Six Irish riders will be competing across nine events at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which take place in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from the 28th February – 4th March. Following a strong track World Cup season Cycling Ireland achieved qualification spots in all targeted events, including the Madison, which is a new event on the 2020 Olympic Programme.
Speaking after receiving news about the qualification spots, Cycling Ireland Technical Director Brian Nugent said “We have qualified a really strong team of riders and I’m really looking forward to getting started. This is one of the strongest teams we have had at the worlds.”
The busy schedule at the Track Worlds will see riders competing on each day, with the Madison events taking place at the weekend. While new on the Olympic programme, Ireland has already enjoyed considerable success in this event, with the duo of Lydia Boylan and Lydia Gurley winning a silver medal in this event at the European Championships last October, to add to the gold and silver Track World Cup medals won by Mark Downey and Felix English last year.
Belfast native Robyn Stewart will be in action on Thursday following a solid showing in her first Track World Cup season. The former British National League hockey player has become the first Irish woman to qualify in the Sprint at the World Championships, and will also be competing in the event at the Commonwealth Games in April.
In addition to the Madison with English, Downey will be competing in the points race, an event in which the Team Wiggins rider excels. They won European Track Championship medals in this event at Junior and U23 level, as well as World Cup gold medals in the elite ranks.
The multi-discipline Omnium has been on the Olympic Programme since 2012, and Ireland will be fielding a rider in both the male and female events – Boylan competes on Friday 2nd March, with English in action the following day.
Ireland has always enjoyed success in the Scratch Race – with Martyn Irvine sensationally becoming the World Champion in this event in 2013. Marc Potts will be making his World Championship debut in the Scratch Race in Apeldoorn, and could be one to watch – having scored top five finishes in the event at World Cups this season.
Lydia Gurley is the first rider in action for Ireland, competing in the Scratch Race on Wednesday, 28th February. Gurley has also enjoyed success in this event, winning a bronze in the Cali World Cup last year, and finishing fourth in the event at the European Track Championships this season.
The 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships take place in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from the 28th February – 4th March.
Wednesday 28th February
Thursday 1st March
Friday 2nd March
Saturday 3rd March
Sunday 4th March