Irish women post historic team pursuit ride at London World Cup

Posted on: December 13th, 2018

Irish team pursuit London World Cup

Four Irish women in the team pursuit event have made their own piece of history on the velodrome at the London World Cup.

 

The Irish team pursuit line-up has put in their best performance yet at the London World Cup.

They have become the first Irish team pursuiters to progress from qualifying into the next round of a major international meeting.

And they have also gone to within a whisker of the Irish record, which will surely fall to them very soon; maybe even this weekend.

The line-up endured criticism after the European Championships in Glasgow in August when their formation split in two groups of two.

But having been training full-time in Mallorca since then, their technique and their strength has rocketed forward.

Today in London they finished eight fastest in qualifying. And that ensured they progressed to the next round, run off in a knock-out head-to-head format.

The two surviving, or unbeaten, teams in the knock-out stage ride off against each other for gold and silver.

And the next best two line-ups in the knock-out stage compete head-to-head for bronze.

The Irish women’s progression into the next round marks the first time any female Irish team has achieved that since 2012.

Back then the format of the event was changed to ensure the eight quickest teams in team pursuit qualifying survived for a next round of racing.

The Irish riders in action in London were Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe and Orla Walsh.

They clocked a time of 4:31.762.

That was over 1.5 seconds quicker than their time in Berlin two weeks ago when they stopped the clock at 4:33.296 in the 4km event.

And they are now closing in on the national record of 4:31.666; racing around the London velodrome less than one tenth of a second off the Irish standard set back in 2015.

Team GB were fastest of the 12 teams in action, with a time of 4:17.453; just over 14 seconds quicker than the Irish.

The Italians were next, in a time of 4:24.396; almost seven seconds slower than the British foursome.

Then came the United States (4:24.493), followed by South Korea (4:25.362), Team Breeze (4:26.834), Belgium (4:30.730), Poland (4:30.883) and Ireland next in 8th place.

The Irish team beat the French, the Chinese, Ukraine and Germany.

The Team Breeze line-up is for senior British Cycling Academy riders and featured former Irish international Josie Knight as a guest today.

In action in London this weekend is a team of Irish riders including some of our paracyclists.

Shannon McCurley rides the omnium and also teams up with Lydia Boylan for the madison.

Robyn Stewart competes in both keirin and sprint while Felix English joins forces with Mark Downey in the madison.

Marc Potts races the omnium while Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne take on the paracycling ‘tandem B’ sprint.

Paracyclist Chris Burns is also in action in the green of Ireland, riding the C 1-3 1km TT.

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