Record number of Irish riders to fight for medals at World Championships

Posted on: January 26th, 2015

Martyn Irvine, above, and Ryan Mullen look like Ireland’s best hopes of a medal when a record-breaking Irish team takes on the best in the world in Parish next month.

 

Ireland will have eight riders at the World Track Championships in Paris next month, with Cycling Ireland saying it will be the largest national team ever at a track worlds.

While the men’s team pursuiters have not qualified this time around, their female counterparts have bagged a place.

They finished 8th in the European rankings, with securing a place for the championships welcome encouragement for the efforts of what is a fledgling set-up.

The championships are set to unfold at the Velodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in Paris from February 18th to 22nd.

 

Having finished 4th in the individual pursuit last year, Ryan Mullen definitely has medal potential this year; perhaps even gold (Photo: Guy Swarbrick)

 

Ireland has qualified riders in six races, with last year’s European Championships and the just-concluded UCI World Cup series counting as qualification events.

As well as the female team pursuiters, Caroline Ryan and Martyn Irvine have qualified in the omnium events.

Irvine has made it despite breaking his collar bone in the omnium at the first World Cup of the season in Mexico in November.

However, he won a bronze medal in the event at the Europeans last year.

 

Caroline Ryan will be trying to repeat the form that brought her a medal at the World Championships in Australia three years ago.

 

Eoin Mullen, who also took a bronze in the U23 Europeans last year, has qualified for the men’s sprint.

And Ryan Mullen will ride the individual pursuit, a race he was fourth in at last year’s Worlds despite being aged just 19 years at the time.

He has since won silver on the road in the U23 time trial at the World Championships.

Ireland has also qualified riders in the men’s and women’s scratch races in Paris.

 

Already with a bronze medal from a major championships to his name, the worlds is the latest step for the rapidly developing Eoin Mullen (Photo: Guy Swarbrick)

 

Martyn Irvine won the world title in that event in Minsk two years ago and claimed silver 12 months ago in Colombia.

Caroline Ryan has also medalled in the event, taking the bronze at the Melbourne worlds in 2012.

Cycling Ireland head coach Brian Nugent said he was “absolutely delighted” with Ireland’s quota for the championships in just over three weeks.

“We spent a lot of time developing these riders, and to qualify so many for the world championships in the first year of this programme, we are thrilled,” he said.

“We have a very competitive team this year, where we can compete for medals with some riders.”

 

 

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