Irish team aims to end on high at Worlds after tough season

Posted on: March 1st, 2016

Eoin Mullen, above, and Shannon McCurley go in the power events at the Worlds; with McCurley Ireland’s best chance of a spot at the Olympics (Photo with thanks to Guy Swarbrick)


Cycling Ireland has sent a relatively large team to the UCI World Track Championships in London this week, though qualification for the Olympic Games is going to be extremely difficult for all.

Indeed, after a testing World Cup campaign it’s the last chance for some of the Irish riders still in contention for the Games.

And leading the charge is Aran Islands man Eoin Mullen (22) in the sprint and Shannon McCurley (23) in the keirin.

Ireland has traditionally punched above its weight in what is the showpiece event of the track cycling calendar, with recently-retired Martyn Irvine (30) taking silver and bronze in 2013 in Minsk and Caroline Ryan (36) snatching bronze in the points race a year earlier in Melbourne.

Ryan goes in the points race on Saturday and national road race champion Lydia Boylan (28) goes in the scratch race on Thursday.

Both would perhaps be the best chance of a result, though at this level it’ll be extremely hard to take a medal, especially in Olympic year when more top riders are focussed on the track.

The women’s team pursuit squad needs a miracle to make it to Rio de Janeiro but former national champion Felix English (23) could spring a surprise in the points race.

The championships get underway tomorrow and run until Sunday and Cycling Ireland technical director Brian Nugent is hopeful of some more giant-killing acts.

“It’s great to have a large team here in London and in a range of events across endurance and sprint for both men and women,” said Nugent.

“The team will be competitive and have worked hard this winter to be in the position they are in now. We’ll see the benefits of all that hard work this week.”


Irish team for World Track Champs

Provisional Competition Schedule

All times quoted are approximate and schedule may be subject to change

Day 1 – Wednesday 2nd March Results
14.40 Melanie Spath Women’s Individual Pursuit
19.20 Felix English Men’s Scratch Race
Day 2 – Thursday 3rd March 2016  
13.07 Riders TBC Women’s Team Pursuit
14.40 Shannon McCurley Women’s Keirin
19.20 Lydia Boylan Women’s Scratch Race
Day 3 – Friday 4th March 2016  
09.00 Eoin Mullen Men’s Sprint
20.30 Felix English Men’s Points Race
Day 4 – Saturday 5th March 2016  
19.08 Caroline Ryan Women’s Points Race