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Paracycling
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MORE CYCLING : Paracycling Last Updated: Mar 13, 2017 - 6:37:58 PM

Gordon and Byrne Sixth in Sprint at World Championships in Los Angeles, USA
By Heather Boyle, Communications Officer
Mar 6, 2017,

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Ireland’s tandem of Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne finished sixth in the Men’s B Tandem Sprint today at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles. In the qualifying rounds the new pairing clocked a time of 11.116 over 200m, placing them up against the Malaysian duo of Rizan and Rasol in the quarter finals. In the match sprint the Malaysian tandem proved too strong for the Irish and progressed into the semi-finals. In the 5/6 final Ireland faced the Spanish bike of Avila Rondriguez and Font Bertoli, but were outpowered in the closing laps to finish sixth overall in their debut at the Paracycling World Championships.

In the 200m qualifiers the Irish bike placed sixth fastest, and in the next round rode tactically against the more experienced Malaysian team, coming close to the Rio Paralympians in their second sprint. In the match sprints the team that progresses to the next round is the tandem that wins the best out of three sprints. Speaking after the competition Byrne said:

“We did what we could against a much faster duo and raced as well as we could. We dropped down to a slightly smaller gear for the second heat for better acceleration and the last 200m ended up as a 10.9, so it was a quick race.”

In the race for fifth/sixth place against the Spaniards the Irish tandem took control of the race early on, with Spain eventually taking fifth just ahead of the Irish bike, Byrne described the race saying:

Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne at the Start of the Sprint event in Los Angeles

“The Spaniards were riding a massive gear and wanted the front, we got them on the hip then and flicked them up a couple of times, but once they got the gear moving they did a three lap effort to the line. We sat on and drove on the final lap, and were coming through, but it wasn’t enough.”

Cycling Ireland Performance Coach Neill Delahaye was impressed with how Gordon and Byrne have conducted themselves saying:

“The lads have had a baptism of fire amongst bikes that have been around a while, with considerable experience. They have given a good account of themselves and this World’s has been a valuable learning opportunity for them. We are happy with the event and expect more from this pairing in the future. With a bit more time and training behind them they have shown a capacity to go faster, and that’s what we are looking forward to seeing in the future.”

This is the first time that a World Track Championships for Para-cycling has been held in the post-Paralympic season, and was the first outing for the Irish team since its phenomenal medal haul at the Paralympic Games in Rio last September. The Paracycling Track World Championships took place in the Velo Sports Centre Velodrome, Los Angeles, USA from the 2nd – 5th March.


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Seventh for Gordon and Byrne in Kilo on World Championship Debut in Los Angeles, USA

Ireland’s tandem of Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne finished seventh in the Men’s B Tandem 1km Time Trial at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles last night, with a time of 1.08.115. The gold medal went to the GB tandem of James Ball and Matt Rotherham, with GB’s Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean taking silver. Bronze went to Australia’s Kieran Murphy and Lachlan Glasspool. The new pairing are the sole Irish riders competing in the Paracycling Track World Championships, with this also being the first international outing for the Irish team since their phenomenal medal haul at the Paralympic Games in Rio last September.

The 1km Time Trial, more often referred to as the Kilo, is a flat out effort against the clock of four laps of the 250m track, with the medals going to the fastest three bikes. Gordon and Byrne were first on the track to record a time, and were happy with their effort. Dubliner Byrne felt it was a solid starting point for the pair:

“We had a solid enough start, similar to what we did in training, and managed to fully empty the tank over the four laps. We are glad to have the legs opened up now.”

Gordon and Byrne are a relatively new pairing, but believe there are plenty of positives to take from their first competitive event together:

“We were working well together and had clean lines; it’s a really good platform to work from over the next four years. We’re really happy considering we have been together for such a short period and we were the only team to ride on the drops. Tomorrow we are looking forward to the sprint, and seeing if we can improve on our position in the standings.”

Team Manager Mark Kiely has been impressed with the preparations and progress of the riders:

“Every time they get on the track they seem to get faster and faster. Their attitude and commitment is excellent, they aren’t overawed in this environment and are relaxed and excited about what may lie ahead.”

Today they compete in the Men’s B Tandem Sprint, an event that is more technical than the Kilo. The Sprint involves a qualifying round where the tandems race over 200m against the clock, with the top riders progressing to the Match Sprint rounds where the competition becomes a cat and mouse tactical event.


Cycling Ireland Performance Coach Neill Delahaye explains:

”Tandem sprint events are very technical and while they are not experienced as a pairing together, they are looking forward to the challenge and excitement of taking on some of the best tandems in the world at these championships. The experience they will gain from this event is really going to put them in a strong position to develop for the future.”

This is the first time that a World Track Championships for Para-cycling has been held in the post-Paralympic season and it is taking place in the Velo Sports Centre Velodrome, Los Angeles, USA from the 2nd – 5th March.



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