Silver and bronze medals to celebrate for the Irish Para-Cycling team on first day of Track World Championships

The Irish flag is flying high this evening and not just because of St. Patrick's day, as Irish Para-Cyclists Colin Lynch and Eoghan Clifford secured medals at the Track World Championships today. 

Lynch took to the track first thing this morning in the qualifiers where, after a fantastic performance in the MC2 Pursuit, booked his spot in the race for gold and silver medals. 

Meanwhile, Clifford also put in a strong display in the MC3 Pursuit qualifier early on today, and with the eyes of the world on them, both secured medals in fantastic style. 

Lynch took home the silver medal in his final following a tough battle against Canada's Tristen Chernove, while Clifford secure bronze in the MC3 final against Japan’s Masaki Fujita. The results were particularly impressive considering both riders smashed their PBs in the qualifying rounds.

Speaking afterwards, Lynch stated: “The last week has gone really really well; the form came at exactly the right time. Once we got to the track here in Italy I knew that I was going better than ever before. In training I have been getting the same times as I did at altitude last year, when you are getting that kind of speed you know that everything is going perfectly. It shows that what we are doing is right, my sights are firmly focused on Rio, and this is a combination of four years of hard work. This puts us where we need to be.”

Also speaking after a tough contest, Clifford commented: “I only knew I had the medal at the end, I was behind for most of it, but pegged it back in the last two laps. I didn’t know I had won the medal until I finished the race; even though I had a gap at the end, I had been behind for so long I didn’t know.”

National Performance Coach Neill Delahaye was delighted with the team saying: “It’s great to see hard work rewarded. To deliver two PBs in qualification, I couldn’t have asked for more. They squeezed everything out of themselves.”

With more exciting races still to come over the coming days, there's no doubt hopes are high for more superb performances ahead. 

You can keep up to date with all of the results here.