After an action-packed day of track cycling in the Dublin International Grand Prix at Eamonn Ceannt Stadium, Ireland’s Martyn Irvine has German duo Maximilian Beyer and Lucas Liss firmly in his sights for the men’s omnium title.
Ireland's Caroline Ryan was the dominant force in the women’s events winning both the 10k scratch and the 3k pursuit, while she finished second in the elimination race.
Against a truly international field made up of riders from Belgium, Spain, Holland, Brazil, Great Britain and Venezuela, the crowd that gathered in Sundrive Velodrome had a lot to cheer about today as the rain held off at the outdoor venue for all but one of the day’s 16 events.
Early on in the proceedings, Irishman Eoin Mullen set a new national record for the flying 200 sprint, beating his own record, set last year, by .06 of a second.
Ireland's leading female track rider Ryan demonstrated why she’s ranked number two in the UCI world individual pursuit rankings by cruising to victory in two out of her three events.
Ryan was only bested in the women’s elimination race by Belgian National Team rider Sarah Inghelbrecht.
The most eagerly anticipated clash of the day was without doubt the men’s scratch race.
Fifteen starters were worn down to an elite lead group of eight after seven of the thirty two laps. The first rider to light the fuse was Arcane Adamstown’s Darragh Zaidan.
Irish national omnium champion John Lynch of the Murphy Surveys Kilcullen team, accompanied by national road race champion and U23 time-trial champion Ryan Mullen of the Irish national team, were quick to respond and neutralise the attack.
Orwell Wheeler’s Fionn Sheridan put in a massive performance to bridge to the leaders with twenty three laps remaining. The German Duo of Maximilian Beyer and Lucas Liss gave a masterclass in tactics as world championship gold and silver medallist Martyn Irvine marked their every move.
Ireland’s hopes suffered a severe blow when Irvine’s wingman Ryan Mullen punctured a rear wheel with 21 laps remaining. An alarmingly slow wheel change extinguished Mullen’s hopes.
With five laps remaining Irvine put the hammer down and surged clear. DID Dunboyne Rider Javan Nulty demonstrated what an amateur rider can do on a good day, and stuck to Irvine’s wheel.
The move scattered the lead bunch and as it came back together only five men remained in contention as Lynch found the pace too much.
With two laps to go, Irvine, Beyer and Liss were on their own in both class and distance, and it was clear the win would be sorted between these three.
Irvine was worked over by the two German team-mates on the last lap and he finished third behind Liss and race winner Beyer. Nulty came home a highly respectable fourth.
Tomorrow sees the conclusion of the International Grand Prix and all eyes will be on Irvine in the final races of the omnium event.