All brilliant photos courtesy of Matthew Lysaght, his Photos on Flickr

Saturday 1st August saw the round 2 of the Irish Sprinter’s League take place once again at Sundrive Velodrome in Dublin under cloudy skies but thankfully a dry track.  Once again the league saw riders of all abilities including the young and the old, the upcoming and the outgoing, the future stars, some of the countries fastest ever riders, and last but not least the great voices of experience.  The first round-up for points was once again the flying 200 meters and with conditions looking good for a few fast times it was over to the riders to lay it all on the track in search of maximum bragging rights! 

It was Harvey “The Hulk” Barnes this week who put in the fastest time of the day of 11.32s, the popular Tyrone man pipping club mate Tony Mairs with Callum Byrne putting an excellent performance of 11.50s for third.  Once again we all witnessed a truly exceptional flying 200-meter ride by Orla Walsh who broke the Irish outdoor and stadium records recording a time of 11.78s!  Another stunning performance by the young Dublin woman who’s progress in sprinting has been nothing short of phenomenal over the past year, a fun fact is that a crow landed on the track and into her path but she wasn’t going to slow for it!  There were several PB’s from the other riders and it was great to see many of the younger riders so keen and determined to progress, and with thanks to top photographer Matthew Lysaght on hand in the track center every rider had their most expressive pain faces captured for all to see! 

The tactics were on show for the match sprint rounds, a fit-looking Jason Howick who ten years ago took the Irish Match Sprint title on this very track was back after a lay off and entertained and educated much younger riders on how to make your opponent work – Bravo Jason!  The sprinting was an increasingly tactical affair with the riders doing their best to put each other off and jostle for the lead through their rides, it was highly productive and great training for the younger riders who will have learned a lot through the day.  It can be safely said that it was a very entertaining and fun afternoon of racing with no rain and little in the way of sunburned riders!  Many thanks to all who turned up to the race – you all made the show!  The Irish Sprinter’s League always has a fun and encouraging environment which aims to develop track sprinting in Ireland and where we can all have a cutthroat wheel to wheel racing followed by a good laugh and a bit of banter in the track center as the riders recover for their next heats.

“Big thanks go to Hugh, Liam, John, and Brendan for their time, efforts, guidance and patience to have a long, safe, fun and very productive session, and to Matthew Lysaght for the photographs” yours sincerely Tony