||Last Updated: Oct 23, 2017 - 3:50:56 PM
MEDAL ALERT: Silver for Gurley and Boylan in Madison at Euro Champs
Silver for Gurley and Boylan in Madison at Euro Champs
By Heather Boyle, Cycling Ireland Communications Officer
Oct 22, 2017,
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22nd October 2017 Ireland’s Lydia Boylan and Lydia Gurley have won a silver medal at the 2017 UEC Track Elite European Championships in Berlin today. The powerful pair stormed into the medals after lapping the field twice. Gold went to Great Britain’s Elinor Barker and Eleanor Dickinson, with the bronze medal going to Dutch multiple World and European Champion Kirsten Wild with her partner Amy Pieters.
In the Men’s Madison Mark Downey and Felix English finished in seventh place after an aggressive performance. Robyn Stewart finished 18th in the Sprint with a time of 11.460. The timing of this elite silver medal comes at an exciting time for Irish track cycling with confirmation of a funding commitment for a Velodrome at the Sport Ireland National Campus being announced last week.
Speaking after the race Boylan and Gurley were in disbelief – “It hasn’t quite sunk in,” said Boylan, “It’s my fourth elite Europeans. I train really hard every year, and finally it all came together. We have the legs, we have the power, and we are gaining in experience all the time. To get a medal is unbelievable really.”
Gurley highlighted the strength of the Irish pairing – “I’m really proud of what we achieved today. It was an awesome team effort. We work really well together. I’m still in disbelief – it means so much to us – and that it’s a team medal as well! It means so much more than an individual medal. We always work really hard, and it’s worth it – we push each other in training to get better. You give 100% because you know the other one is giving 100% too.”
The Madison has recently been added to the Olympic programme, and this year was the first year for it to be included in the women’s track programme. The Irish team are coached by former Madison World Champion David Muntaner, and have been honing their skills and technique in their track base in Majorca.
Boylan and Gurley eased themselves into the 30km race, remaining calm and composed in the early stages. “It took us a while to settle into it,” said Dubliner, Boylan, “We haven’t raced since the worlds, so we didn’t have any expectations. We didn’t panic, and after 20 laps got to the front of the group – we were watching moves, and watching David. Then we got into the group that got a lap, and then we took another one. We were up there and racing – we were in the race, not just chasing like we were doing at the Worlds last year.”
Galway’s Gurley echoed her teammate saying “It took a little while to settle into it – but we stayed calm, and knew it would take a bit to settle – we haven’t raced in six months. When we got to the front of the group we were more comfortable there. We positioned ourselves well, and we were strong enough and smart enough to do that.”
“We got into a group of three that got a lap, and then just waited. It was a hard race, and then David told me to go again. I was in pain, but everyone else was in more pain. We just worked really hard and picked up the extra lap. We were well positioned, our changes were good, our timing was a bit off, but we didn’t miss any changes. If you miss one, it’s game over.”
The Irish women were leading coming into the last sprint which had double points on offer. Gurley said “The last sprint was just so fast – there wasn’t a lot we could do. But if you told me this morning that we would get silver, I wouldn’t have believed you!! Ultimately, we are two strong riders, and that’s good. Technically we can get better, and we have three more races coming up in the next few weeks, and racing is the best training you can do.”
With two World Cups coming up in the next three weeks, this bodes well for the silver medal winning duo.
“We are proving to ourselves we are strong enough to compete. Today we got a European medal, if we are capable of a medal here, we are capable of one on the world stage, this is going to give us a boost going into the World Cups” said Boylan, who finished 8th in the Omnium yesterday.
“It was tough to get into race mode again today, after a long day of racing yesterday – but it all came together. My legs were still there. Yesterday was my best Omnium to date, and today a European medal.”
Summing up the day Gurley said – “It was incredible to stand on the podium. It made every session worth it, every single day we work hard was worth it. We work harder than any other team, and we get better. There’s no magic formula – we work hard, that’s what we do.”
This was the final day of racing at the European Championships, with nine riders competing across fourteen events. The next competition for the Irish team is at the World Cup in Poland on the 4-5 November, with the second World Cup in Manchester the following week.
Gold: Great Britain - BARKER Elinor, DICKINSON Eleanor
Silver: Ireland - BOYLAN Lydia, GURLEY Lydia
Bronze: Netherlands - PIETERS Amy, WILD Kirsten
Gold: France - MAITRE Florian, THOMAS Benjami
Silver: Denmark - LARSEN Niklas, PEDERSEN Casper
Bronze: Poland - PSZCZOLARSKI Wojciech, STANISZEWSKI Daniel
7th: Ireland - DOWNEY Mark, ENGLISH Felix
Gold: VOGEL Kristina (GER)
Silver: GROS Mathilde (FRA)
Bronze: SHMELEVA Daria (RUS)
18th: STEWART Robyn (IRL)
FOURTH FOR GURLEY AT THE EUROPEAN CHAMPS
21st October 2017 Ireland’s Lydia Gurley narrowly missed out on a medal in the Scratch Race at the 2017 UEC Track Elite European Championships in Berlin today. The Galway woman lapped the field with the three medallists in the latter part of the race, before being pipped on the line for a medal. Gold went to Trine Schmidt (Denmark), silver to Ukraine’s Tetyana Klimchenko, and Russia’s Evgenia Augustinas took bronze.
In the Omnium Lydia Boylan was 8th and European U23 bronze medallist Mark Downey finished 12th in the Points Race. In his elite championship debut, junior world silver medallist Xeno Young was disqualified in the Individual Pursuit. His time of 4.27.445 for 4km was removed from the final results after it was ruled he rode in the slipstream of Belgian’s Sasha Weemaes once he was overtaken. Robyn Stewart finished 13th in the Keirin.
Speaking after the race Gurley was disappointed to miss out on the podium – “I’m gutted really. To be honest I feel like I lost a European medal rather than gained a fourth. I always go into a race thinking I can do something, and I’m disappointed – I think I was strong enough to get a medal.”
Relatively new to racing 33-year-old Gurley rode a smart race, and made the move of the day – “Myself and David (Muntaner – coach) spoke before the race, and decided I’d save my energy and take it easy for the first 40 laps. I was happy to see attacks go and get caught again. My one move was concise, and it was a good one. In order to gain a lap, you need two things – you need the legs, and the right time to move. I waited for the pace to ease up. I was patient and went for it.”
“The Ukrainian went at the same time, and the Russian came across to us. When Schmidt rode over to us, I was kind of disappointed on one hand – as now there were four of us, with only three medals. But she is a form rider, so it was good to have her in the break. Everyone was motivated to get the lap, which we got with 7 laps to go.”
“When we caught the group, I was at the front, so I found myself at the back of the bunch, while the others moved straight to the front,” Gurley added, believing this mistake cost her a medal, “it’s a hard lesson, but I’ve learnt it now. I enjoy doing the Scratch Race, I enjoy trying to get into the right move – it’s like a chess match. Maybe with a bit more reflection I’ll be happy with fourth. Ultimately, you can’t feel sorry for yourself. I’ve the Madison tomorrow – I’ll have to move on and use that energy for tomorrow’s race.”
Gurley is teaming up with Boylan for the Madison tomorrow, an event that has recently been added to the Olympic programme, and is looking forward to the race – “We are two strong riders. If we can start okay, we are strong enough to do something.”
Boylan was competing in the four event Omnium today, with consistent racing across all events netting 8th overall. The event was won by World and Olympic Champion, Katie Archibald, who is also her Team WNT Pro-cycling teammate.
Tomorrow is the final day of racing at the European Championships, with Ireland fielding two Madison pairings – Mark Downey and Felix English compete in the men’s race, and Lydia Boylan and Lydia Gurley team up for the women’s race. The Madison has been added to the Olympic programme for the Tokyo Games in 2020. Sprinter Robyn Stewart will be in action also, competing in the Sprint.
Gold: SCHMIDT Trine (DEN)
Silver: KLIMCHENKO Tetyana (UKR)
Bronze: AUGUSTINAS Evgenia (RUS)
4th: GURLEY Lydia (IRL)
Gold: ARCHIBALD Katie (GBR)
Silver: WILD Kirsten (NED)
Bronze: BALSAMO Elisa (ITA)
8th: BOYLAN Lydia (IRL)
Men’s Points Race
Gold: BANASZEK Alan (POL)
Silver: LARSEN Niklas (DEN)
Bronze: BEYER Maximilian (GER)
12th: DOWNEY Mark (IRL)
Gold: VOGEL Kristina (GER)
Silver: KRUPECKAITE Simona (LTU)
Bronze: BASOVA Liubov (UKR)
13th: STEWART Robyn (IRL)
Men’s Individual Pursuit
Gold: GANNA Filippo (ITA)
Silver: OLIVEIRA Ivo (POR)
Bronze: WEINSTEIN Domenic (GER)
DSQ: YOUNG Xeno (IRL)