For the first time in over a year Irish cyclists will be back on track at the Eddy Merckx velodrome for the International Belgium Track Meeting from April 16 to 18. With the cancellation of the opening round of the UCI Track World Cup series, the event has attracted a stellar field of riders all looking to hone their skills in a competitive environment.
Irish riders competing at the event include Shannon McCurley, Emily Kay, Lydia Boylan, Lydia Gurley. Alice Sharpe and Mia Griffin will ride in the colours of Team Rupelcleaning - Champion Lubricant.
Orla Walsh will ride for NoPinz Motip RT. The recent convert to track sprinting and national record holder, received an invitation to train at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Switzerland. The WCC is a multi-purpose sports centre that welcomes athletes from all over the world.
The event is being used in preparation for the European Track Cycling Championships in June followed by the Tokyo Olympic Games. Team Ireland will send two male riders and two female riders for the Madison race in Tokyo. One male and one female rider will also compete in the Omnium which is comprised of a Scratch, Tempo, Elimination and Points Race on the same day. The racing is being Live Streamed on YouTube here and on www.sporza.be on Saturday.
Imogen Cotter competed in her first race with Movistar-eteam in the Zwift Racing League Premier Division on Tuesday. Movistar eRacing team finished in 5th place in the 24.1km Team Time Trial around the Douce France route only 7” off the podium. The new team will look to continue their good form in stage two of the league which is a 38.5km points race around Watopia’s Beach Island Loop.
Alice Sharpe, riding for Irish registered Team Rupelcleaning, put in a strong performance at the first women’s Scheldeprijs Classic on April 7th. Sharpe finished in a bunch just 10 seconds off the lead placing 65th of 150 starters. Sharpe’s busy racing schedule continues with the Brabantse Pijl (1.1) on Wednesday, April 14th.