Ireland’s Women’s Team Pursuit team has smashed the National Record set in 2015 by more than 2 seconds, with a top-10 ride at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszków, Poland.
Orla Walsh, Mia Griffin, Alice Sharpe, and Kelly Murphy made their World Championships debut on Wednesday, and they were the first Irish riders to take to the track on the opening day of the event. The quartet were also the first of seventeen nations to ride in the qualifying session, and they set a time of 4:29.148s.
It broke the Irish National Record of 4:31.66s, set by Lydia Boylan, Josie Knight, Caroline Ryan, and Mel Spath at the 2015 European Track Cycling Championships, by 2.512 seconds. The time went on to earn them 10th place. Australia set the best qualifying time of 4:14.915s, with Great Britain in second and New Zealand third.
Orla Walsh said afterwards: “To come from the European Championships last summer, which wasn’t a great ride, to top 10 in the World with everyone showing up with their A-game is a great achievement for us, a new team.”
Mia Griffin said: “We want to continue progressing as we have done all this year. We’re going to put our heads down, stay focused after the summer and go into the Track World Cups ready.
“We want to try to keep knocking off the same amount of time we have been knocking off consistently through each of the World Cups this season.”
Alice Sharpe said: “We were really pleased to come off the track, having set a new National Record, even more so that it was on the biggest stage and we were able to perform under pressure, deliver on the day, when it mattered most. It’s a nice way to finish the season and show everybody what we’re all capable of.”
Kelly Murphy said: “We came here to ride under 4:30s, finish in the top 10, and break the Irish record. We prepared pretty hard, and our coach Brian Nugent got us in the right zone for the day.
“We’re really satisfied with the result, and just want to thank everyone at Cycling Ireland for giving us this opportunity.”