Ireland’s Women’s Team Pursuit has smashed the National Record set in 2015 by more than 2 seconds, with a huge top-10 ride in Pruszków, Poland.
Orla Walsh, Mia Griffin, Alice Sharpe, and Kelly Murphy made their UCI Track Cycling World Championships debut on Wednesday, being the first Irish riders to take to the course on the opening day of the event.
The foursome were also first of 17 nations to ride in the qualifying session, and opened with a time of 4:29.148s. It broke the Irish National Record of 4:31.66s, set by Lydia Boylan, Josie Knight, Caroline Ryan, and Mel Spath at the 2015 European Track Cycling Championships, by 2.512 seconds. The time earned them 10th place.
Orla Walsh said: “To come from the European Championships last summer, which wasn’t a great ride, to top 10 in the World with everyone showing up with their A-game is a great achievement for us, a new team.”
Mia Griffin said: “We want to continue progressing as we have done all this year. We’re going to put our heads down, stay focused after the summer and go into the Track World Cups ready.
“We want to try to keep knocking off the same amount of time we have been knocking off consistently through each of the World Cups this season.”
Alice Sharpe said: “We were really pleased to come off the track, having set a new National Record, even more so that it was on the biggest stage and we were able to perform under pressure, deliver on the day, when it mattered most. It’s a nice way to finish the season and show everybody what we’re all capable of.”
Kelly Murphy said: “We came here to ride under 4:30s, finish in the top 10, and break the Irish record. We prepared pretty hard, and our coach Brian Nugent got us in the right zone for the day.
“We’re really satisfied with the result, and just want to thank everyone at Cycling Ireland for giving us this opportunity.”
Still to come for Ireland at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships on Wednesday is Lydia Gurley in the Women’s Scratch Race at 6.40pm, Irish time.