Ulster Cycling News

Downey Takes Silver in European Track Championships

Irish cyclist Mark Downey has won a silver medal in the Junior Men's Points Race at the UEC European Track Championships in Anadia, Portugal, tonight. Downey, along with teammate Fintan Ryan, qualified for the final of the Points race earlier today, and after an aggressive start to the 25km (100 lap) Final, Downey lapped the field with GB's Gabriel Cullaigh and eventual winner Corentin Ermenault (FRA). This is the second Irish silver medal of the Championships, with Josie Knight finishing second in the Junior Women's Individual Pursuit on Tuesday. In the U23 Men's Sprint Eoin Mullen has qualified to the Semi Finals tomorrow, guaranteeing him a top four finish. The Championships, which are for U23 and Junior riders, began on Tuesday 22nd July and continue until Sunday 27th July.

In what was a fast and exciting race in the Junior Men's Points Race, both Downey and Ryan picked up points throughout the race, with Downey winning the crucial points at the sprint point with 10 laps to go, moving into second place. Speaking after the race coach Neill Delahaye said:

"The race started incredibly fast, it didn't let up for a second. It was really hectic, but Mark and Fintan rode extremely well as a team. Mark had great legs today, so had an animated race getting a lap early on. Towards the end he got side swiped by a rider, bringing him crashing down. But he got up, and Fintan helped to set him up to win the ninth and last sprint lap, which really set him up for the silver medal."

Earlier today U23 Sprinter Eoin Mullen also performed stunningly, finishing the qualifying rounds of the 200m sprint as third fastest qualifier. After a gruelling day of races, Mullen dominated his heats to qualify for the Semi Finals which take place tomorrow.

With this being the largest track team that Ireland has entered in an event, all bikes have been performing strongly, with national records falling throughout the week. The young U23 Men's Team Pursuit was particularly impressive yesterday. Head Coach Brian Nugent was happy with their time of 4.13.638.

"This was a really young team, all under 21 years, and they came within 2 seconds of the Elite National Record, this is really exciting for the future. Two of the guys were on the Junior Team Pursuit last year, and this time is 10 seconds quicker. For such a young team, we're absolutely delighted."

Tomorrow racing continues when Downey races in the Junior Men's Omnium, and riders competing across all the Scratch Races.

The UEC European Track Championships U23/Junior takes place in Anadia from the 22-27 July.



Gold ERMENAULT Corentin (FRA) 33
Silver DOWNEY Mark (IRL) 29
Bronze CULLAIGH Gabriel (GBR) 27

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