Mark Downey was the top finisher for Ireland in the first day of action at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Pruszkow, Poland, finishing 8th in the Points Race.

Downey had qualified for the final earlier today, finishing second in his heat.

Lydia Gurley finished 14th in her Points Race and 20th in the Scratch Race this evening.

Downey has had a dominant year on both the track and road, winning five medals at the track world cups last season, as well as recording Ireland’s top finish in the World Road Championships in September.

The gold medal in the Points Race went to Nikita Panassenko (Kazakhstan), the only rider to lap the field. Greece’s Christos Volikakis, who was fifth in the recent European Championships, took the silver, with Liam Bertazzo from Italy winning bronze.

It was a busy night for recent European silver medallist, Lydia Gurley, with the finals of the Women’s Points Race and Scratch Race separated by just 40 minutes.

Gurley was pleased to be racing this week, following an injury at the London Six Day last week.

Speaking after her race she said: "Considering that I spent last Saturday night in a London hospital thinking I broke my leg, I’m happy to be here giving it a go."

"I crashed in the tempo race, and the pedal went into my leg. I still have some pain and swelling, but it’s time now to rest up and get ready for Sunday. Racing didn’t go my way today, but sometimes that’s the way it goes."

Gold, silver and bronze in the Points Race went to the only three riders to lap the field – Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky (gold), Ganna Solovei from Ukraine (silver) and France’s Coralie Demay (bronze).

Earlier today in the heats of the Scratch Race Marc Potts continued his top form, finishing second and qualifying for tomorrow’s final.

Tomorrow will also see Robyn Stewart compete in the Sprint, Lydia Boylan in the Omnium, and the mighty duo of Mark Downey and Felix English compete in the Men’s Madison.