Ireland’s Josie Knight has won a Silver Medal in the Junior Women’s Individual Pursuit at the UEC European Track Championships U23/Junior in Anadia, Portugal. Knight earlier qualified for the final as the fastest qualifier posting 2.29.467 for the 2km race against the clock, guaranteeing her a medal in the gold medal ride off against Russia’s Daria Egorova, who had qualified a close second. In the final the Russian started fast, maintaining her lead to take the European Title. Knight won the silver medal, which is an incredible achievement in her first major track championship.
The Championships, which are for U23 and Junior riders, begin on Tuesday 22nd July and continue until Sunday 27th July.
Knight, who is a first year junior, was the first rider on the track, and knocked 6 seconds off the previous National Record with her time of 2.29.467. In the final the Kerry rider once again rode a solid race, but Egorova proved to be too strong, pushing ahead by a second. Head Coach Brian Nugent was delighted with Knight’s performance;
“That was a great performance, we are absolutely delighted. This is the first ever Junior Woman medalling at this level; she beat the old record by 6 seconds.”
Ryan Mullen finished the U23 Men’s Individual Pursuit in 5th place, agonisingly close to the Bronze Medal final. Mullen won a bronze medal in this event last year, and came 4th in the Senior World Championships in Cali earlier this year. However, over the last few months Mullen has focused on the road, having won the National Road and Time Trial titles in the Irish Championships in June. Dylan Foley also competed in this event, finishing in 19th Place.
Cycling Ireland has been focusing on developing a pathway in track cycling over the past number of years and Nugent is happy with the progress so far;
“Each year we have expanded the programme, and invested more in development, and it is great to see so much aspiring new talent coming through. We have strong junior men and women’s teams, so today it is great to see Ireland’s first medal for Junior Women. This is great for the talent that is coming through also.”
Tomorrow will see six more bikes competing, with the focus being on the Men’s U23 Team Pursuit, and the Junior Men’s Individual Pursuit.
The UEC European Track Championships U23/Junior takes place in Anadia from the 22-27 July.
JUNIOR WOMEN INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT:
Gold Daria Egorova (RUS) 2.28.940
Silver Josie Knight (IRL) 2.29.669
Bronze Agata Drozdek (POL) 2.28.341
U23 MEN INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT:
Gold Stefan King (SUI) 4.18.794
Silver Kirill Sveshnikov (RUS) 4.22.302
Bronze Tom Bohli (SUI) 4.25.503
5th Ryan Mullin (IRL) 4.26.481
23rd Dylan Foley (IRL) 4.38.946
U23 MEN TEAM PURSUIT
Gold Great Britain 4.12.443
Silver Russia 4.13.390
Bronze Switzerland 4.14.558
10th IRELAND (Downey, Grimes, Mulholland, Ryan) 4.22.798
Official Website: http://uec.ch/track.html
Cycling Ireland Website: www.cyclingireland.ie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IreCyclingFed or @irecyclingfed