Irish track team nudge into top 10 at London World Champs

Posted on: March 3rd, 2016

The Irish women’s team pursuit squad looked calm and composed during their strong display at the UCI World Track Championships in London. The foursome of Josie Knight, Caroline Ryan, Mel Spath and Lydia Boylan finished ninth in a time of 4.32.127.


By Brian Canty

The Irish women’s team pursuiters came within 0.6 seconds of breaking the national record at the UCI World Track Championships in London.

The foursome of Mel Spath, Lydia Boylan, Josie Knight and Caroline Ryan posted a time of 4.32.127 for the four-kilometre test which was good enough to see them finish ninth of 13 teams.

They led for a good spell this afternoon before the more established nations emerged and one by one the Irish slipped down the standings and outside the top eight places.

Had they managed to finish eighth they’d have squeezed into the first round and been guaranteed another ride.

“It’s a fantastic way to finish and to finish 9th in the World Championships ahead of some teams we haven’t always beaten is a really positive finish,” said national road race champion Boylan.

Ireland looked like they’d make the top eight when the Italian team suffered a mechanical which meant they started their effort again – as the last team off.

But credit to the Azurri; they bettered the Irish time and advanced to round one.

USA went quickest in a staggering time of 4.16.180, a full four seconds faster than Canada, New Zealand and Australia in second, third and fourth respectively.

Elsewhere today, Shannon McCurley raced the heats of the keirin and was unfortunate to face two world champions.

She was fourth in her heat and also fourth in the repechage round which ended her campaign but after a minor surgery less than a month ago little could realistically have been expected of her.

Boylan was the only other Irish rider in action today but she could only manage 20th in her 10k scratch race.

Next up tomorrow morning (9am) is Eoin Mullen in the men’s sprint followed by Felix English in the points race (8.30pm).


Team pursuit qualifying

1 United States 0:04:16.180
2 Canada 0:04:20.664
3 New Zealand 0:04:20.673
4 Australia 0:04:20.830
5 Great Britain 0:04:21.054
6 Poland 0:04:29.239
7 Italy 0:04:29.857
8 China 0:04:29.941
9 Ireland 0:04:32.127
10 Germany 0:04:32.398
11 Belarus 0:04:32.952
12 Russia 0:04:35.521
13 Japan 0:04:38.394