World champion Martyn Irvine hopes to get clearer picture of road to recovery

Newtownards rider to visit Belfast specialist

Martyn Irvine: fractured his hip in a bad crash in the Tour of Taiwan eight days ago. Photograph: Getty Images

Martyn Irvine: fractured his hip in a bad crash in the Tour of Taiwan eight days ago. Photograph: Getty Images

 


Eight days after fracturing his hip in a bad crash in the Tour of Taiwan, world scratch race champion Martyn Irvine should today get a clearer picture of how long he will be off the bike, and when he might be able to return to racing.

The Newtownards rider made history in February when he became the first Irish winner of a track world championship since Harry Reynolds in 1896.

His crash on stage four of the Taiwan race jarred the momentum he had built up, and means he is currently sidelined from competing with the UnitedHealthcare professional team. Irvine returned to Ireland this week and will have an important meeting today. “I’m seeing a specialist in Belfast and that’s hopefully when I’ll find out the timeframe for everything from rehab to cycling,” he told The Irish Times yesterday.

His team said last week it should be possible for him to return to competition later this year.

In other news, the second international team for the An Post Rás has been confirmed, with last year’s third-placed rider Martin Hunal and his team-mate Tomas Okrouhlicky to spearhead the Czech AC Sparta Praha team in the race. Hunal is determined to shine in the event, having also taken second on stage five to Buncrana and second in the King of the Mountains classification.

The duo will likely be backed by Rostislav Krotky, Tomas Medek and Jan Klabouch in the world-ranked race, which begins in Dunboyne on May 19th. “With Martin Hunal going so close to success on a stage, in the mountains classification and the overall standings last year, he’s going to be very determined starting the race,” said race director Tony Campbell.

Race the Rás
Meanwhile, the Race the Rás initiative confirmed this week it will once again ride the route of the race, with current and former GAA stars, cyclists and members of the public set to do one or more stages in order to raise money for charity.

First launched in 2011, Race the Rás has raised over €260,000 in the first two years. Up to 150 riders are expected to collaborate this year, with all money raised to go to the National Breast Cancer Research Institute.

“I’ve been involved since the beginning,” said former GAA player and current Dublin selector Declan Darcy. “I’ve ridden the full route in the past two years, and it really has been a great experience. It’s raised great awareness as well as money for charities.”

Supported by 2012 world track championship bronze medallist Caroline Ryan and others, those interested in taking part are invited to sign up online at www.racetheras.com.

Finally, many of Ireland’s top riders will compete this weekend in the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan. The race starts today with the 101 kilometre Sliabh Luachra stage, starting and finishing in Killorglin. It continues over the Easter weekend with stages to Kenmare, Waterville and Killorglin.

With the Tour of the North cancelled due to the tough weather conditions, the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan has top billing.