The NI Commonwealth Games Council has today announced the full squad for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia.
Cycling has been allocated a 7-rider team, which will be managed by Anthony Mitchell and Gary McKeegan.
Among the team number are numerous Irish national title holders, European and World championship medallists and world class ranked international riders.
Topping the list is Dromore`s Mark Downey, widely acknowledged as a 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 event; performances which have seen him ranked No1 in the UCI world rankings for this event. 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 another world class track competitor who spends a large part of her season riding for Ireland on the Track World Cup circuit. She goes to Australia as 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. He is also a noted pursuiter, and current National Criterium Champion whose skills will lend themselves to the technical nature of the Road Race course in Australia.
Eileen Burns is another double National Champion, winning the 2017 National Time Trial and Pursuit Championships as well as the 2017 Welsh Time Trial Championships for good measure. She 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 nationals 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 he competed in 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, 500mTT 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 is a world-rated Track rider with European and World Championship medals 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 first year Senior rider.
A number of the above riders will be spending the first part of the year competing at the final Track World Cup in Minsk, followed by the Track World Championships in Holland. Others will spend some time preparing in Majorca, before the team flies out to Australia in late March.