day in terms of our mindset, our preparation, the effort, the work ethic,” she said.

“Our coaches have been on the ball, and they have worked with us to get the absolute best from us.”

Also at the Europeans, Irish rider Felix English was 10th in the omnium, Shannon McCurley was 8th in the scratch race.

In the women’s individual pursuit, Kelly Murphy was 11th with a time of 3.39.317 and Mia Griffin was 21st with 3.48.605.

At the time of writing Robyn Stewart had progressed to the 1/16 final in the individual sprint; that’s an amazing ride and we’ll have more from her later.