Ireland takes shock bronze medal at European Track Champs

Posted on: October 21st, 2016

The joy of Ireland taking a medal at the European Track Championships this afternoon was made even sweeter when the rider in question, Anna Turvey, expressed shock and disbelief at her own achievement.


Having recently declared for Ireland, Anna Turvey came to Kildare from her UK base in the summer and blasted to the elite time trial title at the National Road Championships in June.

She then went on to set blistering times against the watch all summer and secured her place in the Irish team for the World Road Championships in Doha last week; the only woman to make the team.

And now she has had her best ride to date, taking a bronze medal in the individual pursuit at the European Track Championships in Paris this evening, Friday.

On the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Velodrome, Turvey was third fastest in qualifiers earlier today having been leading for a considerable time.

That placing meant she progressed into the bronze medal ride-off, going head-to-head for that final medal with Ina Savenka; the Belarusian rider who was 4th fastest in qualifying.

In the 3km race against the clock Turvey clocked a time of 3.36.017 in qualifying.

Polish woman Justyna Kaczkowska knocked Turvey off the top of the pile in qualifying with a time of 3.31.736.

And then Britain’s Katie Archibald nailed her ride in 3.28.345, to put her past Turvey and the Pole. And in 4th place was the aforementioned Savenka who finished in a time of 3.37.658.

Those times meant Turvey was just over 1.6 seconds faster than her rival for a medal which gave her the upper hand for the bronze medal showdown.

And to her great credit, once she knew she was close to the podium at a major championships Turvey went for it.

She got a much faster start that her opponent and was one second to the good very quickly.

However, the woman from Belarus was clearly made of good stuff and she pushed back with a very strong surge around the halfway mark.

But Turvey looked in control the whole way and in the end came through to take a surprise, but very welcome, medal for Ireland.

It was Ireland’s first ever medal by a woman at an elite European Track Championships.

In recent years Olympian Shannon McCurley and Eoin Mullen have won medals at the U23 Europeans and Martyn Irvine took a bronze in the elite men’s omnium.

Racing was still underway in Paris at the time of writing, with Felix English competing in the omnium, McCurley in the Keirin and Lydia Gurley in the points race.

Earlier today Eimear Moran was relegated to 6th in her heat of the Keirin and Eileen Burns finished 21st in the individual pursuit. Eoin Mullen was also racing, finishing in 21st place in the sprint.

More from Turvey to follow.


Individual Pursuit

1 Katie Archibald (GB)

2 Justyna Kaczkowska (POL)

3 Anna Turvey (IRL)

4 Ina Savenka (BLR)