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

Crash on Final Night at the UEC Junior and U23 Track European Championships
By Heather Boyle, Cycling Ireland Communications Officer
23 Jul 2017,

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23rd July 2017 On the final day of racing at the UEC Junior and U23 Track European Championships today in Portugal, the Men’s Junior Madison pairing of Xeno Young and Luke Smith finished eighth. In the Women’s U23 Keirin Autumn Collins was 13th, and a crash in the Men’s U23 Madison ended their hopes of adding a fourth medal to what has been a week of fantastic results for the young Irish track team.

This year the Madison was added to the Olympic Programme for 2020, and it is an event in which the Irish have been performing well, under the tutelage of Cycling Ireland Track Coach and former Madison World Champion, David Muntaner. While Young and Smith raced well to finish 8th, an unfortunate crash saw the U23 pairing forced out of the race. Luckily their injuries were not serious.

This event is one in which Irish riders have excelled over the years, with this year being arguably the best outing yet, with six top five placings, including three medals.

Speaking after the event Cycling Ireland High Performance Director, Brian Nugent, was upbeat about the success of the team: “Overall this week has been our best European Champs, not only in terms of medals, but in out and out performances. We had six top 5s and the entire team just gelled together and took it on.”

The team arrived in Portugal having spent time training at the Cycling Ireland High Performance base in Mallorca. Nugent described the camp, saying: “It led on really from the successful training camp in Mallorca over the last number of weeks, where the team worked really well together. We had a lot of riders and staff over from home, and a lot of learning took place. It was a great environment for riders and staff alike.”

While in Ireland there are three outdoor tracks, there is no indoor Velodrome yet, with the plans for a facility in the Sport Ireland National Campus in Abbotstown now top of the list. Nugent said: “It’s remarkable considering Ireland has no indoor cycling training facilities of its own. It’s growing year on year and it’s inspiring to watch it all take shape, and it will get much better when a Velodrome in Ireland is secured. It’s the right time for that now.”

The UEC Junior and U23 Track European Championships took place in the Sangalhos Velodrome in Anadia, Portugal from the 18 – 23 July 2017.


Two Fifths for Ireland at the UEC Junior and U23 Track European Championships

22nd July 2017 Both Luke Smith and Mark Downey came agonisingly close to medals at the UEC Junior and U23 Track European Championships today in Portugal, in a week where the young, talented and ambitious Irish team has already won three medals in against the top young riders in Europe.

In the Men’s Junior Points Race Smith lapped the field as well as picking up points in almost half the sprints on offer, before being pipped at the post for a medal – Ukraine’s Oleg Kanaka won gold, Fabio Van Den Bossche (BEL) won silver, and Mauro Schmid (SUI) took the bronze medal.

Speaking after the races, Cycling Ireland Track Coach David Muntaner was very happy with how the Cavan man performed saying: “Luke was very good in the Points Race today, he was so close to the medal and fought hard for it – he just lost the medal in the last 50m.”

Having won a bronze medal last night in the Men’s U23 Points Race, Downey switched his attention immediately to the Omnium, a four-race event with points determining the winner. Talented Downey won the Tempo Race, was seventh in the Scratch Race and ninth in the Elimination Race – these results had him lying joint fourth going into the final Points Race, with all to play for.

Muntaner was impressed with his racing, noting that the main aim for Downey in the Omnium was to gain experience: “Mark was very good yesterday and today. Today we took it just as experience – and he almost got a medal, so it’s great. He was doing lots of road racing coming up to the Championships, so while he lost some speed, he could compensate for it with power.”

The Men’s U23 Omnium was won by GB’s Mark Stewart, with Niklas Larsen (DEN) and Adrien Garel (FRA) taking silver and bronze. Westport’s Orla Harrison was also in action, with the first-year-junior using the competition to gain experience, and was listed as a DNF in the Women’s Junior Points Race.

With tomorrow being the final day of action for the Irish Team at the European Championships in Portugal, Muntaner reflected on what has been a sensational week for the team: “All the team were working very hard in Mallorca, and now the results are coming. The team is getting better every year and I’m very excited to see what the future holds.”

Sunday’s racing will see Downey in action again, teaming up with Fintan Ryan in the Men’s U23 Madison, an event in which Downey has already seen a lot of success with Felix English in the World Cup Season. Smith will be teaming up with European silver medallist from earlier this week, Xeno Young, in the Men’s Junior Madison, and sprint specialist Autumn Collins will compete in the Women’s U23 Keirin.

The UEC Junior and U23 Track European Championships take place in the Sangalhos Velodrome in Anadia, Portugal from the 18 – 23 July 2017.


(Each evening the schedule for the following day will be announced with results):

Men’s Junior Team Pursuit
Shane Higgins, JB Murphy, Luke Smith, Xeno Young 10 4.20

Men’s U23 Elimination Race Fintan Ryan 6
Women’s Jun Scratch Race Nicole Gorry 10
Men’s Jun Scratch Race Shane Higgins 14

Men’s U23 Scratch Race Fintan Ryan 8
Men’s Jun Elimination JB Murphy 2 SILVER

Women’s U23 Sprint Autumn Collins 16
Men’s Jun Individual Pursuit, Luke Smith, Xeno Young 14 3.27.255 / 2 Silver 3.19.063 q

Women’s Jun Omnium Nicole Gorry 9
Men’s Jun Omnium Xeno Young 4
Women’s Jun 500m Orla Harrison 14 40.201
Men’s U23 Points Mark Downey 3 Bronze

Men’s U23 Omnium Mark Downey 5
Women’s U23 500m Autumn Collins
Women’s Jun Points Orla Harrison DNF
Men’s Jun Points Luke Smith 5

Women’s U23 Keirin Autumn Collins 13
Men’s Jun Madison Xeno Young, Luke Smith 8
Men’s U23 Madison Mark Downey, Fintan Ryan DNF


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