Ulster Cycling News
19Dec/130

Martyn Irvine BBC NI Sports Personality of 2013

m1Martyn Irvine, the  26 year old rider from Newtownards was today named as BBC NI Sports Personality of the Year. This must be one of the crowning moments for Martyn who began his career with the Ards Cycling Club.

Despite the fact that he had not come through the Youth ranks but had come into cycling in his late teens he soon showed that he had talent. Over the next few years he developed his skills and strengths winning many local road race and time trial events.

He was then selected by Cycling Ireland to train on the track and from then he on seemed to go from strength to strength setting new Irish records in track disciplines. For those who followed his carreer it was clear that he had the potential to go far but with no indoor velodrome in Ireland where he could train regularly he was always going to be up against those who had easy access to quality training venues.

However nothing daunted, Martyn was prepared to travel to improve and this was made possible with financial support from the Sports Councils north and south and access to quality coaching through Cycling Ireland. In 2010 he was part of the Irish track team pursuit team which took bronze in the Commonwealth Games in India. His team-mates in that squad were David Mccann, Sean Downey and Philip Lavery.

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In the past few years he has been knocking on the door of high level success, gradually appearing in the top 10 results on a consistent basis but it was 2013 which was to see him finally reach the pinnacle.

At the 2013 UCI World Track Cycling Championships in Minsk, Belarus, he claimed a silver medal in the individual pursuit discipline. Just over an hour later he became the UCI World Champion in the Scratch discipline taking the Gold medal and the Rainbow jersey representing Ireland. Prior to Irvine, no Irish male rider had won a World Championship medal in 116 years.

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In November Martyn continued his season of success by taking a gold medal in the UCI World Cup event in Manchester having come back from serious injury. As he said himself,  "It has been a roller coaster year" with the highs of success to the lows of accidents. He was injured again in Gent this December and was back on crutches but intends to be fully fit for the World Cup events on Cali in Columbia in February 2014.

Martyn has uplifted the spirits of Irish cyclists everywhere in the world with his enormous achievements. On behalf of the Cycling Ulster Executive and all of our members we would like to congratulate Martyn and thank him for being our cycling champion. We wish him continued success in the future and hope he makes a speedy  recovery.

 

Mervin and Ann Marie - the proud parents

Marian Lamb.

 

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