Brilliant Gillespie scores medals hat trick at European Champs

Posted on: July 13th, 2019
Lara Gillespie now has five medals at European junior level; a gold and silver last year and now three this year – an incredible record

Lara Gillespie has taken the fifth medal of her career at the European Championships and her third of the 2019 Continental champs.

Today in Gent, Belgium, the Orwell Wheeler was in action in the junior points race; going into that contest as defending champion having won the title last year.

She had already had an amazing 2019 championships as she had claimed silver in the scratch race and in the individual pursuit before in recent days.

And at the end of the points race contest today she collected her third silver medal; beaten by one of the Italians to gold.

Gillespie sprinted really well and raced smartly throughout the contest but at the finish Matilide Vitillo of Italy ran out the winner.

Gillespie gets ready for go in the points race today
The green of Ireland on the way to another medal
Celebrating silver at the end of an all-out points race contest in Gent, Belgium

Italian rider Vitillo scored a total of 30 points through the eight sprints that make up the points race.

Ireland’s Lara Gillespie scored 21 and Maike Van Der Duin of the Netherlands scored 13 points for the bronze.

The Dutch rider was equal on points with Elynor Backstedt; the Team GB rider who beat Gillespie to gold in the individual pursuit.

However, because Van Der Duin was better placed in the final sprint of the contest, she got the medal.

Gillespie had a really strong race once she got going, though it took her until the fourth sprint of eight before she scored points.

She took 2nd in that fourth sprint and in the fifth sprint; both won by the eventual champion.

Gillespie failed to score during the sixth sprint but she won the seventh and she also won the final sprint when double points were on offer.

Her tally of five medals in consecutive Europeans has never been achieved by any Irish rider.

Lara Gillespie: Three trips to Europeans podium

Lara Gillespie takes silver in the scratch race behind the Pole, with the Dutch girl taking bronze
Gillespie also took pursuit silver; the gold going to Britain and bronze to Italy
The points race was won by an Italian, with Gillespie taking her third silver of these European Championships and the Dutch girl winning bronze