Irvine turning pro with UnitedHealthcare, psyched by successful World Cup performance
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Irvine turning pro with UnitedHealthcare, psyched by successful World Cup performance

by Shane Stokes at 8:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Irishman on a confidence high after two silver medals in Glasgow

Martyn IrvineHaving shown his best-ever form with two UCI track World Cup silver medals in recent days, Martyn Irvine has confirmed that he has signed a pro contract with the UnitedHealthcare team for 2013.

The Irish Olympian will step up a level in the peloton next season, having competed with the smaller Continental RTS Racing team in 2012.

His Glasgow World Cup performance showed that he is continuing to improve on the track, and he’s motivated by the fact that his change of teams will also enable him to aim for bigger things on the road.

''I'm super excited to race for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling next year,” said Irvine. “I've committed a lot of time to the track in recent years and I'm so happy that this team has given me a chance to show what I'm capable of. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to working hard for the team and helping it achieve its goals.”

Irvine’s best results thus far on the road include a stage win in the 2011 An Post Rás, second in this year’s national time trial championships behind Michael Hutchinson but ahead of WorldTour riders Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma Quick Step), and fourth in the road race champs.

He’s also twice won the national criterium championship title and that speed will be something which will be very important next season with the American Pro Continental team.

The 27 year old will be racing alongside fellow Irishman Philip Deignan, who will be in his second year with the squad.

UnitedHealthcare general manager Mike Tamayo believes there’s grounds to be confident about what Irvine could do. “Martyn is our little secret,” he said. “He comes from a track racing background where he represented Ireland in the 2012 Olympics. After seeing his work ethic while training and his huge horsepower, adding Martyn to our sprint team was a no brainer.”

The news of Irvine’s signing completes an important few days for the Irishman. On Friday he took a career-best silver medal in the World Cup scratch race, riding very aggressively throughout and finishing second to Tristan Marguet (Switzerland). Then on Saturday he qualified second fastest of twenty riders in the individual pursuit and went on to take silver in the final against Olympic Omnium champion Lasse Norman Hansen (Norway).

In doing so, Irvine set a personal best time of four minutes 22.745 seconds, a second and a half faster than he had clocked up in the morning session.

He’ll have to wait a little longer to top the podium, but everything bodes well for the future. He said he felt a strong sense of achievement at the improvement he has made.

“Finally I've justified my place in cycling,” he told VeloNation. “I've been the nearly man for way too long and it's a feeling of relief, finally! I’m over the moon.”

Securing a pro deal with the up and coming UnitedHealthcare squad can only add to that satisfaction.


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