Martyn Irvine outmanoeuvred at world track championships as Lucas Liss triumphs

Irish rider finishes 10th after missing vital break by Bobby Lea with 23 laps remaining

Ireland’s Caroline Ryan, Lydia Boylan, Lauren Creamer and Josie Knight in action at the Track World Championships. Photograph: Guy Swarbrick/Sportsfile

Ireland’s Caroline Ryan, Lydia Boylan, Lauren Creamer and Josie Knight in action at the Track World Championships. Photograph: Guy Swarbrick/Sportsfile

 

 

Two years after winning the scratch race at the world track championships, Martyn Irvine tried to turn back the clock and scoop another gold medal in Paris.

The Irish man was arguably one of the best in the field, riding prominently throughout, but lost out tactically to others and had to accept 10th.

Race victory went to the Lucas Liss of Germany, who bridged across to a small escape group in the closing laps of the 15 kilometre contest and then attacked alone. He hit the line well clear of runner-up Albert Torres (Spain) and Bobby Lea (USA).

Irvine looked to be back to strong form after breaking his collarbone in early November, but was closely marked by the other riders. He missed Lea’s move with 23 laps remaining, a break which dragged several others clear, and while he chased hard to try to get back on terms, he didn’t get the necessary support from the others in the main group.

Gold rush

Some of these later jumped across to the move, with Liss using this strategy prior to pushing on ahead for gold.

 

Irvine has the consolation of knowing his form is good and will hope to channel his frustration into a strong performance in the multi-event omnium race. It begins Friday and continues on Saturday.

Other members of the Irish team are also in action on the second of these days, with Caroline Ryan beginning the women’s omnium events, Eoin Mullen riding the sprint and Ryan Mullen taking on the individual pursuit.

In other news, Irish riders were competing in three big races yesterday. Dan Martin returned to Italy four months after winning Il Lombardia and tried to do something big in the Trofeo Laigueglia. However although his Garmin-Sharp team helped shake things up and whittled down the list of contenders to just 24 riders by the finish, Martin didn’t have the sprinting speed in the downhill run to the line to take on the winner Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) and runner-up Francesco Gavazzi (Southeast).

He rolled in 21st but was content with his performance. He is building form for the April Classics, which will be his first big targets of the year.

At the Tour of Oman, Sam Bennett was trying to repeat his Tour of Qatar stage-winning success but things didn’t go to plan. His lead-out man Zak Dempster had a problem with three kilometres to go and was unable to help Bennett. The latter tried anyway to get into the right position but found himself hemmed in and in the wrong place.

 

Below par

He also felt below par and sat up, rolling in 14 seconds back. Philip Deignan (Sky) was tucked into the main bunch and rolled in on the same time as the winner Alexander Kristoff. He is 47th overall, while Fabian Cancellara (Trek) continues to lead.

 

In Spain, Nicolas Roche (Sky) and Matt Brammeier (MTN Qhubeka) are competing in the Vuelta a Andalucia. Both were unlucky to crash on Wednesday’s opening stage, but were able to continue.

However both lost time yesterday, with Roche dropping two minutes 36 seconds to stage winner Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) in finishing back in 83rd and Brammeier conceding over three minutes.

They are 89th and 115th overall respectively heading into today’s third stage. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) leads overall.

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