Heavy artillery named by Cycling Ireland to boost Olympic dream

Posted on: January 13th, 2015

Cycling Ireland has wheeled out the big guns as the bid to grab places at the Rio Olympics continues. Ryan Mullen, above, and Martyn Irvine are back in the team pursuit line-up for the World Cup in Cali (Photo: Guy Swarbrick)

 

By Brian Canty

Former scratch race world champion Martyn Irvine and World Road Championships U23 time trial silver medallist Ryan Mullen are back in the Irish squad for the UCI World Cup in Cali, Colombia, this weekend.

Both were omitted from the national team for the previous round in London early last month.

Irvine was still recuperating from the broken collarbone he sustained in a crash during the World Cup in Mexico back in November.

And Mullen was rested as he had been showing signs of fatigue following a lengthy season on the track and road for Ireland and with his trade team An Post-Chainreaction.

 

Martyn Irvine is fully recovered from the broken collar bone he sustained in a crash during round 1 of the UCI World Cup in Mexico in November.

 

They have both been training in Majorca with the rest of the Irish team in advance of this weekend’s action, which is crucially important as Olympic qualifying points are up for grabs.

Unlike last month’s London World Cup, only Olympic events are on the race card in Cali.

Mullen and Irvine will form half of the men’s team pursuit squad when they take to the boards.

Cormac Clarke, Sean Downey and Thomas Fallon have also been named, and two of those three will join Mullen and Irvine in team pursuit action.

Javan Nulty has not been included in the squad for this campaign.

 

Eoin Mullen has been improving year on year since he moved to Aigle in Switzerland a few years back. He trains and races there full-time, but can he make an impression in Cali, Colombia this weekend? (Photo: Guy Swarbrick)

 

Nulty (DID Dunboyne) rode the team pursuit in London with Sean Downey, Fallon and Clarke.

The team struggled against very tough opposition.

However, all but Downey are U23 riders and their competing alongside each other on the World Cup stage was seen as ideal preparation for the U23 team pursuit at the European Championships in the summer.

Mullen will also be eligible to ride there.

The female pursuiters are also well represented this weekend with Caroline Ryan set to lead the quartet.

 

Caroline Ryan will once again race the Team Pursuit and the Omnium.

 

Lydia Boylan, Lauren Creamer, Mel Spath and Josie Knight will battle it out for the remaining three places.

Last month in London, the team of Ryan, Boylan, Knight and Creamer were 12th after clocking a time of 4.39.813 for the 4km test.

That was marginally slower than their time at the previous round in Mexico when they did 4.39.462.

The competition will be no less intense this weekend so their progress in the interim will be interesting.

Martyn Irvine will also compete in the omnium in Cali, the event he was riding when he hit the deck in Mexico.

 

Josie Knight is one of the most exciting talents to have emerged on the women’s scene in years. It’s likely she’ll be included in the four-person line-up for the Team Pursuit.

 

The ever improving Aran Islander Eoin Mullen, a bronze medal winner in the sprint at last year’s European Championships, will race the keirin and the sprint events this weekend.

Mullen put in a couple of really good displays last time out, narrowly missing out on advancing to the semi-finals of the keirin.

Also in action this weekend is Shannon McCurley. She will be hoping to advance to the latter rounds of the keirin.

Caroline Ryan also takes part in the omnium, an event she was well below par for in London.

 

 

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