(28th February 2018 ) Action kicked off for the Irish today at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, with Lydia Gurley finishing 15th in the Women’s Scratch Race.
The World Championships take place in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from the 28th February – 4th March.
A blistering attack by Gurley with ten laps to go was pulled back in the closing laps by Dutch powerhouse Kirsten Wild, winner of the gold medal in front of a home crowd. The silver medal went to Jolien d’Hoore from Belgium ahead of Denmark’s Amelie Dideriksen.
The 40 lap, 10km Scratch Race saw aggressive riding from the start, with Gurley being the first rider to make a significant move. The Galway girl, who has a World Cup medal in this event, attacked hard with ten laps to go gaining half a lap quickly.
“I gave it a go, but it didn’t work out this time,” Gurley said after the race, “I had let a few attacks go, and waited until the group tired. As the bunch moved up the track, I stayed low. I knew it was the right time to go, and it was all the chips in. The attack was at the right time, it was the right move, but it just didn’t quite work out.”
This was a signature move of Gurley, who finished fourth in this event at the European Championships in October, and she raced to plan – “Going into the race myself and David [Muntaner – coach] talked about what our plan was. I executed what the plan was. You have to race with no expectations of a result – and race my best race given my strengths. Maybe if the bunch lulled a bit longer I could have got my lap – but I raced to plan, and that was the right time to go.”
“It was a race that suited me, and it went my way for the attack so I was happy to read the race correctly. I’m satisfied with how I raced, but I’m disappointed with the result. Seven out of ten times that move might work – but it didn’t this time.”
After taking the lead for several laps, Gurley was joined by Japan’s Nao Suzuki, with the duo working together to lap the field. In front of a home crowd, multiple world and European medallist Kirsten Wild (NED) attacked across to the pair, bringing riders with her.
Despite the noise from the crowd when Wild was chasing her, the Trackproject.ie rider remained focused – “I didn’t really notice the sound – you zone it out and don’t hear what the crowd is doing. You focus on being patient and doing your plan. My head was in a good place and at the World Championships there are always distractions.”
Gurley is competing in the Points Race and the Madison this weekend – “I can go into the other races knowing my legs and head are there.”
Next up for the Irish team is Robyn Stewart in the Sprint tomorrow
Women’s Scratch Race
- GOLD: WILD Kirsten (NED)
- SILVER: D’HOORE Jolien (BEL)
- BRONZE: DIDERIKSEN Amalie (DEN)
- 15th: GURLEY Lydia (IRL)
Thursday 1st March
- Robyn Stewart
Friday 2nd March
- Lydia Boylan
Saturday 3rd March
- Lydia Boylan
- Lydia Gurley
Sunday 4th March
- Lydia Gurley
Heather Boyle, Communications Officer, Cycling Ireland
Ph: 086 021 1146 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos – Guy Swarbrick