Two top-six places for Irish riders on final day of paracycling track world championships

Martin Gordon and Eoin Mullen finished fifth-quickest in qualification for tandem sprint

Irish riders raced to fifth and sixth places on the final day of competition at the paracycling track world championships in Paris on Sunday.

Martin Gordon and his tandem pilot Eoin Mullen finished fifth-quickest in the qualification for the tandem sprint, with their time of 10.212 seconds going close to the national record set by Gordon and his previous pilot Eamon Byrne in 2019.

This time put them into the quarter finals where their French opponents got the upper hand. The Irish duo raced against the Japanese tandem in the battle for fifth and sixth places, with Gordon and Mullen coming out best.

Chris Burns was the other Irish rider in action on Sunday. He finished sixth overall in the MC2 category Omnium event after finishing ninth in the scratch race. This was the fourth and final event allocating points to the Omnium standings.


Burns had started the day joint fourth overall in that contest, having placed third in the flying 200, fourth in the 1km time trial and 9th in the 3km individual pursuit in recent days.

His scratch race on Sunday was complicated by a crash after he clashed wheels with another competitor. He was able to chase back on to the pack but had to be content with ninth place and sixth overall.

He reflected on the scratch race and said that he should have availed from the laps out allowed to fallen riders.

“It was touch and go at stages in the scratch race. It started off well. I came down in a crash and maybe I should’ve composed myself a bit more and waited for the five laps and then went back up, but I jumped back up,” he said. “It wasn’t the result I was hoping for but it’s still a top 10 in the scratch race. I can’t really complain.”

Burns was encouraged by his results in Paris, both because he stepped up a level and also because he set personal bests in the individual pursuit, the flying 200 metre time trial and the 1km time trial. He also set new national records in the latter two events.

It was his most successful competition yet and he leaves Paris encouraged. “It’s been an unbelievable week to be honest with you,” he said. “I’ve surprised myself and it’s just wonderful.”

Gordon and Mullen were competing together for the first time and have built important experience which will stand to them in future events.

“The [flying] 200 went all right, stated Mullen. “We would’ve liked to have done a bit better but for the first time riding the 200 together in a race, 10.2 isn’t so bad.”

Gordon put that into perspective.

“It was .1 of a second off the national record so I think for the first 200 that is an incredible platform to build off.

“Overall, it’s been successful for us. We would’ve liked more this morning in the qualifier and a bit more in the kilo [1km time trial] on Friday, and I think it’s just [a case of] taking that hunger away with us for more.”

The Saint-Quentine-en-Yvelines velodrome used at the championships is also the same one which will feature in the 2024 Paralympic Games.

Ireland’s best placing in the competition was Ronan Grimes’ silver medal in the MC4 individual pursuit on Thursday. Burns and Richael Timothy were third in the flying 200 metre time trial in the MC2 and WC3 classes respectively.

Meanwhile Rás Tailteann winner Daire Feeley’s consistency saw him finish on top of Cycling Ireland’s A1 rankings for the season. The All human/VeloRevolution rider amassed 260 points, 20 more than Luke Smith (Moynalty Cycling Club) and 64 more than third-placed Paul Kennedy (Burren Cycling Club), who was the highest-placed Masters 40 rider.

In June, Feeley became the first Irishman to win the Rás since Stephen Gallagher’s success in 2008.

Cycling Ireland A1 Rankings 2022: 1 Daire Feeley (All human/VeloRevolution Racing Team) 260, 2 L Smith (Moynalty Cycling Club) 240, 3 P Kennedy (Burren Cycling Club — Masters 40 rider) 196, 4 M Shannon (Burren Cycling Club) 178, 5 G O’Neill (Team Caldwell Cycles) 160, 6 C Murnane (UCD Cycling Club) 150, 7 T Regan (Seven Springs CC Loughrea) 147, 8 R Killeen (Lucan Cycling Road Club — Masters 40 rider) 125, 9 D Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) 120, 10 M Teggart (WiV SunGod) 117

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling