Latest news from the Hong Kong (China) World Cup event, mixed results with improvements to keep the momentum going. Jessica Lamb (Track press officer CI) send us this in dept report with links to results and some pictures to
TRACK WORLD CUP FINALE: IRELAND SCORES TOP 10’S IN HONG KONG
Men’s Madison duo Felix English & Mark Downey bounce back from London to be 10th, Shannon McCurley taking 9th in Omnium
January 27, 2019 – IRELAND has finished it’s Track World Cup season with two top tens, the team now eyeing the World Championships in Poland next month.
Having crashed during the Madison in London last December, Felix English and Mark Downey were primed for compensation in Hong Kong this Sunday, at the final round of the UCI Track World Cup.
Winning an early sprint, the pair earned enough points to finish 10th, in what was the fastest-run Madison of this World Cup series, with an average speed of 58.552kph.
“We were better today than we have been for the last year,” said Felix English. “We’ve been struggling a little bit, compared to where we were a few years ago, so it’s great to ride like that and be on a more positive note going into Worlds.”
English and Downey, who finished 9th in last year’s Madison World Championships, won Gold in Madison at Track World Cup LA in 2017. Since then, the race has been added to the Olympic programme, and English says, it’s not the same race anymore.
“When we won at the World Cup a few years ago, I think the average pace was about 54.4kph,” he said. “Now it’s nearly 59kph. It’s just going to get faster and faster. Even in the Omnium this weekend, the Tempo was 58.8kph.
He added: “Our partnership is still just as good as it was two years ago, but the way the Madison is raced is very different now. It’s more down to top-end power, which
English also raced Men’s Omnium, taking the Saturday ride despite falling ill the night before. He finished 18th, wisely conserving energy for Sunday’s Madison.
The Omnium did not go smoothly for Shannon McCurley either. After finishing 9th in the first of the four races – The Scratch – she suffered a heavy crash, falling from high on the banking.
Bruised, the Olympian raced on to be and 15th in the Elimination. In the final, she shook off her injuries again to land crucial sprint points. tempo 11th, and retain 9th in the overall standings.
Sprinter Robyn Stewart was also in action on Sunday, facing Keirin World Champion Nicky Degrendele twice: in the first round, and again in the first round repechage. She took the race on in both rounds, but could not match the Belgian.
These performances provided Ireland with valuable rankings points ahead of the World Championships in Pruszków, Poland from February 27, an event which will mark half-time in Tokyo 2020 qualifying for track cyclists.
Also set to compete will be Ireland’s Women’s Team Pursuit, who missed out on a ride in the final eight at Hong Kong by 0.197s. They had become the first Irish Women’s Team Pursuit in history to make the final eight in London last year.
Riders’ best three performances at this season’s and next season’s Track World Cup make up their Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification bids, along with the Track Cycling World Championships.
Full results from UCI Track World Cup VI: Hong Kong Latest UCI Track Cycling Rankings: Click Here