Belfast Telegraph

Red hot cyclist Martyn Irvine lands more silverware

By Steven Beacom

Martyn Irvine is savouring another high in what has become a remarkable roller coaster of a year for the rider from Newtownards.

Back in February, Irvine produced a stunning performance in the World Track Championships in Belarus to claim a gold and silver medal.

The gold came in the 15k Scratch race and the silver in the Individual Pursuit. Outlining his all round talent, Irvine took home bronze at the weekend in the multi-disciplined Omnium event at the Track Cycling European Championships in Holland.

It was quite a performance from the Ulsterman who had been ill just before the Championships.

Nothing it seems will keep this fierce competitor down.

Just a month after his thrilling World Championship success, Irvine suffered a serious injury while competing in the Tour of Taiwan with his US-based road team UnitedHealthcare.

Irvine fractured his hip in a crash and was out of action for months, but having recovered and got back on track, the 28-year-old showed his class to finish third in the European event.

That's gold, silver and bronze medals in major championships in 2013 and he has agreed a new deal with his team. Throw in the crash, injury and months on the sidelines and this really is one year that Irvine will never forget. Best of all, he got married to his sweetheart Grace too.

On winning bronze for Ireland in Apeldoorn, Irvine's coach Brian Nugent said: "It's fantastic how Martyn has fought to come back to perform so well.

"He has worked hard with the squad over the past month in Majorca, then he was unlucky to get sick.

"In the Omnium on Saturday and Sunday, he was back on form. We are over the moon with the medal and so is Martyn."

Given his achievements, he is definitely a genuine contender for the 2013 Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year prize.

Next on Irvine's schedule is expected to be the UCI Track World Cup 2013 in Manchester next month which promises to be a sell-out with most of the top British riders intent on performing in front of a home crowd. That event takes place from November 1-3.

Cycling will explode in Northern Ireland in 2014 when the Giro d'Italia starts in Belfast next May, with Irvine expected to take part.

Belfast Telegraph


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