Kelly Murphy finishes fourth in European championship pursuit
Ireland’s Lydia Boylan finishes 16th overall in the four-discipline event
The European Track Cycling Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Photograph: EPA
Kelly Murphy went close to landing the second medal of Ireland’s European track championship campaign on Friday, finishing fourth in the women’s individual pursuit.
Murphy smashed the Irish record in the qualifying round, improving the previous mark by five seconds when she recorded a time of three minutes 30.687 seconds.
Murphy’s time was fourth fastest and earned her a place in the bronze medal final. She was up against the more experienced Katie Archibald (Great Britain), who was almost three full seconds faster in the qualifiers. Many expected Archibald to dominate but although she was over a second clear after the opening lap, Murphy fought back and took the lead.
However Archibald was able to claw her way back in front, finishing ahead at the line. Murphy’s performance took many by surprise, though, and is very encouraging for the future.
Fellow Irish rider Lydia Boylan was in action in the women’s omnium. She finished 16th overall in the four-discipline event, having taken 14th in the scratch race, 15th in the tempo and 15th in the elimination event. She was 14th in the points race.
Meanwhile Felix English competed in the men’s omnium and finished 13th overall. He was 10th in both the scratch and tempo races, was 16th in the elimination event and then finished up with 12th in the points race.
Earlier in the week, Shannon McCurley finished a superb second in the women’s scratch race on Wednesday evening. The European track championships run until Sunday.