Ireland’s Irvine wins World gold

Martyn Irvine has made Irish cycling history by winning gold and silver at the World Track Championships.

The 27-year-old from Newtownards, County Down, becomes the first Irishman to win a medal at the championships for 117 years.

Irvine won his silver medal in the individual pursuit which was won by reigning champion Michael Hepburn.

Less than an hour later, Irvine sensationally won the 15k men’s scratch race in Minsk, Belarus.

The Irish competitor accelerated clear of the field with 10 of the 60 laps to go and managed to hold off his rivals in the finale.

Irvine is the first Irish male competitor to win a medal at the World Cycling Championships since Harry Reynolds took the one-mile amateur title in 1896.

In 2012, Caroline Ryan won Ireland’s first modern World Championships medal with bronze in the women’s points race.

In the individual pursuit, Irvine’s time of four minutes and 22.53 seconds was a couple of seconds down on the time he had in reaching the final.

Australian Hepburn, 21, built up a big lead and almost caught Irvine coming to the end of the 4km race.

Irvine just had time to receive his medal, change his race numbers and return to the bike before his gold success in the scratch race.

The championships in Belarus represent a significant breakthrough for Irvine.

The Ulsterman won silver medals in the scratch race and the individual pursuit

at the Track World Cup in Glasgow in November.

Irvine competed for Northern Ireland at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and was 13th in the multi-discipline omnium event at last year’s London Olympics.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/21534680

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