Lara Gillespie adds gold to collection at European junior championships

Teenager wins points race to add to silver she won in individual pursuit

Ireland’s Lara Gillespie celebrates her victory in the points race at the European junior championships in Switzerland. Photograph: Union Européenne de Cyclisme

Ireland’s Lara Gillespie celebrates her victory in the points race at the European junior championships in Switzerland. Photograph: Union Européenne de Cyclisme

 

Two days after she took a silver medal in the individual pursuit at the European junior championships, Ireland’s Lara Gillespie went one better on Saturday, taking gold in the points race in Switzerland.

The 17-year-old rode strongly throughout the event in Aigle. She took two sprints during the contest and while the Ukrainian Olha Kulynych gained a lap and secured 20 points, Gillespie responded by winning the final sprint, taking gold ahead of Kulynych and the Polish rider Marta Jaskulska.

The showing is a superb achievement for the young Irishwoman, and adds to that silver medal in the pursuit, as well as another strong result at the championships. She narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in Friday’s Omnium, taking fourth despite crashing.

Gillespie’s pursuit ride on Thursday saw her set a new Irish record of two minutes 21.8 seconds for the two kilometre distance. Vittoria Guazzini (Italy) took gold.

The Irish junior road race champion’s achievements are all the more remarkable as Ireland doesn’t currently have an indoor track.

Meanwhile Eddie Dunbar had another impressive showing in the Tour de l’Avenir in France. He attacked multiple times in a bid to improve on his sixth place overall. While he was brought back and ultimately missed out when the bunch split en route to the finish, his aggression illustrated the level of form he has plus his fearless approach.

He took 21st on the stage, two minutes and 25 seconds back. He is now 16th overall heading into the final stage, some two minutes 47 seconds off the race leader Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia).

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