Sports

Gold for Downey

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

BANBRIDGE CC cyclist, Mark Downey is continuing with his winning streak after himself and Felix English made history by becoming the first pairing from Ireland to win a gold medal in the Madison at the UCI Track World Cup.

They fended off stiff competition from 12 other countries in LA at the Madison race which is a fast and tactical event.

Downey and English amassed 57 points, 12 more than their nearest challengers who were one point ahead of the Kiwis.

The 30 kilometre, 120-lap contest featured 12 sprints and it was run off at an eye-watering speed of 55kph.

The 20-year-old Dromore man said: "That was a class race, I enjoyed every minute of that one, for the first time in a Madison we were actually in control.

“After the fourth sprint we first tried our trademark move, but it didn't work and we were caught, but we nailed it again and it worked.

“We picked up sprint points and on the way we got a lap with some more teams so it helped. The race relaxed after that with teams just going for sprints."

The Madison is a new event on the Olympic calendar for Tokyo and the Irish team have made clear their intentions with another dominant performance putting them in first place ahead of Denmark and New Zealand.

The LA round of the Track World Cup was the fourth and final round in the World Cup Series and took place over 25 and 26 February.

Next stop for the Irish team is the World Track Championships in Hong Kong in April.

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