Martyn Irvine ‘lucky to be involved’ with new Irish team
Irvine has signed a two year deal with the first-ever Irish Professional Continental team Aqua Blue Sport
Martyn Irvine: “Now I am getting the chance to go back. I am doing 20, 30 hour training weeks now. I probably never did that before. I am getting everything laid down early. I am not going to mess about next year.”
Less than a year after announcing his retirement from cycling, former world track champion Martyn Irvine has said he is determined to make the most of a second chance at the sport.
The 32-year-old retired disillusioned after his goal of making it to the Rio Olympics unravelled due to injury, illness and bad luck. He returned to the grind of working as a mechanic but, on Monday, confirmed that he would return to the sport in 2017.
Irvine has signed a two-year deal with the first-ever Irish Professional Continental team Aqua Blue Sport. It is owned by Monaco-based Irishman Rick Delaney, who has made a four-year commitment targeting eventual Tour de France participation.
“I am lucky to be involved,” Irvine told the Irish Times.
“A year or two later I would have missed the boat, and a year or two earlier I wouldn’t have wanted to get on the boat,” he laughed.
“I will get a chance to do what I wished I did. Track took up a lot of my time. It was rewarding for what I did, I got a lot out of it. But there was always the road . . . a small part of me wished I did a bit more of it with a bit more venom, a bit more commitment to it rather than just dabbling in it.
“Now I am getting the chance to go back. I am doing 20, 30 hour training weeks now. I probably never did that before. I am getting everything laid down early. I am not going to mess about next year.”
Irvine’s temporary return to working as a car mechanic made him better appreciate what he had.
“I have definitely changed upstairs,” he said. “Before I kind of pissed and moaned about racing. Then I went back working under a car. I had a ten year break in that career and I realised it hasn’t changed. I asked myself, why I am pissing and moaning about bike racing? It is actually awesome. I really got to see that side of things, to appreciate the sport.”
Three other riders were also confirmed on Monday, with more to be announced later this month. Joining Irvine will be fellow Irishmen Matt Brammeier and Conor Dunne, along with the Norwegian Lars Petter Nordhaug. He has been racing with the top level Team Sky squad for the past two seasons, winning the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire.
Irvine said it was too soon to know the racing programme. Right now he’s just concentrating on working hard.
“I am doing big hours training and I am happy to do it. I said to a few people that I have no ego. I am not going in thinking ‘I am Martyn Irvine.’ I am back to school . . . it will be a high level.”