Saturday 18 November 2017

Ireland's Mark Downey takes gold at Track Cycling World Cup in Colombia

Mark Downey of Ireland celebrates after winning gold medal in the UCI Cycling World Cup, Men's Points Race final, at Alcides Nieto Patino velodrome yesterday
Mark Downey of Ireland celebrates after winning gold medal in the UCI Cycling World Cup, Men's Points Race final, at Alcides Nieto Patino velodrome yesterday

Oisín McQueirns

Mark Downey won gold in the men’s points race in the third round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup after a dominant performance in the Alcides Nieto Patino Velodrome in Cali, Colombia.

The 20-year-old now leads the World Cup ranking in this event, with his victory adding to the gold he won in Apeldoorn last November.

Dublin born cyclist Lydia Boylan was also competing in the Women's Omnium, and finished sixth overall despite a fantastic start which saw her win her first event, the scratch race.

Downey has won silver in the European Championships in the points race as both a junior and an under-23 and has also won back-to-back world cup medals helping him rise to the top in the world cup rankings.

After the race the Dromore outlined his strategy for the event.

"I made three key moves in the race," he said.

"I got away with five riders and took 5 points in the sprint, then the big guys got away shortly after that and I used the rest of the bunch to bring them back.

"As soon as I got to their back wheel I went, and went hard. It was around 70 laps to go, I picked up two sprints on the way and it took me 23 laps to take the lap – so it was long! The crowd was ecstatic."

This was only the beginning for Downey however, who described the final 25 laps as "hell".

"In the last 17 laps a big group got away, with the second, third and fourth placed riders in it – so I literally did an IP (individual pursuit) against seven riders – it was an unbelievable way to hurt everyone and then just have the legs," he added.

Boylan also put in a fantastic performance in  Women' s Omnium which consists of four events in one day saying that the event was all about "getting experience in the Omnium and guaranteeing World's qualification".

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