Cycling: Felix English takes Track World Cup gold in Glasgow
Aggressive tactics pay off as English secures one of the best results of his career on Sunday
Felix English took track gold in Glasgow. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty
Irish cycling has continued recent strong momentum in track cycling, with Felix English taking a superb gold medal at the World Cup in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon.
English was competing in the scratch race and rode aggressively throughout, with himself and European champion Sebastian Mora (Spain) gaining at least a lap on all of the other riders.
That meant the two sprinted it out for victory at the end, with English getting the better of his rival in a thrilling finale. Bronze went to the German rider Maximilian Beyer, who beat Oliver Wood (Great Britain).
The result is one of the best of English’s career. In 2017 he and fellow Irish rider Mark Downey scooped gold medals in the Madison event at the Los Angeles World Cup.
Afterwards, English said: “I’ve come fourth about 11 or 12 times so to actually win one makes up for all the other missed medals.
“I was always in control. I was really aware of what was going on around me. They messed up the scoreboard but I had Martyn (Irvine, coach) there telling me that I was on the same lap as Mora and not (Max) Beyer, which helped, otherwise I would have followed Beyer.
“Mora was nervous of being caught and did a lot of work at the end whereas I did nothing, I was just waiting for the sprint.”
Irish track riders are still awaiting the building of the country’s first indoor velodrome, and currently train in Mallorca to overcome that disadvantage.
In recent weeks there have been several impressive results. In mid-October Shannon McCurley took silver in the scratch race at the European track championships and Kelly Murphy placed fourth in the individual pursuit. Lydia Boylan and Lydia Gurley finished eighth in the women’s Madison.
At the end of October, the Irish women’s team pursuit squad smashed the national record by almost four seconds in taking seventh in the World Cup in Minsk.
The squad were seventh earlier this week in the same event in Glasgow.
The Irish riders are chasing qualification for the Tokyo Olympics and, on the basis of recent results, will be increasingly motivated as the winter track season unfolds.