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OTHER CYCLING : Track Racing Last Updated: 7 Aug 2018 - 7:17:49 PM

By Heather Boyle, CI Communications Officer
4 Aug 2018,

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4th August 2018

EUROPEAN CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS - Tenth for English in the Omnium

Felix English in the Omnium Race - © (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

Felix English has finished 10th in the Men’s Omnium at the European Championships in Glasgow tonight. The overall standing in the Omnium is based on the final points achieved by riders at the end of four events. English was 12th in the opening Scratch Race, 8th in the Tempo, 9th in the Elimination Race, and 5th in the final Points Race.

Gold was won by Ethan Hayter from Great Britain, in front of a home crowd. Elia Viviani (Italy) won silver and Casper Von Folsach (Denmark) took bronze.

Speaking after the Elimination English described a frantic race with the last man over the line on every second lap being eliminated – “They’re always crazy. You have to pick a tactic. You could stick in the middle where you use less energy but where there’s a very high possibility of crashing or you could use a lot of legs going over the top. I went for the second option to save myself for the Madison on Monday. But it takes its toll after the fifth or sixth time!

Felix English in the Elimination Race - © (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

A crash halfway through the race resulted in it being neutralised for a number of laps and once the track was fixed the race restarted – “I had ridden really, really hard before the neutralisation so I think the break probably helped me to be honest. But then it’s never nice to have to go hard, stop for ten minutes and then go flat out again!”

The Points Race was another fast race, with points on offer every 10 laps of the 100 lap race. English gained a lap just after the fifth sprint with three more riders, putting him in 8th place overall – a position he held until the closing laps when a blistering attack from the Spanish rider pushed him back down to 10th overall, and 5th in the Points Race itself.

His performance tonight represented a jump in standard for English – “although my overall result is average at best – I’m really, really happy with how I was going today – like I was fifth here last year but there were always four guys that were miles ahead of me, and I was just the next guy – the best of the rest. Today I was mixing it with the best guys, and I was really comfortable. I was really aggressive, and it shows some real progress from the year before that I’m really happy with.

“We work so hard so to come to these races and be slightly behind all the time it’s like what are these guys doing to beat us still! But now to be really in the mix with them and to give them a hard time – I’m really happy with it.”

Tomorrow will be another big day with Shannon McCurley competing in the Elimination Race and Mark Downey racing the Points Race. Also in action will be Alice Sharpe in the Women’s Road Race.

History is made this week when Glasgow and Berlin host the inaugural European Championships, an exciting multi-sport event bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports, including the existing UEC cycling championships.


Men’s Omnium

Scratch – Felix English (IRELAND) 12th
Tempo – Felix English (IRELAND) 8th
Elimination – Felix English (IRELAND) 9th
Points – Felix English (IRELAND) 5th

Overall –

GOLD Ethan Hayter (GB)
SILVER Elia Viviani (ITALY)
BRONZE Casper Von Folsach (DENMARK)

10th Felix English (IRELAND)


4th August 2018

EUROPEAN CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS - 5th for Lydia Gurley in Points Race

Lydia Gurley in the Points Race - © (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

In an action packed afternoon at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Irish jerseys were to the fore with Lydia Gurley coming close to a medal in the Women’s Points Race, where she finished in 25th place after the lapping the field.

Felix English was also in action, competing in the four-race Omnium, where he lies in 10th place following a 12th place finish in the Scratch Race and 8th place in the Tempo. In the Omnium the winner is the person who accumulates most points after four events. This evening will see him compete in the Elimination Race and the Points Race.

Galways’ Gurley raced a tactical race, gaining a lap with 60 laps to go with a four other riders, moving her into the lead at that point. With twenty laps to go she was sitting in bronze medal position, however, slipped to fifth in the fast and aggressive race.

Gold went to Italy’s Maria G. Confalonieri, silver to Ina Savanka from Belarus and bronze to Russia’s Gulnaz Badykova. Gurley finished just behind World Champion Kirsten Wild who was fourth.

“I was really happy with the lap I seemed to get it relatively easily. David (Muntaner – coach) told me to let up and wait for the group so we got it together and saved a bit of energy that way.

Lydia Gurley in the Points Race - © (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

“Maybe I could have held back for the sprint, but I really wanted to get the lap. It was five away from the sprint lap so you never know what the group is going to do. I thought get the lap, get the twenty points and then move up the standings. I was able to get up in a few sprints and move up in the rankings a bit and I’m happy. It’s a decent result.”

Gurley is feeling strong this week, and feels good ahead of her focus event, the Madison, next Tuesday – “I just tried to ease in for the first thirty laps, tried to let the sprinters get a bit tired and start to attack, and try to make the attacks work. I felt pretty good so hopefully that means my legs will be good for Tuesday now, it was nice to open up and ready to go.”

In the Omnium’s Scratch Race English launched a blistering attack which was reeled in with metres to go – “It was very close – I went with three to go and got caught with 20m to go. It wouldn’t be my normal tactic. In the omnium today, I’m riding it to pick up some points.”

“We decided we would try some different stuff in the races, and we wanted to go with three laps to go yesterday, but I wasn’t really given the opportunity so it was nice to give it a go there, but the sprint was already going quite quick when I went over the top, so normally I would hope to get a bit slower so I could get a bigger gap.”

The Tempo race is a frantic event with a point awarded to the rider first over the line first in each lap – in a trademark move English launched a huge attack in the closing laps picking up points on each lap to move up the standings. While the result sheet initially called him as being 3rd, this was later amended to 8th.

“I was starting to think towards the end I wasn’t going to get any points – cos there was constantly a group off the front and I was always staying in contention with that front seven or eight guys, and as soon as they fell back it splits off cos it’s so hard.

“I’m really happy. I didn’t really use any energy until the final five laps and I got away with the other four guys and I was watching the TV and saw that Benjamin had got onto the back of the bunch so the points were up for grabs and lucky I was the first to react to it, and then I was able to get a small gap and get two or three points which was nice.

In the Women’s Sprint Robyn Stewart was knocked out by Urszula Los, the Polish sprinter who will now move to the 1/8 rounds. The Belfast racer was disappointed with her race, but will use it as experience to move forward.

“There are good bits and bad bits there I suppose. Obviously, the bad bit is I lost against a rider that I had actually qualified quicker than this morning so really, I’m pretty gutted. But I’ve come a long way, and I can see how much I’ve improved and I guess I have to take the good bits away and not just focus on the bad bits. It’s hard to improve the tactics of racing without just getting stuck in and racing. You can learn more when you lose – I learnt today, so yeah.

“You draw a position at the start and I drew man one. In hindsight maybe on this track man two is a better position because the straights are so long and she just popped over me at the end. It’s good to lead from the front because you can be in control but you can equally be in control from the back. I’m pleased with some of the moves I made in the race.”

This evening English competes in the Elimination Race and the Points Race with the final podium being decided based on points accumulated in each race. Over the six days of track racing the twelve-rider Irish team will compete in fifteen events in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.

History is made this week when Glasgow and Berlin host the inaugural European Championships, an exciting multi-sport event bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports, including the existing UEC cycling championships.


Lydia Gurley in the Points Race - © (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

Women’s 25km Points Race

GOLD Maria G. Confalonieri (ITALY) 33 points
SILVER Ina Savanka (BELARUS) 32 points
BRONZE Gulnaz Badykova (RUSSIA) 30 points

5th Lydia Gurley (IRELAND) 23 points

Men’s Omnium

Scratch – Felix English (IRELAND) 12th
Tempo – Felix English (IRELAND) 3rd
Overall – Felix English (IRELAND) 10th


4th August 2018


Stewart advances in Sprint, Murphy 11th and Griffin 21th in Pursuit

The morning session at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow for the European Championships saw Robyn Stewart qualify to the 1/16 finals in the Women’s Sprint, finishing 13th in the qualifiers with a time of 11.287. In the Women’s Individual Pursuit also featured strong Irish performances, with Kelly Murphy 11th with a time of 3.39.317 and Mia Griffin 21st with 3.48.605.

Stewart was pleased with her morning race, saying – “I’m happy with today’s performance, I wasn’t thinking so much about the time I was doing but about the process as I went along, my lines and where I was applying pressure, and I think that works so much better for me, cos I was so much more relaxed going in.

“And thirteenth, it was close to getting into the top ten. I think I just missed out by just under a tenth. It’s certainly a big improvement on last year.

Belfast born Stewart learnt to track cycle in this Velodrome after watching the Commonwealth Games four years ago and was motivated for a good performance. She will now be competing in the match sprint this afternoon in what is a cat and mouse type race, where tactics come into play.

“It is actually really special to be back here cos this is where I learned how to ride a bike basically, in 2015. It was really nice when I was going around cos I could hear my name and I know a lot of the folk here so it was really special.

“It’s a very unusual track, this, it has got really long straights and it’s fairly flat on the top so it feels quite different to ride and it can catch you out in the sprints, because the longer straights usually mean people can die off in the sprints.

“Your 200m is really just your ticket into the race, no-one can be taken for granted at this stage. Where someone might be strong at riding a 200, others might be technically really strong.”

Kelly Murphy was the fastest finisher in the Women’s Individual Pursuit this morning, finishing eleventh with a time of 3.39.317. A recent recruit to track cycling Murphy raced a strong 3km pursuit, coming within 5 seconds of the national record of 3.34.257 set by Caroline Ryan in 2013. This was Murphy’s first pursuit in competition after just three weeks of track riding and the Irish National TT Champion will now switch her focus to the Time Trial on Wednesday.

“I didn’t really have any expectations as it was my first track race ever, it was quite nice to go in with a calm head – the pressure was off and the crowds aren’t too big. I’m pretty pleased and it set the barometer for future events.

More used to the longer time trials, the short 3km race against time felt different for Murphy – “It was over very quickly. It’s crazy – I’ve been riding my bike for three years, had three weeks of a training camp for three minutes of racing! It’s surprising how much preparation goes into it, there’s no last minute changes, and it was over and done with before I realised. You don’t do efforts like that on the road! You can pace it a little bit slower!”

Mia Griffin finished in a time of 3.48.605. Griffin came into the Irish track cycling programme through talent transfer last year and was happy with her race. Her focus now moves to the U23 European Championships in Aigle later this month where she will once again compete in the Individual Pursuit.

“I was happy with that – it was my first ever 3km in competition, and it’s my first year riding track, so the goal was to gain experience and set a benchmark for myself that I can chip away at. I was happy enough with it, the first 2km went to plan, and after that a little bit of fitness was lacking. I know what I can work on and where I need to improve.”

Next up for Griffin is the U23 European Championships in Aigle – “Now that I have a time, I want to see how much I can chip off that. Not put any pressure on and see what happens.”

This afternoon will see Stewart compete in the Sprint at 2pm, Felix English takes on the four-race omnium and Lydia Gurley will compete in the Points Race. Over the six days of track racing the twelve-rider Irish team will compete in fifteen events in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.

History is made this week when Glasgow and Berlin host the inaugural European Championships, an exciting multi-sport event bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports, including the existing UEC cycling championships.


Women’s 3km Individual Purusit

Gold Ride Off: Katie Archibald (GB) 3.30.893 Vs Ina Savenka (BLR) 3.34.233

Bronze Ride Off: Coralie Demay (FRA) 3.34.563 Vs Gudrun Stock (GER) 3.34.775

11th Kelly Murphy (IRL) 3.39.317
21st Mia Griffin (IRL) 3.48.605

Women’s Sprint 200m q – top ten to 1/8 rest to 1/16 finals

1st Emma Hinze (GER) 10.887
2nd Mathilde Gros (FRA) 10.893
3rd Daria Shmeleva (RUS) 10.959

13th Robyn Stewart (IRL) 11.287


3rd August 2018



Felix English finished eighth in the Men’s Scratch Race at the European Championships in Glasgow today. The 15km Scratch Race was fast paced, with attacking racing from a stacked field.

The European title was won by Ukraine’s Roman Gladysh, who had gained half a lap on the field at the halfway point with silver medallist Adrien Garel from France. A late surge for the line by Tristan Marguet resulted in a bronze medal for the Swiss man.

“I felt really good, I felt strong,” English told us after his race, “I was probably a bit too keen – following everything that was going and trying to go myself. I’ve been feeling good in training – but the first time I’ve raced at this level in six months, so I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens.”

The European Championships normally occur in October, in line with the World Cup season, making it a bit of a test for the 26-year-old, and the pace was high!

“It’s the first time racing indoors in six months, and the first major event of the year. There were a lot of guys who looked really tired from ten laps in, and I thought something is going to go here, like someone is going to give up at some point! But I just kept following the good guys, and I think they seemed to be feeling it as well!”

The Scratch Race is a non-Olympic event, and often the standard is not as high as in those events on the Olympic Programme – “With the scratch normally you kind of get a slightly lower quality field. But I think when here at the European Championship it was stacked – it was like riding the omnium.”

With 8 laps to go English found himself in a select group of four riders, including the Belarussian World Champion, in a bid for bronze – “I really thought that was going to be it – everyone was tired behind. But it must have been that one guy kicked it off again behind us – and that’s all it takes. The bunch got momentum again. And the break was laboured, everyone was tired and nobody really wants to do anything that late on in the race.

“It’s a little bit frustrating. I said before that I wanted to come in and do something, and finish knackered… like so many races in the last few years I’ve raced aggressively, and then held back a little because I was worried that I’d get dropped or I was going to do something, or something was going to be too hard.

“It was nice to do a hard race, and just get stuck in and know I can do it. So I’m happy with that – and then hopefully we can get something else out of the Madison on Monday.”

English will also be competing in the Men’s Omnium tomorrow – an event that teammate Marc Potts is targeting in the lead up to Tokyo 2020. However, due to new timing of the European Championships, and the ranking system, it is English who must now compete in the race – in order to gain points to help Potts qualify for the World Cup season.

“In the Omnium the way the points system works means that if he (Potts) does it we won’t qualify for world cups, because it is based on individual ranking and he hasn’t raced any of the major events yet. So, I have to do it now, I need to pick up points for him and then he will qualify the world cup slot – he’s been racing all summer in the omnium and going really really well so it’s a shame he can’t race here – but I think he will go really well in the winter.”

Over the six days of track racing the twelve-rider Irish team will compete in fifteen events in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.

Tomorrow is a full and packed day for the Irish - Felix English is back on the track again in the Men’s Omnium, Kelly Murphy and Mia Griffin will compete in the Women’s 3km Individual Pursuit, Robyn Stewart races in the Women’s Sprint and Lydia Gurley will race the Women’s Points Race.

History is made this week when Glasgow and Berlin host the inaugural European Championships, an exciting multi-sport event bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports, including the existing UEC cycling championships.


Men’s Scratch Race

GOLD Roman Gladysh (UKR)
SILVER Adrien Garel (FRA)
BRONZE Tristan Marguet (SUI)

8th Felix English (IRL)

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