Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Martyn should show 'em his medals at Giro after bid for world glory

UPDATE alert. Martyn Irvine, Giro d'Italia, Arlene Foster and all that jazz.

Last month in this column I urged the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster to inform the organisers of the Giro d'Italia that it would be an appropriate gesture to invite our World Track Champion Martyn Irvine to be involved in the race in some shape or form.

The response to the article suggested many of you agreed.

Previously Martyn's American road racing team UnitedHealthcare had not been granted a wild card spot to compete in the prestigious race which is coming to Northern Ireland in May.

The big race starts in Belfast on Friday, May 9 before taking in the world famous Antrim Coast the following day and then crossing the border on the Sunday.

It's a shame that our greatest male cyclist won't be riding, but that doesn't mean, if his schedule allows, he shouldn't play a part.

After all, if Martyn was good enough to be the face of the Milan launch of the event for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, it would seem unjust if they and Arlene didn't attempt to offer him a chance to have a ceremonial role at least.

Over to Arlene, who I spoke to this week.

She said: "I did read your piece and I too am disappointed that Martyn won't directly be involved in the Giro, but I do hope he will be a part of the Giro in some way.

"It's not just about the Giro this year but also the legacy we're trying to create for Northern Ireland and I very much hope Martyn will be part of that."

The Newtownards man is much too busy this week to be bothered.

He's in Colombia trying to win more medals at this year's World Track Championships.

If successful – and his record suggests there's every chance of that – maybe he could show them off at the Giro!

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