Irvine to turn pro in 2013, taking a break from Omnium racing
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Irvine to turn pro in 2013, taking a break from Omnium racing

by Shane Stokes at 6:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Irishman riding scratch and pursuit in Glasgow World Cup, will focus on road racing next season

Martyn IrvineHaving competed last year as part of the Continental RTS Racing Team, Irish track racing Olympian Martyn Irvine will move up a level next year and continue to develop the road aspect of his career.

The Omnium specialist has inked a deal with a strong pro continental squad and is expected to be part of the lead-out train for that team’s sprinters. The signing is expected to be officially confirmed soon.

Irvine returns to the velodrome today, a little over two months after he competed in the London Olympics Omnium. He is taking a break from that event and will instead compete in the scratch race and individual pursuit at the Glasgow World Cup.

“I'm really excited about this weekend. It's the first in over 2 year that I've done something without the Omnium in my mind,” he told VeloNation. “The lack of stress if the Omnium almost feels enjoyable. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Irvine has focussed on the Omnium for the past three years and made good progress. He was fifth in the Cali and Beijing World Cup events and seventh in the world championships, sealing his place in London. However he didn’t fare as well as he had hoped in the Olympics, netting thirteenth, and said afterwards that his build-up might have been slightly off.

Now he’s ready to knuckle down again, although he states that he’s going to keep things fluid for now until greater clarity emerges about which events will be in place in Rio 2016.

“This year is weird,” he said. “Only the big nations can still focus on the team pursuit being sure it's not going anywhere. Most of the other nations are trying a bit of everything and not really specializing in anything at the minute. You really can’t forecast who's gonna be on the start line.

“Certain events in the Omnium have always been my Achilles’ heal so I'll avoid them if I can. Here I'm doing the Scratch and pursuit with the goal of doing a good performance across the board and qualifying a spot at the world championships. These events won't harm my road performance so I'm pretty sure I can do both well.”

The road aspect of his career took a back seat this year due to the importance of the Games, although he did get in some racing in order to build his endurance outside the velodrome. His results included a fine second in the Irish time trial championships, beating WorldTour riders Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma Quick Step), and he was also fourth in the national road race title after a solo attack late in the race was hauled back.

With the next Olympics almost four full years away, he’ll focus more on the road from this point and should be able to get in plenty of high level racing in 2013 and beyond.


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