Ireland’s Martyn Irvine scooped the World Championship track title in a fantastic fashion at the velodrome in Minsk, Belarus. Making him only the second ever Irish man in history to win a World Championship Track Title!
A spectacular ride from the 27 year old from Newtownards, County Down, Irvine attacked the race from the outset, worked himself a lead and maintained the pace and held off the chase from Austria’s Andreas Mueller and Australia’s Luke Davison to finish the World best of the 23 cyclist competing in this discipline!
Irvine had the velodrome on its feet during his winning race, which was even more impressive considering he had competed and taken silver in the individual pursuit less than an hour beforehand, beaten only by defending championship Michael Hepburn from Australia in that race and smashing his own personal record.
Aside from Irvine winning Gold, Ireland has more cause for celebration in cycling as it was recently announced that the country will host the opening three stages of the Giro d’Italia professional cycling race in 2014.
Only the eleventh time since its inception in 1909 that the event has travelled outside of Italy, the Giro will start in Belfast in May, with further stages taking place in Armagh City and Dublin, before the 200 competing cyclists and support teams including many travelling fans that will combine the event with a vacation in Ireland, fly back to Italy for the continuation of the event.
Although the exact race details of the Giro’s route stages in Ireland have yet to be confirmed it is believed that the Big Start or Grand Partenza will begin in Belfast on May 10th, with the first two stages being held in and around the city, the riders will then move to Armagh on 12th May for the start of the third stage, which will finish in Dublin that evening.
Gathering interest from cyclist all over the world, this historic race takes place over three weeks and is famed for its mountain stages of up to 200km, and with no major mountain passes in the Irish stages of the race, the Giro route in Ireland is already attracting attention from the sprinters of the race, as they gear up to compete next year for the much coveted pink jersey award to the race leader!