By Noah De Jonge “59 riders of all ages and abilities took part in the annual Irish track cycling season opener – the Duane Delaney Memorial Track Grand Prix. The event being a sprint weighted Omnium with 3 “sprint” events favouring the fast men and women and an endurance scratch race to give the track sprinters a hard time. The events for all categories took place in the following order:
(1) Flying 200 meter TT
(2) Mile (Max 10 per Heat)
(3) Scratch Race (10-15 laps depending on category)
(4) Standing Start 500 meter TT (final event for top 6 in each category only) Sunny weather was in store for all at the track this June day with little wind but enough UV to ensure that many left the velodrome looking like fried lobsters ready to be served.
The day started with the 200m flying TT and with decent conditions, it was Mr. Top Gun of Irish Track Cycling Harvey Barnes taking the honours with a time of 11.34s over Irish Keirin Champion Anthony Mairs on 11.43s and Sundrive rider Callum O’Toole 3rd with 11.70s ahead of former Irish Sprint Champ Mike Mulcachy. The UCI professional Barnes being undefeated over 200 meters for quite some time having famously made light work of former Jr UCI World Champion Conor Rowley last year. Track Queen Deirbhle Ivory deservedly won in the women’s with a time of 12.71s over Elmer McMullan and up-and-coming Jr rider Shauna Finn (see photo above
Next up was the Mile dash after riders had been categorised based on their 200m times. Barnes once again didn’t disappoint in the A category holding off the field for what looked a comfortable win over O’Toole and Glasgow. Deirbhle Ivory won the women’s mike over Emma Smith and the popular former Masters World Champion Susie Mitchell who turned 40 just last month. The B Women’s category win went to Anne Coleman over Maria McAllister with Limerick girl Julia Cooper finishing third. John Caffrey took the Men’s B race over U16 Sam Coleman and Jr Luke Bernie. The Men’s C mile was won by the evergreen Colm Sevastopulo over Sean Fenlon and local rider Callum Byrne. Jr rider Christopher Marshall won the D Men’s mile ahead of Daniel Score and Oisin Collins.
To give the sprinters a hard time is the scratch race. The fast-charging U16 rider Seth Dunwoody won the Men’s A category beating Oisin Ferrity and a tiring Barnes who visibly looked like he was enjoying himself but had claimed otherwise. The Men’s B category was won by Joe Owens ahead of Sam Coleman and John Blackwell. Sevastopulo won the C category beating Masters Champion Eddie Lynch and Oisin Murtagh. The D category was won by Christopher Marshall over Daniel Scott and Harry Hobbs. The ride of the day went to Keela McHale winning eh Women’s A scratch race by attacking solo and holding off a fast-charging pack for the win, eardrums were given a rattle by the cheering in the infield and most were delighted that a solo effort was rewarded. Shauna Finn held off a tiring Deirbhle Ivory for a great second. In the Women’s B category the popular Anne Coleman grabbed another win this one was close, beating Zoe Lindsay and Julia Cooper.
By this stage of the afternoon, energy was low and suntans were high as baked riders gathered themselves for one last round of punishment. Once again it was Barnes who blitzed the A category with the fastest 500m TT set in Ireland since 2016. A cool, calm, collected, and drained Callum O’Toole settled for a fine 2nd over a dog-tired Mairs. U16 Seth Dunwoody (photo above) ripped up the track for a great 4th. The Men’s B category was taken by Eric Gasparro, the Bray man looking in great shape in these later stages of the day, Same Coleman finished 2nd over Luke Bernie. The Men’s C category was won by round Callum Byrne, David Harrington was a close 2nd over Eddie Lynch who is ageing like a fine wine being nearly 50 years young! Deividas Dvylaitis won the D category 500m TT having rode to an impressive 38.8s nearly a second clear of Christopher Marshall and Daniel Scott in 40.41s. A tiring but ever-smiling Deirbhle Ivory won the women’s A category in impressive fashion, the Bray woman being enthusiastically cheered on by the loving crowd to another victory over top Juniors Shauna Finn and Emma Smith. Anne Coleman tore around the velodrome for another victory with Arcane riders Elizabeth Kent and Julia Cooper very closely behind. Overall winner & Duane Delaney Memorial trophy:
30 points: Anne Coleman (Sundrive Track Team)
Runners up: 28 points – Harvey Barnes (Spellman-Dublin Port) 28 points: Deirbhle Ivory (UCD CC)
“A big thank you to all the volunteers running another great event on the day, their work is often underappreciated but highly honorable, and gives the riders a fair chance to show their prowess and for the spectators to have a great day of sunbathing and yelling” yours in sport, Noah De Jonge
For more photos of Matthew go to >>