Friday 22 November 2019

Gold for Ireland as Felix English secures UCI Track World Cup glory

Felix English (IRL) celebrates after winning the Men's Scratch Race Final during day three of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup
Felix English (IRL) celebrates after winning the Men's Scratch Race Final during day three of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup

Ian Parker

Ireland's Felix English ended a long wait for individual success at a UCI Track World Cup as he took gold in the men's scratch race in Glasgow on Sunday.

The 27-year-old took Madison gold with Mark Downey in Los Angeles in 2017 but had endured a string of near misses when it came to individual events until now.

"I've come fourth about 11 or 12 times so to actually win one makes up for all the other missed medals," English told the PA media agency.

English was one of only two riders to take two laps on the field along with Spain's Sebastian Mora, though with the velodrome scoreboard not always showing the correct information it led to a sometimes confusing race in which Great Britain's Ollie Wood had to settle for fourth.

English had been part of a group to take a lap early on, then immediately went again along with Mora as they stole a march to take charge of the race.

"I was always in control," English said. "I was really aware of what was going on around me. They messed up the scoreboard but I had Martyn (Irvine, coach) there telling me that I was on the same lap as Mora and not (Max) Beyer, which helped, otherwise I would have followed Beyer.

"Mora was nervous of being caught and did a lot of work at the end whereas I did nothing, I was just waiting for the sprint."

Wood admitted he was feeling the strain of Saturday's efforts in winning silver in the Madison alongside Ethan Hayter and said he had ridden too big of a gear, though he was not helped by the misleading information on the boards.

"I wasn't aware Felix had two laps," Wood said. "I was thinking I had third. I had a pretty good idea of what was going on but I was missing one vital piece of information!"

PA Media

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