Cycling Ireland: “Irish track team is gaining on other nations now”

Posted on: November 2nd, 2015

Cycling Ireland has said while some sections of the national track team are making more progress than others, the overall trajectory is higher.


At the end of the UCI World Cup in Cali, Colombia, Cycling Ireland’s top coach has said he believes Ireland is catching some of the other nations active on the world stage.

Brian Nugent added that with the Rio Olympics fast approaching and the goal of medals on the biggest stage now firmly in the sights of the world’s top nations, the competition at international meets was hotting up.

However, he believed Ireland was gaining ground overall.

“The standard is definitely rising because it is Olympic year and all the best nations are here with their best riders,” said Nugent, Cycling Ireland’s technical director.

“It’s good because it’s also pushing us to progress at such a rate.

“We launched a big programme last year and we’re catching up quick with the other nations.

“ In some areas we’re adapting better than others but across the board we’re progressing. It’s exciting watching it unfold.”

He was speaking after a three-day meeting in which Lydia Boylan went very close to repeating the achievement of Caroline Ryan who medalled at the World Cup two years ago in Mexico.

On that occasion the former international rower turned track cyclist took bronze in the 3km individual pursuit.


Brian Nugent with Irish legend Martyn Irvine. The coach believes his charges are progressing well on the world stage.


Ryan’s was the first medal ever at a World Cup by an Irish woman and national road race champion Boylan went very close to coming home with the same result on her palmares, this time in the scratch race.

She gained a lap with three other riders and though she would have been fancied to beat at least one of them and bag a medal, she had to settle for 4th on the day.

Elsewhere, Felix English was 7th in the men’s points race; the criterium ace signalling he may surprise a few people on the boards in the months and years ahead if he sticks at it.

Martyn Irvine was 10th in the qualifying for the individual pursuit and the men’s and women’s team pursuit line-ups were 17th and 10th respectively.

On Sunday, the final day of competition, Eoin Mullen was in action in the qualifying round of the men’s sprint.

His flying 200m time trial was clocked at 10.216s which placed the Aran Islander 36th overall.

Shannon McCurley was sixth in the first heat of the women’s keirin. She advanced to the repechage where a fourth place finish concluded her participation in the competition.

Unfortunately for Fintan Ryan, illness forced him out of the madison on Sunday; an event he was down to ride with fellow emerging young gun Mark Downey.

However, it was not a wasted trip for them as both were part of the team pursuit line-up, along with English and Marc Potts.