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

By Heather Boyle, CI Communications Officer
22 Feb 2018,

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Cycling Ireland Competes in Nine Events Over Five Days in Apeldoorn

Six Irish riders will be competing across nine events at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which take place in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from the 28th February – 4th March. Following a strong track world cup season Cycling Ireland achieved qualification spots in all targeted events, including the Madison, which is a new event on the 2020 Olympic Programme.

Speaking after receiving news about the qualification spots, Cycling Ireland Technical Director Brian Nugent said “We have qualified a really strong team of riders and I’m really looking forward to getting started. This is one of the strongest teams we have had at the worlds.”

The busy schedule at the Track Worlds will see riders competing on each day, with the Madison events taking place at the weekend. While new on the Olympic programme, Ireland has already enjoyed considerable success in this event, with the duo of Lydia Boylan and Lydia Gurley winning a silver medal in this event at the European Championships last October, to add to the gold and silver Track World Cup medals won by Mark Downey and Felix English last year.

Belfast native Robyn Stewart will be in action on Thursday following a solid showing in her first Track World Cup season. The former British National League hockey player has become the first Irish woman to qualify in the Sprint at the World Championships, and will also be competing in the event at the Commonwealth Games in April.

In addition to the Madison with English, Downey will be competing in the points race, an event in which the Team Wiggins rider excels. They won European Track Championship medals in this event at Junior and U23 level, as well as World Cup gold medals in the elite ranks.

The multi-discipline Omnium has been on the Olympic Programme since 2012, and Ireland will be fielding a rider in both the male and female events – Boylan competes on Friday 2nd March, with English in action the following day.

Ireland has always enjoyed success in the Scratch Race – with Martyn Irvine sensationally becoming the World Champion in this event in 2013. Marc Potts will be making his World Championship debut in the Scratch Race in Apeldoorn, and could be one to watch – having scored top five finishes in the event at World Cups this season.

Lydia Gurley is the first rider in action for Ireland, competing in the Scratch Race on Wednesday, 28th February. Gurley has also enjoyed success in this event, winning a bronze in the Cali World Cup last year, and finishing fourth in the event at the European Track Championships this season.

The 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships take place in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from the 28th February – 4th March.


Wednesday 28th February
Women’s Scratch - Lydia Gurley

Thursday 1st March
Women’s Sprint - Robyn Stewart
Men’s Scratch - Marc Potts

Friday 2nd March
Women’s Omnium - Lydia Boylan
Men’s Points - Mark Downey

Saturday 3rd March
Men’s Omnium - Felix English
Women’s Madison - Lydia Boylan, Lydia Gurley

Sunday 4th March
Women’s Points - Lydia Gurley
Men’s Madison - Mark Downey, Felix English

Irish Team sporting their new Spin 11 gear at their training base in Majorca

Lydia Boylan
Mark Downey
Felix English
Lydia Gurley
Marc Potts
Robyn Stewart


Qualification for the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships was based on results from the Track World Cups in the 2017-2018 season. In order to compete in the Olympic class events in the World Cups riders must gain qualification through participation in and performances from UCI track cycling events throughout the summer.

The events that will feature in the Olympic Games, and in which we are fielding riders at this championship event are: Madison, Omnium, Sprint.


Madison – This event will be a new event on the Olympic programme in Tokyo 2020. It is a team points race, where a two-rider team compete over an endurance distance. One rider is competing at any given time, performing a hand-sling to propel their team-mate into action at regular intervals.

Omnium – The omnium is a multi-discipline event, similar to the decathlon in athletics. The rider competes in four events in one day, with the rider achieving points based on their finish position. The rider with the most points at the end of the event is deemed the overall winner.

Sprint – The sprint is a two-part event, with the qualifying round involving a 200m flat out sprint, with the results forming the seeding for the match sprints. The match sprints involve a cat and mouse style tactical race which sees the riders aiming to outwit and outsprint each other.

Scratch – The scratch race is the classic mass start race, with the first across the line being deemed the winner. The races are tactical, with more endurance-based scratch riders generally aiming to lap the field, to optimise their finish position.

Points – The points race is also a mass start race, with points being awarded to riders in a sprint every ten laps. The riders are also granted 20 points if they lap the field. The rider with the most points at the end of the race is deemed the winner.



Brian Nugent – Cycling Ireland Technical Director
Alan Neenan – Cycling Ireland Team Manager
David Muntaner – Cycling Ireland Track Coach
Mark Kiely – Sprint Coach
Sandy Gilchrist – Bike Mechanic
Nerea Alonso Granados – Team Soigneur
Laura Ostler – Performance Analyst

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CI Twitter: @irecyclingfed

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