Martyn Irvine speaks of disappointment after being disqualified from World Cup Omnium
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Martyn Irvine speaks of disappointment after being disqualified from World Cup Omnium

by Shane Stokes at 12:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Irish rider didn’t realise he was eliminated, appeal against severity of ruling dismissed

Martyn IrvineFifth in the European championships, Martyn Irvine’s bid for a strong Omnium ride in the Astana World Cup ended in controversial circumstances yesterday when he was disqualified from the event. Things started solidly for the Irishman, who finished seventh in the flying lap and tenth in the points race, but he fell foul of the commissaires in the elimination event when he didn’t pull out within the required lap after rolling across the line at the back of the bunch.

Irvine told VeloNation today that he didn’t realise what had happened until it was too late. “I was sure I rolled a guy on the line and so I never thought I was out,” he said, explaining why he continued too long.

Cycling Ireland CEO Geoff Liffey told VeloNation yesterday evening that Irvine had lodged an appeal. He said that while riders have a light on their bikes to indicate that they have been eliminated, that many have complained that it is too dangerous to look down at the bars when moving at high speeds, and with others in close proximity. He added that Irvine didn’t see the lapboard also indicating he was out as an official was standing in the way.

Irvine confirmed the circumstances of the matter. “I was too busy trying not to crash!” he said. “If you lose concentration for a second, it's gonna hurt.” His caution may have been heightened by the bad fall he had in the same event in the European championships.

Prior to the start of the Omnium, Irvine said that he was aiming to finish in the top six of the competition. Liffey’s contention, and that of Irvine himself, was that yesterday's incident was an honest mistake and to throw him out of the entire Omnium is very harsh. “If they just put him last in the event, that would be penalty enough as he’d have 24 points added to his total,” said Liffey.

“I understand the need to get the riders off the track as you don’t want them sticking in there and interfering with others. But the basis for the appeal is that he simply didn’t see the notification in time and stayed in a little longer…he didn’t interfere with the racing.”

Irvine told VeloNation today that having a buzzer rather than a light would be a safer solution for riders in the elimination race. He had hoped an appeal would enable him to remain in the event, continuing what is a tight battle for qualification for the Olympic Games. Money is tight for himself and the Irish federation, with the budget being a fraction of that enjoyed by countries like Great Britain. As a result, travelling to Kazakhstan and being disqualified in those circumstances is hard to take. Unfortunately for him, the commissaires rejected the appeal and he wasn’t able to race today.

Irvine admitted that he was very disappointed with how things worked out. “I don't really know where my head is at…that's life I suppose,” he said. “I’m a great believer in 'everything happens for a reason,' although at the minute I find it hard to see one.

“I keep getting a horrible feeling that a good thing has slipped away from me. I know I'm as strong as anyone but still lack that skill those guys have developed over the years. It's no excuse though..I'm determined to come back even stronger now.”

Irvine will return to Ireland, then travel to Majorca where he will work hard in advance of the next round of the World Cup in Cali, Colombia.


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