Ireland Overtakes UK (in cycling)

Hal LaRoux
By Hal LaRoux
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Cyclists like Felix English don't get this opportunity very often. Beating Sir Chris Hoy who is one of Scotland's most successful athletes with numerous World and Olympic Gold medals doesn't happen to 18 year olds in Ireland that regularly.


Sir Hoy took his foot off the pedal in the last leg of the race over the weekend and was made to pay by Felix. Chris does his training in the UK's national velodrome in Manchester, presumably Felix cycles around the Red Cow roundabout at a furious pace.

From Felix's blog at

That was not expected.
Started the day off really excited to be riding my first ever world class track race. Was buzzing before the start of 200m qualification. My target set for this was to do an 11.0. I stopped the clock in a time of 11.08.
Happy enough with my time, I was surprised to find out that I'd manage to qualify!
First round... CHRIS HOY!!
Fuck, big moment! Didn't want to make myself look stupid, so didn't try any 'attack from the line' type tactics. Just flicked around the track a bit and waited for him to go. When he went, HE WENT. Pulled out a good 5 bike lengths immediately.Just kept on going giving 100%. Hoy started to back off on the back straight and was drifting up between the red and the blue. I expected him to back off, in order to save energy for the next few rounds but he must've done some serious back pedally as he lost his speed quick! I rushed the gap with 50m to go and he didn't even notice until I was going 5mph quicker and on his hip with 20m left of the race. I had beaten the current Olympic Sprint Champion...
This was the start of a very hectic day.
After milking the cheers on the track for a good 3 laps I came down and was quicly escorted away from the British Cycling coaches back to our pen. Here I was interviewed by various newspapers, magazine, website and towards the end of the day Radio 5 live and the BBC.
The following rounds were as expected, horrible. I was given a massive kicking from the other sprinter lads, and just couldn't even get close. The Russian that beat me in the next round was so happy to now be '1st seed' I though he was going to hug me!!

With this aside, Martyn our omnium rider is having a cracking day. He was 10th in the flying lap (first event attempt at this discipline) only 0.2 seconds off of world class riders such as Kluge and Clancy. He then took an early lap in the points race, which not exaggerating at all, looked like one of the toughest races I have ever seen! With maybe 5 laps at most where the pace dropped bellow 50km/h Martyn almost won the last sprint and ended up finishing 8th. This will stick him in the top 5 overall I think, savage!!
Elimination race left this evening for Martyn to finish off his first day in the omnium.

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