Martyn Irvine of team Giant Asia dominated the Senior National Track Championships at Eamonn Ceannt Stadium today, taking gold in both the men’s kilo time trial and the men’s scratch race.
The women’s 500m time trial was won by Caroline Ryan of team CUNGA, while her team-mate Sinéad Jennings won the women’s scratch race.
The first event of the day was the women’s 500m time trial. Ryan, reigning 500m TT champion, and gold medallist in yesterday’s pursuit, snatched the win by only one tenth of a second from Lakeland Wheelers' Ciara Horne, with Lydia Boylan of team Look Mum No Hands in third.
In the men’s 1,000m time trial, Irvine managed to secure the victory - but only just. Despite being fifth fastest at the first split, he wound it up steadily, covering the course in a winning time of one minute 9.14 seconds.
This was slower than his 1.08 in the same event last year.
Banbridge CC’s Terry Mackin put in a huge performance, coming in less than half a second behind Irvine to take silver. Bronze went to Orwell Wheelers' Donal Bailey, the winner of yesterday’s sprint race.
The women’s scratch race saw 14 riders competing over 12,000m of the Sundrive Road circuit.
After the first eight laps, Horne of Lakeland Wheelers and Jennings of CUNGA had opened a substantial lead.
Jennings team-mate Ryan led the bunch, keeping the chasers in check.
With ten of the twenty-five laps remaining, Jennings and Horne lapped the bunch and, in the closing stages, Ryan launched a blistering attack taking team-mate Jennings with her.
Horne went with them but on the last lap was distanced by the duo from CUNGA.
Ryan’s efforts secured bronze, while Jennings and Horne took gold and silver respectively. Rumour has it Horne will soon be signing for CUNGA.
The men’s scratch race started in worsening weather conditions. Nineteen riders went to battle in a stiff breeze and heavy rain.
From the gun the racing was frantic. Two loops of the track saw four riders clear of the bunch: Enda Ryan (Murphy Surveys Kilcullen), John Lynch (Murphy Surveys Kilcullen), Keith Meghan (Sundrive Track Team) and Derek Cunningham (Bray Wheelers).
On lap five, Irvine turned on the power and bridged the gap to join the leading quartet. Immediately the pace in the break quickened and Ryan and Meghan were shelled out.
Irvine, Lynch and Cunningham looked comfortable and worked well together to maintain their lead.
Gareth Enright of Murphy Surveys Kilcullen crossed over but couldn’t hold the three escapees.
With thirty-two laps remaining Irvine, Lynch and Cunningham lapped the bunch, with Irvine and Lynch immediately passing them, while Cunningham bravely managed to claw his way across.
As the three leaders lapped the bunch for the second time the heavens opened and the race officials decided to reduce the race distance by 15 laps.
So, with only five laps remaining, Irvine showed his strength and applied what all spectators thought was the decisive move.
But Lynch was having none of it and with pure determination closed on Irvine’s wheel.
Cunningham was distanced but, with the assistance of Anthony Doyle (unattached), he fought back to the two leaders.
Coming in to the finish the four were glued together. Doyle could only hope for fourth, but the medals were still undecided.
With a display of raw power, Irvine drove for the line. Lynch dug deep but couldn’t close the gap and, in turn, Cunningham couldn’t catch Lynch and had to settle for bronze.