Magnificent Gurley lays down marker for all Irish debutants

Posted on: November 7th, 2016

As debuts go, Lydia Gurley has now put a marker down for every Irish rider that pulls on the green of Ireland for the first time. She put in the ride of her life this weekend.


Having gone into the weekend’s UCI World Cup at the Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow at the weekend as a debutant, Lydia Gurley shook off any nerves to post a career-best result.

The Irish track rider went very close to a medal in the scratch race and had she made the podium would have become only the second Irish woman ever to do so in a World Cup meeting.

In the end Gurley had to be content with 4th place in her scratch race, but it was a fantastic ride that will rightly fill her with confidence she can compete well at this level.

And with some more improvement and a little bit of luck that all riders need, she could soon be on a major podium.

From Athenry, in Galway; Gurley, had already finished 6th in the madison with Lydia Boylan on Saturday, and yesterday she took to the boards once again in the 40-lap scratch race.

She was one of five riders to lap the field, and just missed out on a medal on the finish line.

The race was won by Elise Delzenne from France, with Japan’s Minami Uwano taking silver. Bronze went to Russia’s Evgeniya Romanyuta, with Gurley in fourth place.

The Irishwoman said she was happy with her race and enjoyed it.

“The plan was to try and get away; it took a few laps but I made it with another rider,” she said, referring to the eventual silver medal winner Uwano.

“It was difficult to conserve energy as there were more attacks – five riders took a lap in separate groups. I was suffering by the end but I’m really happy with the result.”

Also yesterday, in the women’s team sprint Ireland’s Robyn Stewart and Eimear Moran finished 8th having qualified to the second rounds.

Boylan was also in action yesterday, finishing 15th in the omnium. On Saturday, Irish sprinter Eoin Mullen was 17th in the keirin having finished 27th in the sprint on Friday.

Also on Friday, the opening day of the UCI World Cup in Glasgow, the women’s team pursuit line-up was 10th and Shannon McCurley was 7th in the keirin.

Cycling Ireland said it would need to send an Irish team to all four World Cups in order to qualify for the World Championships in Hong Kong, but added it did not need to send a full team.

Next weekend will see an Irish team compete in the second UCI World Cup of the season in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.