Cycling Ireland will send 11 riders to the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszków, Poland, which takes place from 27 February to 3 March.
With 17 months remaining until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the team has been building up for these crucial World Championships on the UCI Track World Cup circuit since last October, competing at all six rounds.
The focus has been on Olympic track cycling disciplines, particularly the Madison, which returns in 2020 for the first time since 2008.
Ireland has excelled in Madison, with last year’s World Championship pairing of Felix English and Mark Downey scoring ninth.
Having previously won Track World Cup Gold in Madison, they team up again in 2019, three-time Irish National Road Race Champion Lydia Boylan and Rio 2016 Olympian Shannon McCurley making up the duo for the Women’s Madison.
McCurley will also compete in the Women’s Omnium, and Boylan the Women’s Points Race, which produced Ireland’s only female Track World Championship medal in 2012, courtesy of Caroline Ryan’s bronze.
Ireland’s last Track World medal was gold in the Men’s Scratch, which Felix English tackles in Pruszków, his Madison partner Downey also riding in the Men’s Points Race.
In the Women's Scratch, Lydia Gurley bids to better last year's 15th, while Robyn Stewart will ride her second Track World in the Sprint, and the Team Pursuit foursome of Orla Walsh, Kelly Murphy, Mia Griffin and Alice Sharpe will make their World Championships debut, having in December become the first Irish Team Pursuit line-up to qualify for the last eight of a Track World Cup competition.
The Track World Cup and World Championships form the two key elements of qualification for Tokyo 2020, with riders best three Track World Cup results counting towards Olympic qualification. The end of the World Championships will mark half-time in Tokyo 2020 qualification.
The Irish Cycling Team for the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Pruszków:
Lydia Boylan (31, Dublin)
Mark Downey (22, Dromore, County Down)
Felix English (26, Dublin)
Lydia Gurley (34, Athenry)
Shannon McCurley (26, Dublin)
Marc Potts (27, Beragh, County Tyrone) - Madison Reserve
Robyn Stewart (28, Belfast)
Orla Walsh (29, Dublin)
Mia Griffin (20, Kilkenny)
Kelly Murphy (29, Cork)
Alice Sharpe (24, Belfast)