Report send by Joe Grennel of Spellman-Dublin Port, photos courtesy of @Natascha Es & @ciclismecat, with appreciations to all
Spellman Dublin Port Track Team – September race report
An exciting and busy season for our team has now seen the end of the summer track season, with concluding UCI races across Europe on the international scene, before it transitions into the winter track season.The month of September marks the last races for us on the outdoor tracks around Europe for the summer track race block, before heading into preparations for the winter. We send our full Irish delegation to Lyon, France, in the beginning of the month for the annual Coupe d’France race, ranked on the international UCI calendar as a class 2 event. Alongside our 3 endurance riders, Chris Donald, Stefan Caulfield-Dreier and Andre Grennell, our track sprinter, Harvey Barnes, made his first international debut for the team this season placing successfully 3rd in the Keirin event, while our three young riders pushed the bar further for Irish track cycling and gained more valuable international race experience on the European scene.
Shortly after Lyon, the team went on to participate in the well-respected UCI Class 2 event, 18th Troféu Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona 16-17th of September, Spain, which had the Olympic events, Omnium and Madison on the race program. The races saw a packed field of top riders on the start list in both events, with riders representing some of the strongest nations in track cycling including Italy, Spain, France, and Russia and likewise riders representing other international UCI track teams.
The team saw Irish rider, Andre Grennell, as only rider from the Lyon delegation, travelling to Barcelona to join forces with our Danish endurance rider, Anders Fynbo, for the Men’s Madison event as well as both competing in the Omnium event the day after. Alongside the team’s male riders, our other endurance dane, Amalie Winther Olsen also joined the team in Spain for the elite women races, also including the Madison and Omnium.
The Madison event was a great success for our newly established Madison duo in the men’s race. With only six Madison races together since April, including races like Ghent Class 1 and Fiorenzuola 6-day in Italy, it is still early in the project and process for the Madison pairing, but with a well-executed race plan, Andre Grennell with partner Anders Fynbo, saw themselves achieving their first UCI podium together in a Madison event on the international scene. A race plan which contained early patience and well timed attacks in the late laps of the race, saw the duo secure a hard fought second place, in front of several European champions in various disciplines on the track, including Vlas Schickin (Russia), Niccolo Galli (Italy) and established world level national team riders, like Spanish Erik Martorell Haga and the Spanish duo representing Pro Team Euskaltel-Euskadi, Xabier Mikel Azparren and Teimo Semperena, both coming straight out of the Spanish Grand tour, Vuelta a’Espana, a week prior.
The success of the first night in Barcelona didn’t stop with the men’s Madison podium, as Amalie Winther Olsen, together with Italian rider Francesca Selva, also fought her way to more team success as they claimed the 3rd place in the women’s Madison race.
Coming into day 2, the team fought well in the Omnium against the same top names and nations that highlighted the start list from the night before and further joined by various national champs and top-level riders, including Louis Pijourlet, another European champion and French hour record holder. Andre showed great progress and form again on day 2 and secured a well deserved top 10 result after a very strong last Points race.
Important experience and results, which shows the steps of progress of the riders and our team, and that has created the foundation for a very interesting new track season for us, with several appearances on the biggest scene of international track cycling this winter, which will have its highlight coming into February and facing the first Nations Cup with our first Madison pairing and more on the biggest stage of track cycling.