Grey clouds hung over Sundrive Velodrome on the first morning of the Dublin Track Cycling International, but even occasional rain breaks didn’t deter a high-class field from strutting their stuff.
The men’s elite scratch race was halted due to inclement weather with 12 riders – including world champion Sam Welsford – who had formed a leading group with 13 laps to go subsequently restarting without the rest of the field. After the race resumed, Australian Welsford’s strength showed and he went on to take the win from Oliver Wood and Matthew Walls.
A nasty crash then interrupted the women’s madison, which resulted in a prolonged break while riders waited for the drizzle to clear. Upon resumption, the powerful Danish duo of Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth took the victory ahead of Ireland’s Lydia Gurley and Shannon McCurley, with Michaela Drummond and Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand) third.
The weather then changed for the better and, after four heats of the men’s keirin, Jason Kenny, showing his Olympian class, won the final in style ahead of Juan Peralta Mohammad Shah.
The women’s keirin heats saw Charlene Du Preez, Elena Bissolati, Anis Amira Rosidi, Sophie Capewell, Robyn Stewart and Emer McMullen power into the main final. Capewell won in similarly convincing form to Kenny, flying home in front of Bissolati with Stewart showing the Irish jersey in third.
A hotly contested men’s madison was headed by another Danish pair, Lasse Norman Hansen and Niklas Larsen, who followed Leth and Dideriksen’s example and romped into top spot on the podium.
In the women’s points race, German rider Gudrun Stock lapped the bunch to take a dominant win ahead of Irish road race champion Alice Sharpe, who had been involved in the earlier crash in the madison, and Dideriksen. The men’s version produced an outstanding ride from Britain’s Ethan Hayter, who also lapped the pack and still had the strength to pip the bunch on the line. His compatriots Oliver Wood and Matthew Walls rounded out the podium.
The last race of the day saw Dideriksen power to victory in the women’s scratch race, adding to her exploits in the madison.
Earlier on in the morning, in the junior men’s scratch race, Navan Cycling Club showed their prowess with Sean Nolan and Sean Linehan taking the one-two ahead of Ciaran Dixon. Eva Brennan took the junior women’s scratch race from Hannah Tilly.
Sunday brings more elite track action from Sundrive, including the Omnium and Sprint competitions.