Seventh for Gordon and Byrne in Kilo on World Championship Debut in Los Angeles, USA
Ireland's tandem of Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne finished seventh in the Men's B Tandem 1km Time Trial at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles last night, with a time of 1.08.115. The gold medal went to the GB tandem of James Ball and Matt Rotherham, with GB's Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean taking silver. Bronze went to Australia's Kieran Murphy and Lachlan Glasspool. The new pairing are the sole Irish riders competing in the Paracycling Track World Championships, with this also being the first international outing for the Irish team since their phenomenal medal haul at the Paralympic Games in Rio last September.
The 1km Time Trial, more often referred to as the Kilo, is a flat out effort against the clock of four laps of the 250m track, with the medals going to the fastest three bikes. Gordon and Byrne were first on the track to record a time, and were happy with their effort. Dubliner Byrne felt it was a solid starting point for the pair:
"We had a solid enough start, similar to what we did in training, and managed to fully empty the tank over the four laps. We are glad to have the legs opened up now."
Gordon and Byrne are a relatively new pairing, but believe there are plenty of positives to take from their first competitive event together:
"We were working well together and had clean lines; it's a really good platform to work from over the next four years. We're really happy considering we have been together for such a short period and we were the only team to ride on the drops. Tomorrow we are looking forward to the sprint, and seeing if we can improve on our position in the standings."
Team Manager Mark Kiely has been impressed with the preparations and progress of the riders:
"Every time they get on the track they seem to get faster and faster. Their attitude and commitment is excellent, they aren't overawed in this environment and are relaxed and excited about what may lie ahead."
Today they compete in the Men's B Tandem Sprint, an event that is more technical than the Kilo. The Sprint involves a qualifying round where the tandems race over 200m against the clock, with the top riders progressing to the Match Sprint rounds where the competition becomes a cat and mouse tactical event.
Cycling Ireland Performance Coach Neill Delahaye explains:
"Tandem sprint events are very technical and while they are not experienced as a pairing together, they are looking forward to the challenge and excitement of taking on some of the best tandems in the world at these championships. The experience they will gain from this event is really going to put them in a strong position to develop for the future."
This is the first time that a World Track Championships for Para-cycling has been held in the post-Paralympic season and it is taking place in the Velo Sports Centre Velodrome, Los Angeles, USA from the 2nd - 5th March.
For further information:
Heather Boyle, Communications Officer in Cycling Ireland
086-0211146 firstname.lastname@example.org @irecyclingfed on Twitter
Sinead Naughton, Paralympics Ireland Communications & Events Director
087-6338512/01-6251176 email@example.com @ParalympicsIRE on Twitter
Issued by Cycling Ireland in partnership with Paralympics Ireland
Note to editors:
Cycling Ireland Website: www.cyclingireland.ie
Paralympics Website: www.paralympics.ie
Irish Team for 2016 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships
Martin Gordon (Stoker), M Tandem B Sprint, Sligo DOB 18/03/1985
Eamonn Byrne (Pilot), M Tandem B Sprint, Sundrive Track Team, Dublin DOB 13/03/1984
About Classification in Paralympic Sport: Classification is a unique and integral part of Paralympic sport. It provides the structure to separate athletes with similar levels of impairments into groups, or classes as they are commonly known, so they can compete in fair and equal competitions against one another, and ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. This same principle exists in non-Paralympic sports where athletes are classified according to age, gender or weight divisions to allow for as fair competition as possible.
In para-cycling there are fourteen classifications based on functional disability type. B refers to the tandems, where the stoker is blind or visually impaired, and the pilot is sighted. H represents the handcycling events, and C refers to cyclists on regular, but adapted, solo bikes, who may have cerebral palsy, limb impairments and amputations. In these events the categories have numbers denoting the level of impairment, the lower numbers the more severe the impairments and the higher less so.
For more information on Para-cycling visit: