A strong seven-rider Northern Ireland team has been announced for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia.
The team was announced today by the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council, and will compete across both road and track disciplines in the Games which take place from the 4th – 15th April 2018.
Managed by Anthony Mitchell and Gary McKeegan, the team includes many of Ireland’s brightest talents, with European and World Medallists and world class ranked international riders, along with numerous national title holders.
The Track World Cup in Minsk from the 19-21 January and the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Holland from the 28th February – 4th March will serve as good preparation for some of the track riders. The training base in Majorca will be used for fine tuning by others, before the team flies out to Australia in late March.
Northern Ireland 2018 Commonwealth Games Team:
Mark Downey – Topping the list is Dromore’s world class track rider who was the 2016-17 Track World Cup Point Race competition winner and bronze medallist in the 2017 U23 European Track Championship Points Race. These performances resulted in his No1 ranking in the Points Race in the UCI world rankings. His 9th placed ride in the 2017 Under 23 Road World Championships in Norway also confirm him as a world class rider, and his signing for Team Wiggins for 2018 marks the continuing rise of this talented competitor.
Lydia Boylan is a world class track competitor who won a silver medal in the Madison at the 2017 European Championships with Lydia Gurley. The professional cyclist competes for Team WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling, and is the reigning National Road Race champion, a title she won for the 3rd time in 2017. This will be her second Commonwealth Games representing Northern Ireland, her first being Glasgow 2014.
Marc Potts is also a member of the Irish Track team, having placed 4th in the European Scratch Race Championship in 2017, as well as being a strong individual pursuiter. As the current National Criterium Champion, the bike skills of the Neon Velo cycling team rider will lend themselves to the technical nature of the Road Race course in Australia.
Eileen Burns is the reigning National Time Trial Champion, as well as the National Pursuit Champion. Last year she also won the 2017 Welsh Time Trial Championships. The accomplished time triallist is also a former National record holder over 10, 25 and 50 miles.
Marcus Christie is the current National Pursuit champion, and noted short-distance time triallist, who took Bronze in the 2017 National Time Trial Championships and is a national record holder over 50 and 100 miles. The 2016 Ulster Road Race champion is expected to compete in several disciplines in April, focusing on the Time Trial, an event in which he competed at Glasgow 2014, finishing 13th.
Robyn Stewart is a relative newcomer to the sport, who in a short few years has recorded two National records and is the reigning National Champion in Sprint, 500m TT and Keirin. Her impressive record of 10.994 for the sprint flying 200metres saw her become the first woman to represent Ireland in the Sprint event at World Cup level in 2017.
Xeno Young won European and World Championship medals in the Individual Pursuit at Junior level in 2017. The Hillsborough teenager finished 2017 ranked No1 Junior Pursuiter in the UCI rankings. He is expected to compete in the Pursuit, Time trial and Road Race events at the Games, which will prove to be an excellent learning experience for the eighteen-year-old in his first year competing in the senior ranks.
Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th April
Track Cycling – Anna Meares Velodrome, Brisbane
Tuesday 10th April
Road Cycling Time Trial – Gold Coast, Currumbin Beach Front
Saturday 14th April
Road Cycling Road Race – Gold Coast, Currumbin Beach Front