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OTHER CYCLING : Track Racing Last Updated: 11 Apr 2018 - 7:30:35 PM

Boylan 11th Downey 12th in Fast Bunch Racing
By Heather Boyle, CI Communications Officer
8 Apr 2018,

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Xeno Young

The second day of racing for the Northern Ireland team resulted in 11th for Lydia Boylan in the Points Race and 12th for Mark Downey in the Scratch Race at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia today. Marc Potts and Xeno Young also competed in the final of the Scratch Race after qualifying out of their heats earlier in the day.

Mark Downey

In a hectic paced Scratch Race Dromore’s Downey described a fast race – “the pre-race plan was to try to go for a lap, but it was just absolutely crazy. The speed was 55kmph average so there was no let-up at all!”

Mark Potts
The high speed in the 15km bunch race resulted in no riders lapping the field. “I tried a bit in the middle to make a move, but never really recovered from it,” Downey explained after the race which was contested by a strong experienced bunch including multiple World Champion Cameron Meyer (AUS). “Everytime Cameron Meyer kicked through I was put on the back foot and I ran out of legs in the last lap. But I did everything I could in the race, tomorrow is a new day.”

The gold medal was won by Australia’s Sam Welsford ahead of New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart. Christopher Latham from England won the bronze medal.

Lydia Boylan raced well in the women’s Points Race, finishing 11th on the line in a race that was dominated by Olympic and multiple World Champion Elinor Barker from Wales. Baker’s 40-point advantage at the finish of the 25km race was double that achieved by silver medallist Katie Archibald (Scotland), Scotland’s Neah Evans rounded off the podium with bronze.

Speaking after her race Boylan was relieved to move on from a disappointing World Championships earlier this year – “after a disappointing Worlds I just wanted to get back to enjoying racing. I tried not to think too much and didn’t put any expectation on myself.”

The WNT – Rotor Pro Cycling Team rider raced aggressively throughout – “I’m happy that I put myself out there with some big attacks, but unfortunately you need to score the points too. I’m really happy with my form, so I’m definitely looking forward to leaving it all out on the track tomorrow in the Scratch Race.”

Tomorrow is the final day of track cycling competition at the Commonwealth Games, with Downey, Potts and Young competing in the Points Race. Boylan will be racing in the Scratch Race and Robyn Stewart will be testing herself in the Keirin.

The Commonwealth Games run from the 4th – 15th April in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Australia.


Women’s Points Race

Gold Elinor Barker (Wales)
Silver Katie Archibald (Scotland)
Bronze Neah Evans (Scotland)
Northern Ireland
11th Lydia Boylan (Northern Ireland)

Men’s Scratch Race

Gold Sam Welsford (Australia)
Silver Campbell Stewart (New Zealand)
Bronze Christopher Latham (England)
Northern Ireland
12th Mark Downey (Northern Ireland)
DNF Xeno Young (Northern Ireland)
DNF Marc Potts (Northern Ireland)

7th April

The Northern Ireland team got day one of their campaign off to a great start at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia today recording two personal bests and a top ten finish. The Commonwealth Games run from the 4th – 15th April, with cyclists competing in track cycling, mountain biking, time trials and road racing.

Robyn Stewart recorded a competition best to finish 9th in the Women’s Sprint, with a qualifying time of 11.082 seconds for the 200m opening round. In the 1/8 finals Stewart met 8th placed Emma Cumming from New Zealand, who bettered the Belfast sprinter on the line.

“I’m delighted with a big race pb today – especially with it on a 250m track” said a relieved Stewart after her race.

Stewart faced Cumming in the next round, who had qualified 8th with an advantage of 0.003 seconds in a time of 11.079. “Qualifying 9th meant that I raced the 8th placed rider. We were so close in qualifying. I put up a good fight, but Emma had the better of me!”

It was a memorable experience for Glasgow based Stewart, who is competing in her first Commonwealth Games – “The atmosphere was amazing – it was such a good day! I’m excited for the keirin now on Sunday night – there’s lots more in the tank!”

In the Individual Pursuits Eileen Burns finished 17th with a personal best time of 3.42.486 – 8 seconds faster than her previous record from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. Her event was won in a Games record of 3.24.119 by multiple World Champion and Olympic Champion Katie Archibald from Scotland.

Archibald’s brother John was the silver medallist in the men’s 4km Individual Pursuit – an event which saw both Xeno Young and Marcus Christie in action. Young won silver medals in this event as a junior at both World and European level, and his 14th place at these Games signals a bright future for the Powerhouse Sport rider. Young finished with a personal best time of 4.24.568, and Christie was 20th with 4.35.402.

Speaking after her Pursuit Burns relished the experience – “The atmosphere in the track was amazing! It was a full house of spectators and they were lifting the roof off cheering encouragement in every race. My family, including my husband and sister have made the journey over from home to watch me – so that made it even more special.”

Burns competed in the Pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, so had targeted 3.40 for the 3km – “I did a 3.50 in Glasgow so had set myself a goal of 3.40 for the Individual Pursuit – and I did 3.42. But I will look on the bright side and take my PB of 8 seconds. I caught my competitor which helped to drive me on – and I know the areas that I can improve on.”

Racing at the Commonwealth Games continues tomorrow with bunch races – Mark Downey, Marc Potts and Xeno Young compete in the Men’s Scratch Race, while Lydia Boylan lines up in the Women’s Points Race. Potts is the only cyclist who will be competing across all three cycling disciplines.


Women’s Sprint

Gold Stephanie Morton (Australia)
Silver Nathasha Hanson (New Zealand)
Bronze Kaarle McCulloch (Australia)
Northern Ireland
9th Robyn Stewart (Northern Ireland)

Women’s Individual Pursuit

Gold Katie Archibald (Scotland)
Silver Rebecca Wiasak (New Zealand)
Bronze Annette Edmondson (Australia)
Northern Ireland
17th Eileen Burns (Northern Ireland)

Men’s Individual Pursuit

Gold Charlie Tanfield (England)
Silver John Archibald (Scotland)
Bronze Dylan Kennett (New Zealand)
Northern Ireland
14th Xeno Young (Northern Ireland)
20th Marcus Christie (Northern Ireland)



Saturday 7th April - Track Cycling

Men's Scratch Race - Marc Potts
Men's Scratch Race - Mark Downey
Men's Scratch Race - Xeno Young
Women's Points Race - Lydia Boylan

Sunday 8th April - Track Cycling

Women's Keirin - Robyn Stewart
Women's Scratch Race - Lydia Boylan
Men's Points Race - Mark Downey
Men's Points Race - Marc Potts
Men's Points Race - Xeno Young

Tuesday 10th April - Time Trials

Men's Time Trial - Marcus Christie
Men's Time Trial - Xeno Young
Women's Time Trial - Eileen Burns

Thursday 12th April - Mountain Biking

Men's MTB - Cameron Orr
Men's MTB - Marc Potts

Saturday 14th April - Road Racing

Women's Road Race - Lydia Boylan
Women's Road Race - Eileen Burns
Men's Road Race - Mark Downey
Men's Road Race - Marc Potts
Men's Road Race - Xeno Young
Men's Road Race - Marcus Christie
Men's Road Race - Cameron Orr


Photos Guy Swarbrick

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