Ireland’s Mark Downey finished eleventh in the Men’s Points Race at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships yesterday as Australia’s defending World Champion Cameron Meyer took the gold medal, with silver going to Dutch man Jan Willem van Schip who was racing on his home track. Mark Stewart from Great Britain won the bronze medal.
At the halfway point in the 160-lap Points Race Downey took a lap with Kong Lok Cheung (Greece), and was happy with his performance.
Speaking after the race the Team Wiggins Rider said: “This is my best performance at a major championship at this level. I let the race unfold for the first half, and got my first lap easily. I spent a lot of the race at the back, and I was playing a smart game.”
“With thirty laps to go I tried to go again, there were four guys away and I tried to go across to them – but I didn’t make it. Sometimes that’s is a gamble and can go either way. As soon as I was caught Cameron (Meyer) pounced, so I just came in a couple of laps too early.”
The race was dominated by Meyer who rides UCI World Tour Team Mitchelton-Scott. While 21-year-old Downey has World Cup and European medals in the Points Race, he recognises he is still developing.
“Unless you are like Cameron and can force the race, you have to go with your moves. I was getting stuck in with the racing, and it wasn’t lack of legs tonight. I raced my own race, and tried to not follow Cameron, I knew everyone was following him, so I did my own thing. I’m not at his level yet – I know how strong he is. I let everyone else race Cameron, and I did my own thing.”
“The World Championships are a different level to the World Cups.” added Downey, “In the World Cups the races are over 120-laps, and if you take a lap you are likely to get a medal. At the World Championships with 160-laps you can take a lap and finish 11th, like I did tonight. You come aiming for medals, but the worlds are a higher level.”
Downey races on Sunday with Felix English in the Madison – “I feel good going into the Madison, my legs were good tonight – add Felix in and that’s a nice mix.”
Tomorrow Felix English will be competing in the Omnium, and Lydia Boylan will be teaming up with Lydia Gurley in the Madison Race. The 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships take place in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from the 28th February – 4th March.
Men’s Points Race
Gold Cameron Meyer (AUS)
Silver Jan Willem van Schip (NED)
Bronze Mark Stewart (GBR)
11th Mark Downey (IRL)