Irvine aiming to keep European championship momentum going in Astana World Cup
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Irvine aiming to keep European championship momentum going in Astana World Cup

by Shane Stokes at 7:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Irish rider chasing place in London 2012 Games

Ireland’s top prospect for Olympic track qualification, Martyn Irvine, is seeking to building on his Omnium scratch race victory in the Astana World Cup, with his events getting underway today. The 26 year old has said that his Apeldoorn performance gave him a jump in morale, confirming that he is on the right track.

“It's a great boost,” he told VeloNation, speaking of both that solo scratch race win and also his fifth place overall in the competition. “When you train and train your head starts tell you all sorts of things you don't want to hear. That result is proof that hard work works.”

Irvine broke clear during the 15 kilometre event, and was the only rider to succeed in lapping the field. He finished first ahead of Volodymyr Diudia (Ukraine) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark), making further progress in his track development.

Irvine raced on the road with Giant Asia this year, with his performances including stage victory in the An Post Ras (pictured). He  is coached by Andy Sparks, who has guided riders such as Sarah Hammer to world championship titles. He finished seventh in the flying lap this morning, and will ride the 30 km points race and elimination races later today. Tomorrow concludes the Omnium events with the individual pursuit, 15km scratch race and kilometre time trial taking place.

“The target is top six and some personal bests,” Irvine said. “They will keep me on track.”

In terms of qualifying for the London 2012 Games, he said that his goal is simply to ride as best as he can in this and the remaining three World Cup races, rather than trying to work out what placings would enable him to reach his target.

“There are so many possibilities that I could list them,” he said. “Basically, the goal is to beat the nations just in front of me. At the minute though I’m just focusing on doing the best I can and I’m sure the rest will follow…”


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