Ulster Cycling News

Ulster riders up against the world’s best at International Track GP.

Being a two day UCI C1 track event in Dublin the weekend had the highest class of track cycling ever seen in Ireland. With no less than four reigning world champions in attendance including the reigning 2x Jr women's Road Race Champion looking for Olympic points the competition was going to be very tough. Also present was the 2009 women's World Road Champion, a Commonwealth Games Champion, an Olympic Medalist, the current Irish Women's Road Race Champion, several European Track Champions and countless top Olympic, World and European championship competitors from all over the globe.

Day one - 11 July 2015.
Many of the riders were not used to the chilly weather that this country can bring in the middle of summer but the adrenaline soon took over and the racing got underway at 9.45am sharp on Saturday starting with the men's sprint qualifying. Unfortunately due to the time constraints only eight riders made it through the sprint qualifying and into the rounds, two top GB sprinters ruled the day with a Gold and Silver while Italian Francesco Ceci rounded off the podium.

In the Men's Points race Omagh man Patrick Withers was up against fierce competition with an attacking race from the gun. World Team Pursuit Champion Regan Gough was on super form and managed to lap the field during his ride winning in impressive fashion, Patrick also competed in the Men's Scratch race. Rachael Withers was the sole Ulster female in both the Women's Points and Scratch races, the wind was picking up later and it made an unusual racing condition at a high level track meet!

The Men's and Women's multi event Omnium took place between the single events and showcased some serious firepower. Former Scratch World Champ Martyn Irvine was on hand looking to get the better of his competitors, while the women's racing had an equally impressive field with no shortage of world class track and road riders on the Sundrive Velodrome.

The final ride of the day was a Jr women's scratch race with Banbridge's Shenna McKiverigan taking part. The experienced track girl was on attacking form and took the lead early on staying away alone for what looked to be a brave victory. It wasn't to be in the end as the brave solo attempt took its toll and she was caught by Naoise Sheridan in the closing stages who grabbed the victory in the end. Nonetheless it was a strong showing by Shenna who will is sure to be back to winning form in no time.

Day 2 - 12 July 2015.
The day was started with the 500m and 1000m TT events of the Omnium just to shock a few sleepy legs into action. Scratch World Champion powerhouse Kirsten Wild won the 500m in a time of 37.90 with Irish Road Champion Lydia Boylan hot on her heels at 38.12. In the men's there was a track record of 1.05.57 by Cameron Karwowski of New Zealand.

Xeno Young of Hillsborough was the Ulster rider in the Jr Men's Scratch race. He finished a great second place to Conor Murnane of Orwell Wheelers which is an excellent result considering his age and that he was the youngest in the race.

It was Coleraine man's Ronan Sherman time to shine in the Elite Men's Keirin. He made it to the final in an exceptionally tough field finishing ahead of the 2012 European Keirin Champion from Germany! Known to be a very quick rider not lacking horsepower he was the top Irish competitor in the competition and rubbed shoulders with serious international competition on the day. Ronan is still a young sprinter with a bright future in the sport.

All in all a great weekend of top level track racing and an absolute pleasure to see rainbow jerseys on display. The organisers really did themselves proud again this year and the event went like clockwork, they really can't be thanked enough!

Report by Tony Mairs

Photographs The Belgian Project and Adamstown CC:


Posted by Martin Grimley (martin@ulsterxc.com)

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