Gutsy Ryan lands place on podium and in record books
Caroline Ryan became the first Irish woman to win a medal at the UCI Track World Cup when she took bronze in the 3km individual pursuit on the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico at the weekend.
Having already qualified for the points race in the upcoming world track championships on Friday night – when she finished 13th in the 20-lap event – Ryan recorded the fourth fastest time in the pursuit the next day to set herself up nicely for a bronze medal 'ride- off' against talented Ukrainian Anna Solovey.
A member of the Garda cycling team and a former international rower, Ryan marginally trailed Solovey after a steady opening kilometre and a half, but cranked up the pace after the halfway mark.
Her controlled start soon began to pay dividends, as Solovey faded and Ryan pushed on to win by less than a quarter of a second.
Ryan's bronze win brings the Irish tally of track cycling medals won to an impressive 15 in European and world events over the past two years, despite the lack of a velodrome here.
With scratch race world champion Martyn Irvine missing the event due to injury sustained in a crash at the recent Gent 6-Day, Eoin Mullen was the only other Irish competitor and the Aran Islander continued his impressive upward curve by finishing in 13th place in the men's keirin, which was won by Great Britain's Matthew Crampton.
Both Irvine and Ryan have now secured places in two events at the world championships, due to be held in Colombia at the end of February