Ireland finished the second day of race at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Pruszkow, Poland with two top-five finishes.
Marc Potts finished fifth in the Scratch Race, an event in which he is relatively new. The Madison pairing of Felix English and Mark Downey confirmed their form by mixing with the top teams in the world.
Australia took gold, Belgium silver, and World Champions France took bronze ahead of Spain, who won the European title two weeks ago.
Speaking after the race Downey was pleased with their performance saying: "We’re very satisfied with that performance this evening. To finish fifth behind teams who have all medalled in the Madison at the world championships is a very big improvement. The teams ahead of us are the four best in the world, and tonight we fought with them right until the end. That is by far our best performance as a team in this race, tactically it was our best.
The Madison has recently been added to the Olympic programme, and the Irish team have former World Champion, David Muntaner, as their track coach.
Having medalled at two World Cups in this event last year, including one gold, Downey’s sights are firmly on the future: "We didn’t medal, but we take a lot of positives out of this evening, and move forward. We won a round last year, but it was a year after the Olympics. Now the big riders are back, and tonight it was the fastest ever Madison recorded, with a time of 58kmph. That speaks for itself."
In the Scratch Race Potts rode an impressive race, finishing fifth in the race which was won by Belgium’s Robbe Ghys. Edgar Stepanyan (ARM) and Roy Pieters (NED) won silver and bronze. Two weeks ago, at the European Championships, Potts competed in the Scratch Race for the first time at this level, finishing fourth. Tonight’s fifth place reconfirms the Tyrone man’s ability.
Lydia Boylan finished fifteenth in the Omnium, on a mixed day of action for the Dublin racer. In the Sprint, Robyn Stewart was 28th with a time of 11.480sec. Her time was fast enough to gain qualification for the 1/16th final, where she was beaten by Pauline Sophie Grabosch (GER), who eventually finished fifth.
Tomorrow is the final day of action in Poland, with European Silver Medallists, Lydia Boylan and Lydia Gurley competing. Felix English will be competing in the Omnium, which Shannon McCurley flies the flag for Ireland in the Keirin.