A 13-strong Irish squad is putting the finishing touches on its preparations for this week’s European Track Championships in Grenchen, Switzerland. Seven women and six men have been selected to take part in a range of events over the five days of the championships including all the individual and team endurance events as well as selected sprint events.
The meeting kicks off in the 250m Swiss velodrome tomorrow evening where Team Ireland will ride in the qualifying rounds of the men’s and women’s four-kilometre Team Pursuit.
The women’s quartet will be selected from squad regulars Lydia Boylan, Lauren Creamer, Josie Knight, Caroline Ryan and Mel Späth along with international newcomer Eimear Moran.
The men’s pursuit team will be made up of four riders chosen from Mark Downey, Felix English, Martyn Irvine, Marc Potts and Fintan Ryan.
Irvine will also be targeting a strong result in the Individual Pursuit and the Scratch Race, events at which he was silver and gold medallist, respectively, in the 2013 World Championships.
Eoin Mullen gets his bid for vital Olympic qualification points under way on Friday morning in the 200m time trial qualifying rounds of the men’s Sprint. Mullen’s busy week also includes participation in the Keirin, another important Olympic event for him, and the Kilometre Time Trial.
Shannon McCurley has her first outing in the Scratch race on Friday evening while she will also bid for Olympic qualifying points in the Keirin on Sunday morning, the final day of racing.
The squad have just completed three weeks of preparation in Majorca and, according to Team Technical Director Brian Nugent, are well prepared for an event that will offer the opportunity to accumulate vital experience as well as important ranking points.
“It’s good to see this squad back into action and competing. The team have improved as a whole over the summer months and I’m looking forward to seeing the progression this week and throughtout the World Cup season. It’s an important year as there’s ranking points on offer.
It’s all about progression at this level and we will have entered alot of races here to give riders experience and gain in confidence. I’m happy where we are going into this season”
The European Track Championships will be covered live on Eurosport TV during the week. Check listings for details.
For full results from the European Track Championships see the the Official Website:
See the Cycling Ireland twitter feed for live updates: @IreCyclingFed