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Felix English finished eighth in the Men’s Scratch Race at the European Championships in Glasgow today. The 15km Scratch Race was fast paced, with attacking racing from a stacked field.
The European title was won by Ukraine’s Roman Gladysh, who had gained half a lap on the field at the halfway point with silver medallist Adrien Garel from France. A late surge for the line by
Tristan Marguet resulted in a bronze medal for the Swiss man.
“I felt really good, I felt strong,”
English told us after his race, “I was probably a bit too keen – following everything that was going and trying to go myself. I’ve been feeling good in training – but the first time I’ve raced at this level in six months, so I thought I’d give it a go
and see what happens.”
The European Championships normally occur in October, in line with the World Cup season, making it a bit of a test for the 26-year-old, and the pace was high!
“It’s the first time racing indoors in six months, and the first major event of the year. There were a lot of guys who looked really tired from ten laps in, and I thought something is going
to go here, like someone is going to give up at some point! But I just kept following the good guys, and I think they seemed to be feeling it as well!”
The Scratch Race is a non-Olympic event, and often the standard is not as high as in those events on the Olympic Programme –
“With the scratch normally you kind of get a slightly lower quality field. But I think when here at the European Championship it was stacked – it was like riding the omnium.”
With 8 laps to go English found himself in a select group of four riders, including the Belarussian World Champion, in a bid for bronze –
“I really thought that was going to be it – everyone was tired behind. But it must have been that one guy kicked it off again behind us – and that’s all it takes. The bunch got momentum again. And the break was laboured, everyone was tired and nobody really
wants to do anything that late on in the race.
“It’s a little bit frustrating. I said before that I wanted to come in and do something, and finish knackered… like so many races in the last few years I’ve raced aggressively, and then held
back a little because I was worried that I’d get dropped or I was going to do something, or something was going to be too hard.
“It was nice to do a hard race, and just get stuck in and know I can do it. So I’m happy with that – and then hopefully we can get something else out of the Madison on Monday.”
English will also be competing in the Men’s Omnium tomorrow – an event that teammate Marc Potts is targeting in the lead up to Tokyo 2020. However, due to new timing of the European Championships,
and the ranking system, it is English who must now compete in the race – in order to gain points to help Potts qualify for the World Cup season.
“In the Omnium the way the points system works means that if he (Potts) does it we won’t qualify for world cups, because it is based on individual ranking and he hasn’t raced any of the major
events yet. So, I have to do it now, I need to pick up points for him and then he will qualify the world cup slot – he’s been racing all summer in the omnium and going really really well so it’s a shame he can’t race here – but I think he will go really well
in the winter.”
Over the six days of track racing the twelve-rider Irish team will compete in fifteen events in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.
Tomorrow is a full and packed day for the Irish – Felix English is back on the track again in the Men’s Omnium, Kelly Murphy and Mia Griffin will compete in the Women’s 3km Individual Pursuit,
Robyn Stewart races in the Women’s Sprint and Lydia Gurley will race the Women’s Points Race.
History is made this week when Glasgow and Berlin host the inaugural European Championships, an exciting multi-sport event bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports, including the
existing UEC cycling championships.
Men’s Scratch Race
GOLD Roman Gladysh (UKR)
SILVER Adrien Garel (FRA)
BRONZE Tristan Marguet (SUI)
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