Ryan and Knight take Irish titles after shortened contests

Posted on: June 20th, 2016

Eventual title winner Josie Knight, second from right, leads the way during the National Omnium Championships at the weekend in Dublin (Photo with thanks to Arcane Cycling Team)

 

Fintan Ryan and Josie Knight have taken elite national titles, both scooping omnium gold on the Sundrive Road track in Dublin at the weekend.

While both are accomplished road riders they have put a huge amount of time and effort into developing on the track in recent seasons and have become regulars with the Irish team at major events abroad.

But it was at home over the weekend that the rate of that progress was confirmed, with both looking very strong indeed in claiming their titles.

On the opening day’s scheduled action on Saturday, the top three in all three women’s events were the same; Knight (iBike) was the winner, Eimear Moran (Sundrive Track Team) was 2nd and Susie Mitchell (Sundrive Track Team) was 3rd.,

In the 3km pursuit, Knight posted a time of 4mins 1.48secs, some 6.15 seconds faster than Moran and 16.24 seconds quicker than Mitchell.

In the scratch race Knight also won from Moran and Mitchell and the top three in the elimination race was the same.

 

The men’s field spreads across the track on Saturday, with the following day’s action called off due to rain (Photo with thanks to Arcane Cycling Team)

 

In the men’s event it was Dunboyne CC’s Ryan, who was continuing a family tradition in that his father Aidan Ryan won many elite titles in his day, was not quite as dominant as Knight but he was very close.

In the 4km pursuit it was Darragh Zaidan who scored a clear victory, beating Ben Delaney of UCD CC into 2nd place, with track and road international Ryan in 3rd.

Zaidan clocked a time of 5mins 1.47 seconds over the 4km test, with Delaney just 1.25 seconds slower and track and road international Ryan relinquishing 3.26 seconds to the flying Zaidan.

Ryan won the scratch race from Hugo Brennan of Sundrive Track Team with John Lynch of Murphy Surveys Kilcullen in 3rd place.

And in the elimination race, it was again Ryan showing his speed and race craft; winning the event from Lynch, with Zaidan in 3rd place.

 

The men’s and women’s podium with commissaire Jack Watson (Photo with thanks to Arcane Cycling Team)

 

The action was interrupted by the summer rain, with the events planned for Sunday scrapped as racing on the outdoor track would have been unsafe.

It meant the TTs – kilo for men and 500m for women – along with the flying 250m and the points races – 40km for men and 25km for women – were called off.

All opportunities to reschedule the racing were explored and it was decided to award the titles on the basis of the three events run off on Saturday.

It meant Ryan took the men’s gold from Zaidan and Lynch and Knight the women’s title from Moran and Mitchell.

And while the winners and the other riders in the field were left frustrated, on the basis of the opening day’s form it would have taken something special to beat the new champions.

However, with Zaidan looking to break into the national track set-up, he would have loved another cut off Ryan on Sunday, though his the current kilo elite champion.

Similarly, women’s silver medal winner Moran has only taken up cycling a little over a year ago and it would have been interesting to see how she would have done against the emerging Knight, who won silver in the junior pursuit at the European Championships last year.

Moran won no fewer than four elite track titles last year and a second day of battle in the omnium between herself and Knight – and indeed Mitchell who is World Masters Championships gold on her CV – may have told us more.

Full a full set of results of all events for the men’s and women’s omnium, please follow this link.

 

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