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

By Heather Boyle, Cycling Ireland Communications Officer
21 Oct 2017,

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20th October 2017 Ireland’s Felix English has finished fifth in the Omnium at the 2017 UEC Track Elite European Championships in Berlin today. The European title in the four-race event went to Spain’s Albert Torres Barcelo; Julius Johansen (Denmark) won silver, and reigning world champion from France, Benjamin Thomas, won bronze. Earlier today Lydia Gurley was 12th in the Points Race, JB Murphy 14th in the Elimination Race, and Eoin Mullen finished 23rd in the Sprint.

English had a superb day of racing across the four-race event, sitting in fourth place until the final Points Race.

“I’m satisfied with fifth,” said English, “I went into the last race trying to get a medal, but fifth is much better than what I did last year, and I’m a lot more consistent. The guys who were ahead of me were the World Champion, European Champion, World Cup medallist and the Junior Road Race Champion. I’ll be racing against them again at the Worlds, and hopefully will progress again.”

The Omnium is an Olympic event which was re-formatted for the 2020 Games to include four bunch races, and a qualifying race, all in one day. A fourth-place finish in the Scratch Race and in the Elimination Race ensured the 25-year-old started the final Points Race in a strong fourth place, four points off a medal.

“It was a long day, and I was smart about not wasting too much energy, even in the ward up. We had a qualifier in the morning too for the first time – that’s five hard races in a day. I was trying to conserve energy all day and then race the best guys in the world! I felt in proper contention all day – but I’m still making mistakes.”

English was particularly strong in the Elimination Race, where he finished fourth – “I was really happy with it. I was really pleased with my recovery in the race – I went to the front straight away, and it was really hard. I ended up at the back, but my legs came around in the race, I’m really pleased as that’s something I couldn’t do before.”

The Omnium structure, finishing with the Points Race, lends itself to an unpredictable race, with sprint points being awarded every ten laps, and twenty points being awarded to riders who lap the field. A phenomenal final race from Spaniard Torres Barcelo saw him jump from fifth to first, after gaining two laps, and a crucial forty points.

English picked up several points throughout the 25km race, but missed the winning move, that saw some of the main contenders gain a lap, leaving the gap too wide for English in the latter part of the race. With double points up for grabs in the final sprint, the Irish man finished third securing fifth place.

“This year I fully committed myself to the track, with the Omnium and the Madison in the Olympics in a few years’ time, I really want to focus on it. In the omnium, especially, you need to be racing all season to qualify. I went to Majorca in early August to train with my coach David (Muntaner). I’m convinced we train harder than anyone else, and we are getting stronger and stronger every year. It’s going in the right direction.”

In her Points Race Lydia Gurley raced to the front of the field for much of the race, and was disappointed with her result. With 40 laps to go the AeroCoach supported rider made a significant move with Verena Eberhardt (Austria), almost gaining a lap.

“I was disappointed really,” said the Galway girl, “the breakaway effort with the Austrian was a real opportunity, but I positioned myself poorly on her wheel, so when she went up, it forced me up. It was a mistake that I will learn from and move on.”

Gurley said “it was a strange race. I was always with the strong riders, but none of those breakaways worked. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes. I’ll get the head refocused now for the Scratch Race on Saturday.”

Making a jump to the elite category, JB Murphy was well positioned in the field for the early part of the Elimination Race, before being narrowly pipped on line in the seventh sprint, resulting in a 14th place finish for the European Junior Silver Medallist in this event.

Tomorrow is another big day for Ireland with junior World and European silver medallist Xeno Young kicking off proceedings with the Individual Pursuit. Mark Downey competes in the Points Race while Lydia Boylan races in the Omnium. Robyn Stewart and Lydia Gurley will also be in action, competing in the Keirin and the Scratch Race.

Competition runs from the 18-22 October, with nine Irish riders competing across fourteen events.


Men’s Omnium
Silver: JOHANSEN Julius (DEN)
Bronze: THOMAS Benjamin (FRA)
5th: ENGLISH Felix (IRL)

Women’s Points Race
Gold: SCHMIDT Trine (DEN)
Silver: BADYKOVA Gulnaz (RUS)
Bronze: SHARAKOVA Tatsiana (BLR)
12th: GURLEY Lydia (IRL)

Men’s Elimination
Gold: THIJSSEN Gerben (BEL)
Silver: PISKUNOV Maksim (RUS)
Bronze: OLIVEIRA Rui (POR)

Men’s Sprint
Gold: VIGIER Sebastien (FRA)
Silver: HOOGLAND Jeffrey (NED)
Bronze: DMITRIEV Denis (RUS)
23rd: MULLEN Eoin (IRL)


19th October 2017 Ireland’s Marc Potts stormed into fourth place in his first bunch race at a major track competition at the 2017 UEC Track Elite European Championships in Berlin tonight. The Tyrone man narrowly missed out on a medal in the Men’s Scratch Race, which was won by Adrien Garel from France. Kriszten Lovassy (HUN) and Roman Gladysh (UKR) rounded off the podium with silver and bronze. Earlier tonight Lydia Boylan was twelfth in the Women’s Elimination Race.

Speaking after the race Potts was happy with his result, though disappointed to have missed out on a medal. The Neon Velo racer said - “Over the past few months I have raced a lot on the track. A bunch race on the track is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve always said that if I got the call up I would need to be willing to get a result. Tonight, I was really motivated to impress.”

It was bitter sweet for Potts at the end of the race, with the Irishman being initially announced as the bronze medallist – “It flickered to bronze at the finish, so I got to see what it felt like to medal. It made me hungry to do it now.”

The race went to plan for Potts, who gained a lap with three riders by the halfway mark – “The plan was from the start to do nothing for ten laps, and to go when it was hard, with anything that was going. I got the lap early on. I’m still quite new in the Scratch Race, so I made a lot of mistakes, but a bit more experience will knock that out.”

“I felt pretty good after the lap, and I just let the rest of the race happen. My coach said to relax, so I wasn’t trying to chase down moves. My motivation is pretty high at the minute, and I’ll see how the World Cups go, and try to qualify for the World Championships after that. Today proved that my coaching has worked.”

Irish Track Coach David Muntaner was happy with Potts race – “It was a very good race, his first big international mass start race, so it a good start. We are going to keep moving and keep improving, I’m very happy with Marc tonight.”

Tomorrow is a full day for the Irish Team with Eoin Mullen competing in the Men’s Sprint, Felix English in the Men’s Omnium and Lydia Gurley in the Women’s Points Race. Junior JB Murphy is making his debut on the elite stage in the Men’s Elimination Race. Racing at the European Championships continues until Sunday 22nd October.


Men’s Scratch Race
Gold: GAREL Adrien (FRA)
Silver: LOVASSY Krisztian (HUN)
Bronze: GLADYSH Roman (UKR)
4th: POTTS Marc (IRL)

Women’s Elimination Race
Gold: WILD Kirsten (NED)
Silver: AUGUSTINAS Evgenia (RUS)
Bronze: CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia (ITA)
12th: BOYLAN Lydia (IRL)



18th October 2017 Cycling Ireland have nine riders competing in the 2017 UEC Track Elite European Championships which take place in Berlin, Germany from the 18-22 October. Racing commences tomorrow for the team, which is a mix of experienced, decorated riders like Mark Downey, Felix English and Lydia Gurley, as well as junior graduates JB Murphy and Xeno Young.

SCHEDULE (Irish Times):

Thursday 19th October
Men’s Scratch: Marc Potts
Women’s Elimination: Lydia Boylan

Friday 20th October
Men’s Sprint: Eoin Mullen
Men’s Omnium:Felix English
Men’s Elimination: JB Murphy
Women’s Points Race:Lydia Gurley

Saturday 21st October
Men’s Individual Pursuit: Xeno Young
Men’s Points Race: Mark Downey
Women’s Keirin: Robyn Stewart
Women’s Omnium: Lydia Boylan
Women’s Scratch Race: Lydia Gurley

Sunday 22nd October
Men’s Madison: Mark Downey, Felix English
Women’s Sprint: Robyn Stewart
Women’s Madison: Lydia Boylan, Lydia Gurley


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