The Olympic Federation of Ireland has officially selected the women’s track cycling team who will compete at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.
We caught up with Alice Sharpe to chat about the exciting news.

“There have been so many messages of support since the announcement. When you are training in Mallorca and with your teams, you feel a bit disconnected from the Irish cycling community. We really are feeling the love and encouragement from everyone. We took part in a Team Ireland event at the Sports Campus in Dublin with kids from around the country and were taken aback by the amount of people who knew who we were and were excited to meet us.”

Alice’s journey into track cycling began during her university days when she attended a “come and try” event. Her first experience on an indoor velodrome was in Manchester.

Alice started training with a triathlon club from the age of 11. Her coach encouraged the athletes to think about their own training and bring their plans to him to discuss. Alice appreciated the ownership this gave her and felt that the desire to train always came from within her, not from being pushed into the sport by anyone else.

“I cycled to my swimming training at 5:30 am; no one was making me go. I wanted to do this.”
She enjoys having a coach who makes her “feel safe and secure because, more often than not, you are losing a race, not winning it, and you need someone there to support, encourage, and help you set goals for next time.”

Alice’s father, originally from Bangor and now residing in Belfast, is a proud supporter. Alice has often joined Killinchy Cycling Club on their rides and playfully hopes her dad isn’t talking about her non-stop, even though she knows he’s extremely proud!

Alice has been working with Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, and Lara Gillespie for around five to six years now. “They are a very talented team of women, and I want to do my best for them. It’s them that motivate me.”
This team is making history as the first Irish women’s track pursuit team to qualify for the Olympics.
“This was Brian Nugent’s dream and it became our dream. There have been ups and downs but it feels so good to have made it.”

Alice’s advice to younger cyclists is to “explore different types of cycling, integrate other sports to complement your training, and maintain interests outside of cycling. With more losses than wins in this sport, it’s crucial to have other fulfilling activities to focus on.”

When asked about the Olympic kit, Alice shared her excitement. “Both the opening and closing ceremony kits are stunning, with intricate details. But if I had to choose, the closing ceremony jacket is my favourite.”

The Team will head to Mallorca before traveling to Paris. She expressed deep gratitude for her coach, Tommy Evans, who played a pivotal role in her cycling career and has always been there for support and guidance.

She also acknowledged the support from Frank Campbell during the Irish Nationals and from Anthony Mitchell and Gary McKeegan during the Commonwealth Games.

Alice will be competing in the Team Pursuit and the Madison.
Our best wishes go to the team, and we’ll be with them every step of the journey.