The Men’s Madison pair of Felix English and Mark Downey are through to the Madison Final today having qualified second out of their heat at the European Championships in Glasgow. The Irish duo were competing in the first heat of the day with seven teams out of nine progressing to the next round.
The tactic of the Irish team was to attack early and pick up early qualification points. Downey described an aggressive first half of the race – “Felix was doing an intense effort right from the start. Our coach David (Muntaner) had said that if we can qualify early and go full out from the start then we could qualify easily. But it’s always a bit of stress because people are constantly scoring.”
English felt the early effort in the closing 30 laps, and Ireland briefly lost touch with the lead bunch – “I went off a bit too hard in the first 60 laps – we went for every sprint and I wasn’t really saving anything – I was just going full gas. But Mark got us back on again, which we needed – if we didn’t get back on there we weren’t going to qualify.
“Then we looked at who was sitting last and we saw it was Ukraine, so we just decided to sit on Ukraine and as long as they didn’t take any points we were safe. They attacked with 7 or 8 laps to go and we just sat on them and didn’t give them a turn, and then we were safe.”
Men’s Madison Final Qualifying Teams