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MORE CYCLING : Track Racing Last Updated: Feb 21, 2017 - 5:26:31 PM

By Heather Boyle, Communications Officer
Feb 20, 2017,

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“A positive vibe is a positive team – that’s what produces great results" - Photo courtesy Robert Jones

MEDAL ALERT: Ireland’s Medal Tally Hits Three with Silver at Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, Colombia

Another day, another medal for the Cycling Ireland National Team at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in the Alcides Nieto Patino Velodrome in Cali, Colombia, when Mark Downey and Felix English won silver in the Madison last night. This is the third medal won by Ireland in the third round of the World Cup Series, in the 120 lap event that has been introduced to the Olympic Programme for Tokyo. The Danish duo of Casper Von Folsach and Niklas Larson won gold, with Andrei Sazanov and Viktor Manakov of Russia finishing third. In the Points Race Lydia Gurley was 20th and Eoin Mullen finished 27th in the Sprint. Sunday was the last day of racing in the Tissot UCI Track World Cup in Cali which took place from Friday 17th February to Sunday 19th February 2017.

The Madison is a bunch race with two riders competing for each nation. Racing in a relay format the riders sling each other into action every couple of laps, taking turns to race the distance. The men’s event is 120 laps, or 30km. Every ten laps there is a sprint lap, with points on offer for the top finishers, the last lap has double points on offer. Coached by former World Champion in this event, David Muntaner, Downey and English raced smart, and gained two laps on the field. Downey said:

Madison Podium, Irish take Silver - Photo courtesy Robert Jones

“That was definitely a nail biter! Everything was running smoothly and when we made the first move David gave the signal and we settled into the rhythm at 70 laps and got the lap with the Danes – they were strong! Then Felix made a move with 17 laps to go – I was totally spent! But it seems to be everyone else was ten times worse than us so we caught the bunch four laps from the finish, and the Danes caught the bunch with two laps to go! That pushed us down to second – I’m pretty sure the Irish fans enjoyed that one as much as we did!”

This is Downey’s second medal of the weekend, after winning gold in the Points Race on Friday night (local time), and his pairing with English has been a revelation:

“I really enjoyed the moment with Felix. He was super out there tonight – World Class! He deserves this as we’ve worked just as hard as each other, and like I’ve said from the start, it’s only the beginning. Special thanks to David, past world champion in this event, he was our eyes and ears out there, and has been there for us the past year and a half. I hope he enjoys this moment – he’s a great guy.”

English was equally delighted with the result – having come agonisingly close to medals over the past few years:

“Finally! I think I’ve had five fourth places at major competitions at this stage! It was even better to do it with Mark – we are both pretty competitive with each other so we train like absolute mad men! And this is our Olympic event for 2020 too.”

Lydia Gurley in the Points event - Photo courtesy Robert Jones

Eoin Mullin in the Sprint event - Photo courtesy Robert Jones

This was the final day of racing at the Track World Cup in Cali, with Downey summing up the weekend well:

“A positive vibe is a positive team – that’s what produces great results. Thanks so much to everyone – Cycling Ireland is on the rise!”

Next up for the Irish Team is the final round of the World Cup Series which takes place in Los Angeles, USA next weekend - competition runs from Saturday 25th February to Sunday 26th February 2017.

Elite Men: Eoin Mullen, Felix English, Mark Downey
Elite Women: Lydia Boylan, Lydia Gurley


17th Feb

Women’s Omnium Lydia Boylan 6th
Men’s Points 30km (Q 15km) Mark Downey 1st - GOLD

18th Feb

Men’s Keirin Eoin Mullen DNF
Women’s Scratch 10km (Q 5km) Lydia Gurley 3rd – BRONZE

Final Events on Sunday 19th Feb

Women’s Points 20km (Q 10km) Lydia Gurley 20th
Men’s Sprint Eoin Mullen 27th
Men’s Madison 30km Felix English 2nd – SILVER
Men’s Madison 30km Mark Downey 2nd – SILVER


Photos – Robert Jones

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