Junior Riders Fourth and Sixth in Pursuit at European Championships in Italy
Irish rider Xeno Young finished fourth in the Junior Men’s Individual Pursuit at the UEC Track Juniors and U23 European Championships in Montichiari, Italy today.
The Co. Down rider qualified for the bronze medal ride off following his fourth fastest time of 3.20.521, which was 5 seconds faster than the existing national record of 3.25.429 set by Michael O’Loughlin in 2015.
Ciara Doogan impressed with a 6th place in the Junior Women’s Individual Pursuit with a time of 2.28.138 and in the Junior Women’s Sprint a crash in the qualifier impacted Shenna McKiverigan who finished just outside the qualifying rounds in 9th place.
The UEC Track Juniors and U23 European Championships take place in Montichiari Velodrome in the Brescia region of Italy, and run from the 12-17 July.
Young, a first year junior, was pipped for the bronze medal by GB’s Reece Wood in the final, and was happy with his performance saying: “I wasn’t expecting to go as fast, I was going well and had done a 3.25 in training, I really wasn’t expecting it. It felt great! I would’ve been happy with fifth, but to have the opportunity to go for bronze was brilliant, and considering I’m a first year junior. Reece is an experienced rider; I’ve met him in races before.”
Young was sitting in first place for much of the qualifying round, just moving down the ranks with the last few riders@ “It was scary watching the riders after me. I had a slower start to everyone else, so I could see them coming first starting off, and then they’d die. I had my fingers crossed and tried not to look.”
Cycling Ireland Track Coach David Muntaner was pleased with how Xeno performed: “Xeno did a really good performance and I’m really happy with the results. He was really good qualifying in the morning, and then really good in the final. It’s an amazing time for such a young guy, and he’s a first year junior so there’s a lot of improvement to come. Tomorrow Xeno will race in the Omnium, and that will be a good experience too, especially after racing for the past two days.”
Doogan and track cycling newcomer Nicole Gorry impressed Muntaner in the Junior Women’s Individual Pursuit: “Ciara did really good in the pursuit, it was one of her goals for the championships and she was very close to the final. I was also really happy with Nicole’s race. She is new to the track and a first year junior so there’s a lot of improvement for next year; she has a lot of power so with a bit more work she will do great.”
McKiverigan was extremely unfortunate in the Sprint to come down hard in a crash: “Shenna hit the wall at the top of the track in the 200m qualifier, she went again but had a lot of pain in her shoulder, so couldn’t do much. She will take a few days to recover, yesterday’s scratch race was her big focus, where she did great getting 6th, so today was really for experience.”
Also in action today were Luke Smith and Cathal Purcell. Smith was 15th in the Junior Men’s Individual Pursuit and Purcell 18th in the Junior Men’s Kilo, Muntaner said: “Luke did a really good pursuit, he wasn’t feeling great after the crash yesterday, but was fighting all the way. Considering yesterday it was a really good performance. For Cathal the kilo was for the experience. He is an endurance rider so it’s a really good time in a sprinter’s event. I’m really happy with how he went today.”
Tomorrow will see riders race in the Points Race across all categories, Autumn Collins will compete in the Women’s U23 Sprint, along with day one of the Junior Men’s Omnium for Xeno Young. This weekend eleven Irish riders will compete in twenty four events in one of the major events in junior and U23 track cycling. The UEC Track Juniors and U23 European Championships take place in Montichiari Velodrome in the Brescia region of Italy, and run from the 12-17 July.