Shannon McCurley and Felix English both finished eighth in their respective track races at the European Championships in Glasgow today
McCurley was competing in the 10km Women’s Scratch Race. Czech rider Jarmila Machacova attacked at the halfway mark, in a bold move for a lap. As the bunch sat up three more riders jumped across, including Belgium’s Jolien d’Hoore, with reigning world champion Kirsten Wild in hot pursuit.
Riding strongly McCurley worked with the pack on bringing it all back together, setting it up for a bunch sprint. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old had to settle for eighth on the line. Gold went to Kirsten Wild (NED), silver to Emily Kay (GB) and bronze to Jolien d’Hoore (BEL).
"I’m not completely overwhelmed but I’m happy enough with the ride," she said. "It didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to, but it’s my first event as an endurance athlete at a major competition, so it’s a good start."
English also finished eighth in the Men’s Scratch Race. The 15km Scratch Race was fast paced, with attacking racing from a stacked field.
The European title was won by Ukraine’s Roman Gladysh, who had gained half a lap on the field at the halfway point with silver medallist Adrien Garel from France. A late surge for the line by Tristan Marguet resulted in a bronze medal for the Swiss man.
"I felt really good, I felt strong," English said after the race, "I was probably a bit too keen – following everything that was going and trying to go myself. I’ve been feeling good in training – but the first time I’ve raced at this level in six months, so I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens."
Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll finished fifth in their men's pair semi-final, 4.53 seconds behind winners France.
The duo were lightweight pair world champions in 2017 but have stepped up to heavyweight level as it is an Olympic class, however they failed to advance here and will race in the B final on Saturday.
Denis Walsh and Aoife Casey finished third in the lightweight women's double sculls repechage and will also take part in a B final on Sunday.
Ireland's swimmers had a more successful day as Shane Ryan qualified for the 50m backstroke final and Darragh Greene set a new Irish record in narrowly missing out on the 100m breaststroke final.