JB Murphy stuns Euro Champs in first ever velodrome race

Posted on: July 19th, 2017

JB Murphy stuns Euro Champs in first ever velodrome race

Not A Bother: JB Murphy tried track racing today for the first time and took a podium at the Euro Champs, as you do…

 

JB Murphy stuns Euro Champs in first velodrome race

 

JB Murphy has won a silver medal at the European Track Championships despite never having race on a velodrome before.

The Kildare man, a cyclocross international and very strong road rider, had his first training ride on an indoor velodrome just four weeks ago.

And today’s junior men’s elimination race in Portugal was his maiden competitive event on an indoor track.

Murphy kept it simple today; he focussed on staying at the front in the elimination race and survived until the very end.

It came down to fight between himself and Michele Gazzoli; the Italian proving too fast for Ireland’s Murphy and taking the gold.

But it was an incredible first race for the Irish 17-year-old.

“When I pulled my number out of the hat I was towards the back of the bunch,” he said of drawing starting lots.

“So my coach David [Muntaner] said to sprint to the front. And I was there before the first bell, and sat there for the race.

“I sat at the front and rode as fast as I could – and next thing all the big nations went out.

“I am not even sure what happened in the race, because I sat at the front the whole time.

“When I looked back there were six riders left, then four and then three – myself, the Italian and the Great Britain rider.

“Myself and the Italian went shoulder to shoulder and GB was eliminated.”

 

JB Murphy Euro Champs velodrome

JB Murphy Euro Champs velodrome

JB Murphy Euro Champs velodrome

Top, in the green of Ireland at the World Cyclocross Championships in February. Middle, riding for Ireland at the Gent-Wevelgem junior edition in Belgium in April. Bottom, in yellow at the Gorey Three Day at Easter, an event he’d win outright after taking stage 1 (Photos by Toby Watson, Jens Morel and Sean Rowe)

 

The British rider, William Tidball, was later disqualified for dangerous riding. And the bronze medal passed to Spain’s Unai Iribar.

But that was of no consequence to Murphy; the Irishman no having to concern himself with that dispute.

Murphy has proven very strong on the road scene at home this year.

And having won the National Cyclocross Championships earlier in the year he is emerging as a really versatile rider.

He was Ireland’s sole representative at the World Cyclocross Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg, in February.

And once the road season started he switched to that code with ease, picking off several strong wins. Those victories have included the Gorey Three Day.

Murphy has also ridden in European with the Irish road team.

He has really underlined his exciting potential by getting onto the Irish track team of late. And now he has given it a go with instant major success; once again making it look easy.

Another member of the Irish team in Portugal this week, Fintan Ryan was also in action today.

He finished in 8th place in the U23 elimination race. It was a very solid result but the ambitious Ryan said he was disappointed with it.

“Today was quite poor for me, I didn’t feel good and didn’t race well,” he said, perhaps being a little hard on himself.

However, he expected more because he has been competing internationally with the TrackProject.ie which he is part of with others including Felix English.

 

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“I’ve competed against most of the guys here this summer, and it is handy to know their style and ability,” he explained.

“These championships have been a big goal for me – I’m hoping for a medal yet.”

Ryan will be back in action on the track on Sunday. He’ll be with medal machine Mark Downey; the duo teaming up to make a very classy madison pair.

Racing continues tomorrow with Autumn Collins in the women’s U23 sprint. Xeno Young and Luke Smith ride the men’s junior individual pursuit tomorrow.

It is an event in which Young finished fourth last summer, just outside the medals.

The UEC Junior and U23 Track European Championships is taking place in the Sangalhos Velodrome in Anadia, Portugal. It began yesterday and concludes on Sunday.

 

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