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OTHER CYCLING : Track Racing : Shane Stokes Last Updated: 2 Apr 2018 - 8:45:17 PM

BRONZE MEDAL FOR RYAN IN TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
By Shane Stokes
5 Apr 2012,

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Caroline Ryan (Garda CC)
Ireland’s Caroline Ryan had a superb showing today in the world track championships in Melbourne, taking a bronze medal in the women’s points race. It was the first UCI Elite track worlds medal for Ireland in 115 years.

The former multiple Irish rowing champion finished third out of the eighteen rider field, behind Russian rider Anastasia Chulkova and Jasmin Glaesser of Canada in the 25 kilometre, 100 lap race.

Chulkova created an important move when she went clear just over the halfway point. She was joined by Glaesser and Ryan, as well as Hong Kong’s Wong Wan Yiu. The four riders gained a lap just after the sixth sprint and each gained twenty points.

Ryan was also third in two sprints during the race, ending with a total of 24 points.

The performance confirms the talent of the Bus Eireann/Cunga sponsored rider, who turned to cycling after missing out on the rowing events in the Beijing Olympics, and took silver as a tandem pilot at the paracycling World Cup in Manchester in May 2009.

She went on to take silver in that year’s paracycling worlds, then began racing as a solo competitor at Elite level. She was fourth in her first individual pursuit at the Cali World Cup in 2010, then last year finished ninth in the same event at the world track championships.

She is also due to ride the individual pursuit on Sunday. Ryan is the daughter of Willie Ryan who represented Ireland in rowing at the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games.

Martyn Irvine and Shannon McCurley are Ireland’s two other representatives in the race. Irvine is seventh out of 24 after two of the Omnium’s six rounds.

McCurley’s ride in the women’s scratch race will take place tomorrow.

Making history:

Ryan’s medal comes over a century after Ireland’s last Elite worlds track medals, namely the gold taken by Harry Reynolds in the one mile amateur world championship in Copenhagen on August 15th, 1896, and his bronze the following year.

More recently, Irish riders have taken medals of each colour at the Paracycling worlds and also the masters’ championships. Sam Bennett also took the European junior points race title in 2008.

“It is very pleasing, particularly as it wasn’t her main focus,” Cycling Ireland’s Geoff Liffey told Irishcycling.com today. “She will be focusing on the pursuit on Sunday. It was a gutsy performance from her, which reflects the work she has put in since Christmas and the progress she has made.

“Everyone knew the London World Cup wasn’t a reflection of her true potential as her training was affected by injury from other World Cups. So she was always focused on doing something in Melbourne.”

After taking up the sport, her potential became quite clear. Liffey said that she’s gradually been building up the race craft which helped secure today’s result.

“She always had a very good engine and was a key part of the team pursuit squad when that was in operation,” he said. “She was lacking track experience, particularly in bunch events, but through her own initiatives in going to Newport and Palma and training under Andy Sparks, that has brought her on.”

It’s too late for her to qualify for the London Olympics in the track events, but there is a possibility for her or another Irishwoman to get through to the road contests.

“Ireland has to have a rider ranked in the top 100,” said Liffey. “That can be done through Siobhan or any of the other riders’ results. They have up till the end of May, but currently don’t have any.”

Irishcycling.com would like to congratulate Garda/Richies/Ethos CC rider Ryan on today’s superb performance.

World track championships, Melbourne, Australia:

Women’s points race:

1, Anastasia Chulkova (Russian Federation) 31 pts
2, Jasmin Glaesser (Canada) 28
3, Caroline Ryan (Ireland) 24
4, Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) 23
5, Wan Yiu Wong (Hong Kong, China) 22
6, Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spain) 11
7, Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic) 10
8, Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland) 8
9, Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 7
10, Amy Cure (Australia) 6

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