Cycling Ireland head coach Neill Delahaye has hailed Emily Kay’s win at the UCI Track Champions league in London on Saturday, saying that the success was very well earned and should spur her on in future.
“It was really good to see her get that,” said Delahaye. “She is the consummate racer. She is very astute tactically, she really has a fantastic race head and it was nice to see her pull that one off, because maybe it wouldn’t be the type of move you would associate with her style of racing. But look, she has the guts to try these things and she can sniff out the opportunities.”
Kay’s success came in the scratch race on Saturday’s fourth round of the Track Champions league in the Lee Valley VeloPark. She attacked with just over seven laps to go, timing her move perfectly to surge just as the bunch stalled. She opened a commanding lead and held on to take one of her biggest results to date.
“It was really good to see that,” said Delahaye, who believes it will have longer-term implications for her career. “It should certainly hold her well, in terms of building confidence and hopefully giving her encouragement to do more stuff like that. I guess that is the level of capacity that she has.
“She wouldn’t have been in that Champions league if she didn’t have that level of ability. So for her to convert that into the win, it is hugely encouraging. I enjoyed it a lot.”
Kay was also 10th in the elimination race.
The fifth and final round followed in the same venue on Sunday. Kay was ninth in the elimination race and eighth in the scratch race, finishing the league 10th overall in the combined endurance category. American rider Jennifer Valente won overall.
Fellow Irishwoman Orla Walsh also competed, contesting the sprint events. She finished 16th overall. Her best showings were in round two in Berlin, where she placed ninth in both the sprint and the keirin races.