In an action packed afternoon at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Irish jerseys were to the fore with Lydia Gurley coming close to a medal in the Women’s Points Race at the European Cycling Championships , where she finished in 5th place after the lapping the field.
Gurley gained a lap with 60 laps to go with four other riders, moving her into the lead at that point. With twenty laps to go she was sitting in bronze medal position, however, she slipped to fifth in the fast and aggressive race.
Gold went to Italy’s Maria G. Confalonieri, silver to Ina Savanka from Belarus and bronze to Russia’s Gulnaz Badykova. Gurley finished just behind World Champion Kirsten Wild who was fourth.
“I was really happy with the lap I seemed to get it relatively easily. David (Muntaner – coach) told me to let up and wait for the group so we got it together and saved a bit of energy that way.
“Maybe I could have held back for the sprint, but I really wanted to get the lap. It was five away from the sprint lap so you never know what the group is going to do. I thought get the lap, get the twenty points and then move up the standings. I was able to get up in a few sprints and move up in the rankings a bit and I’m happy. It’s a decent result.”
Gurley is feeling strong this week, and feels good ahead of her focus event, the Madison, next Tuesday – “I just tried to ease in for the first thirty laps, tried to let the sprinters get a bit tired and start to attack, and try to make the attacks work. I felt pretty good so hopefully that means my legs will be good for Tuesday now, it was nice to open up and ready to go.”
Women’s 25km Points Race
GOLD Maria G. Confalonieri (ITALY) 33 points
SILVER Ina Savanka (BELARUS) 32 points
BRONZE Gulnaz Badykova (RUSSIA) 30 points
5th Lydia Gurley (IRELAND) 23 points