Ireland has continued its summer medal success, with Xeno Young winning silver in the Individual Pursuit and JB Murphy winning bronze in the Points Race at the Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Montichiari, Italy, tonight. Both riders won silver at the European Championships last month, before claiming medals on the world stage.

Having qualified as second fastest rider, Young had time to digest the fact that he would be a world medallist. His time of 3.15.5 seconds was half a second off the Danish fastest qualifier – Johan Price-Pejtersen:

“It’s crazy. It sunk in just after the qualifiers that I’d get a medal,” said Young. “In the qualifier I stuck to the schedule that Brian (Nugent – Technical Director) gave me, and hoped for the best. I rode the way I normally ride, and at first was annoyed that I finished second, because the European Champion was in the next heat. I was sure he would go faster. Myself and Brian watched him race; he was ahead, ahead, ahead, and then slowed down. Then it just hit us that we were in the final.”

With a medal guaranteed, Young focused on relaxing: “After the qualifier I tried to relax, and not think about it. I got the tunes on, just playing random music to calm myself down. I was feeling quite confident and the track was going quickly. I knew I’d be calm out there. In qualifying I knocked four seconds off my previous record (and national record).”

It has been a roller coaster of a summer for Young, having travelling straight to the European Road Championships, having won silver in the Individual Pursuit at the track. The Powerhouse Sport rider highlights the importance of having fun in sport:

“It’s been a bit mad for the last month – I was shocked to get the 11th in the Time Trial on the road at the Europeans, it was a different focus. Then myself and JB spent some time in Majorca straight away, training for this. We put in good work with David (Muntaner – Track Coach), and had a bit of fun training with Felix and Fintan.”

Speaking after his race Murphy was delighted to stand on the podium, describing an eventful race: “It felt really good being on the podium. I crashed pretty hard in the qualifiers so was quite sore starting the finals. I only hopped on the rollers 15 minutes before the race started, and wasn’t expecting anything as I was still sore and recovering from road rash – so I was much more relaxed racing.”

Murphy picked up points throughout the race, and gained a lap on the field with four other riders, and came within 20 metres of winning the world title: “I sat in for the first twenty laps, while a Danish lad kept attacking. After he blew up I had a bit of a go, and got in a move with four riders. The five of us shared the load and got a lap, I also had picked up points in a few sprints, so just started creeping up the leader boards.”

Not content with a lap, the Kildare man targeted gold: “After the last sprint, with ten laps to go, I attacked on my own. I just kept going full gas, but my lets were in bits, I was so tired. I got caught 20m from the line. If I had held onto it I would have been World Champion, with double points for the last sprint. But I’m delighted with the medal – it feels brilliant.”

Today Young is in action again, competing in the four race Omnium event


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