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TEAM NI: Irvine left disappointed following 14th-place finish in 20km scratch race

Northern Ireland's Martyn Irvine

Northern Ireland's Martyn Irvine

  • by Nigel Ringland
 

Martyn Irvine couldn’t hide his disappointment after a 14th place in the 20km scratch race at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome ended two days of racing on the track he would rather forget.

The 2013 world champion was nowhere near his best and was left looking for answers.

“It was horrible, there was nothing good about it, I can’t lie, it was a horrible show by myself,” a dejected Irvine said.

“I feel bad, I feel like I let the team down. It’s character building.”

On Saturday Irvine got off to a good start in the grueling 40km, 160-lap points race and gained an early lap on the field with a number of other riders but then began to struggle and retired with 73 laps remaining.

On Sunday night it was a similar pattern in the shorter scratch race with the Newtownards rider seizing on the opportunity to gain a lap with five others including eventual winner Shane Archbold from New Zealand.

However, he could not consolidate and when the pace quickened again Irvine failed to find the necessary speed to stay with the front group and would soon lose the lap he gained.

He wasn’t looking for excuses and he could have.

“At a World Cup or World Championships each nation is only allowed to enter one rider in the race so that team tactics don’t come into play and that it is as fair as it can be but in the Commonwealth Games each country can enter up to three riders and the New Zealanders, amongst others, took advantage,” he added.

“Cycling can be a numbers game and three against one doesn’t work but that’s no excuse because I’ve beaten them all before.

“I need to re-evaluate my season and I’ll have to ask a lot of tough questions of myself.

“It just wasn’t there and that’s a surprise. I need to find out why.”

Irvine will now line out in the road race next Sunday before returning to his training base in Colorado.

“I’m just gutted I couldn’t fly the flag for Northern Ireland,” he added.

Northern Ireland’s other track cyclist, Lydia Boylan was 16th in the women’s point’s race.

 

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