On Sunday I was sitting in a Belgian Pub waiting for the cavalcade of the Gent-Staden Interclub (UCI 1.12) to pass and watching the big screen who had the World Track Champs on as there was Belgian interest in the race…suddenly Lydia start getting involved with the front and taking sprint points, not happy with that she also took a lap with a few select others and the podium was lurking. I find myself shouting at the TV screen and the crowd in the pub start wondering what is it all about…a man with social clothing on with distinctive Belgian Colors shouting support to an Irish Girl..when they found out whom and what I represented they got behind me and shouted Lydia to the line…That’s what I like about our beloved sport… support comes in different ways and no border will be a hurdle… Well done Lydia…you worked so hard and now reap the harvest. Here the report of Jessica Lamb of CI media >>> Boylan, who lives in Dublin, helped Ireland to a stellar ninth place in Saturday’s Women’s Madison with Shannon McCurley and lined up for Sunday’s Points Race gunning for better. She won the third sprint of the 25km race, then with less than 10 laps to race, attacked. Working hard with one other rival, she joined the back of the bunch and gained that crucial lap, putting her in Gold Medal position with five laps to race. Digging deep for the final sprint to the line, she held on for that incredible Silver Medal – Ireland’s second medal of the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, and Boylan’s first at a World Championships. Lydia Boylan said: “It still hasn’t sunk in that I’ve finally done something on the world stage. It’s a big boost of confidence for me, for sure. “That sort of racing suits me, because I know I can just dig deeper – we push ourselves so hard in training.” On that last push for the Gold, she added: “I kept taking a sneaky look up at the leaderboard, and I knew I needed to move up. I moved up and I gave it my best, but the legs fell off a bit in the last couple of laps. I still can’t believe it.”

The story not finished yet, earlier in the week Mark Downey got himself a bronze in the points race in the Pruszkow velo drome..Jessica Lamb (CI media) reports >>The County Down rider struggled through the first half of the race, but with 40 laps to go took a lap, and sprint points. Recovering quickly, he took another lap and entered the final nine laps sitting in joint third. Getting in a good position on the final bend, the 22-year-old pulled out everything to finish close enough for those crucial points that earned him World Championships Bronze. Mark Downey said: “That was crazy out there now. I’ve had so many ups and downs the last year and a half of my career. I had a crash on the track, finished fourth in the National Championships Road Race and I was bawling my eyes out after it << So well done Mark…you have what it takes to leave disappointments behind and respond with a world medal…chapeau

2019 Track Cycling World Championships, Pruszkow, 1st March 2019 (C) Guy Swarbrick
So pleased for Marc and his family…

And it all started with record braking time for the women’s pursuit team…Jessica Lamb earlier report of last week (below photo) and I have to thank Jessica for sending me updates as it happens, it helps me big time…all photos from Guy Swarbrick which I thank as well for the courtesy.

Well done girls xx

Orla Walsh, Mia Griffin, Alice Sharpe, and Kelly Murphy made their UCI Track Cycling World Championships debut on Wednesday, being the first Irish riders to take to the course on the opening day of the event. The foursome were also first of 17 nations to ride in the qualifying session, and opened with a time of 4:29.148s. It broke the Irish National Record of 4:31.66s, set by Lydia Boylan, Josie Knight, Caroline Ryan, and Mel Spath at the 2015 European Track Cycling Championships, by 2.512 seconds. The time earned them 10th place.Orla Walsh said: “To come from the European Championships last summer, which wasn’t a great ride, to top 10 in the World with everyone showing up with their A-game is a great achievement for us, a new team.”Mia Griffin said: “We want to continue progressing as we have done all this year. We’re going to put our heads down, stay focused after the summer and go into the Track World Cups ready. “We want to try to keep knocking off the same amount of time we have been knocking off consistently through each of the World Cups this season.”Alice Sharpe said: “We were really pleased to come off the track, having set a new National Record, even more so that it was on the biggest stage and we were able to perform under pressure, deliver on the day, when it mattered most. It’s a nice way to finish the season and show everybody what we’re all capable of.”Kelly Murphy said: “We came here to ride under 4:30s, finish in the top 10, and break the Irish record. We prepared pretty hard, and our coach Brian Nugent got us in the right zone for the day. “We’re really satisfied with the result, and just want to thank everyone at Cycling Ireland for giving us this opportunity.”