Silver lining for Martyn Irvine at Worlds

Ryan Mullen unlucky not to medal after he finishes fourth in his first world championships

 Martyn Irvine of Ireland in action at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships at the Velodromo Alcides Nieto Patino   in Cali, Colombia. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Martyn Irvine of Ireland in action at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships at the Velodromo Alcides Nieto Patino in Cali, Colombia. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Fri, Feb 28, 2014, 09:40

Martyn Irvine has won a silver medal in the Scratch Race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia.

The United Healthcare Pro Cycling team member and defending world champion rode strongly, put in a huge effort but eventually had to settle for silver in the fast, aggressive 15km race.

Fellow Irishman Ryan Mullen also impressed, finishing fourth in the Individual Pursuit, narrowly missing out on a medal. Gold in the Scratch Race went to Ivan Kovalev (Russia), with Irvine taking silver ahead of King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong).

These three riders lapped the field, meaning podium position was decided on the line. Speaking after the race Irish head coach Brian Nugent said “What a race from Martyn. He rode smart from the start, and he was determined to get in the main move.

“Just when it looked like the break was about to get caught, Martyn forced the pace and moved on alone. It was a brave move, and he worked lap after lap, until he lapped the field.

“No one else can sustain an effort like that, the way Martyn does. With two others already a lap up, it was too much to take the gold, but we’re thrilled with the silver medal.”

Irvine had a tough year following his World Championship win last year, breaking his Femur shortly after the Championships. Nugent said “I’m delighted to see him back on the podium here, after the year he has had.”

Bright new talent, teenager Mullen, came close in his bronze medal ride-off, putting in a measured performance that saw him come within 0.1 of a second of New Zealand’s Marc Ryan in the closing laps, however, the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly rider was pipped on the line for the medal.

Nugent was impressed saying “Ryan put in a superb performance for his first World Championships. I’m so pleased for him, as he has done everything right over the past number of months to gain this result tonight. He has worked really hard and made huge progression. This is only the beginning for him.”

Caroline Ryan and Martyn Irvine are back in action today, racing in the Individual Pursuit and Points Race respectively. Ryan starts in the eighth heat, where she will be racing across from World Champion and World Record holder Sarah Hammer. Ryan is currently ranked world number one in this event.

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