Incredible mistake by UCI sees Irish stopped in Hong Kong

Posted on: January 16th, 2016

The Irish team pursuit riders endured a very frustrating UCI World Cup in Hong Kong, above, when officials mistakenly brought their race to a close after just 3km of the 4km distance (Photo courtesy Cycling Ireland)


Competing in the top tier of team pursuiting is a very difficult challenge at the best of times; with months of training and gelling as a unit required to get even a few seconds faster over the 4km race distance.

But when the starters at a UCI World Cup meeting make a massive mistake that means your race is halted ¾ ways through and you must start again, competing becomes a mission impossible.

That’s exactly what has happened to the Irish women’s team at the Hong Kong round of the World Cup on Friday.

The quartet representing Ireland in the qualifying round consisted of Caroline Ryan, Josie Knight, Mel Spath and Lydia Boylan.

While they should have ridden 4km against the clock, the wrong number of laps was inputted at the start of their ride and they were stopped after 3km rather than 4km; 12 laps into what should have been a 16-lap effort.

There was nothing that could be done except for the women to come to a halt and restart their race after all of the other qualifiers were done.

They did so, but could only manage 10th of the 14-team field on the day, in a time of 4:35.777.

They were just over 16 seconds down on winners Great Britain who clocked a time of 4:19.369 and won from the USA and Canada.

Ireland’s high performance coach Brian Nugent vented the disappointed of the team after their botched race.

“The commissaires put 12 laps on the board instead of 16 and stopped the team a kilo early,” he said.

“It was very frustrating and it meant we had to restart at the end.

“After already completing 3kms and having to go again wasn’t really ideal, but there wasn’t any other option at that point.”

However, there was better news elsewhere for the Irish team when a 4th place in the scratch race for comeback man Felix English lifted spirits.

The road sprinter, who has come back to the track set-up after a long absence, was also 7th in the points race in Hong Kong.

Nugent believes English’s riding augurs well for the future.

“Felix was in super form and raised the team with his efforts. He had a lot of good riders under pressure,” he said.

“He looked very good out there, I was sure at one point he would get a medal but he will in the future.”

In the women’s points race Caroline Ryan finished 9th, while Lydia Boylan was 16th in her scratch race.

On Sunday Eoin Mullen is in action for Ireland in the sprint while Shannon McCurley goes in the keirin.


Felix English on his way to the 4th place ride in the points race that lifted the spirits of the Irish team in Hong Kong (Photo courtesy Cycling Ireland)


Jan 15th-17th: UCI World Cup, Hong Kong

Women’s Team Pursuit, Qualifying

1. Great Britain 4.19.369 q
2. USA 4.23.696 q
3. Canada 4.23.790 q
4. China 4.27.242 q
5. New Zealand 4.31.287 q
6. Italy 4.31.498 q
7. Germany 4.32.511 q
8. Poland 4.33.906 q
9. Belarus 4.34.604
10. Ireland 4.35.777


Men’s Scratch Race

1. Thomas Benjamin (FRA)
2. Canellas Sanchez Xavier (ESP)
3. Parra Arias Jordan Arley (COL)
4. English Felix (IRL)


Men’s Points Race

1. Thomas Benjamin (FRA) 33 points
2. Amores Palacios Julio Alberto (ESP) 23
3. Mudgway Luke (NZL) 21
7. English Felix (IRL) 10


Women’s Points Race

1. D’Hoore Jolien (BEL) 17 points
2. Glaesser Jasmin (CAN) 13
3. Nelson Emily (GBR) 11
9. Ryan Caroline (IRL) 5


Women’s Scratch Race

1. Shmayankova Marina (BLR)
2. Trott Laura (GBR)
3. Yang Qianyu (HKG)
16. Boylan Lydia (IRL)


World Championships and UCI World Cup bronze medalist in the past, Caroline Ryan gets ready to swing into action in her points race after the debacle of the team pursuit (Photo courtesy Cycling Ireland)