Irish track team begins next phase of Olympic qualification campaign on Wednesday

Erin Creighton, Lara Gillespie, Alice Sharpe and Kelly Murphy will contest the qualifying round

The Irish track team’s push for Olympic qualification begins a crucial phase on Wednesday when the European Championship campaign gets under way in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

Erin Creighton, Lara Gillespie, Alice Sharpe and Kelly Murphy will contest the qualifying round of the women’s team pursuit, with Mia Griffin then replacing Creighton in round one to be held later in the day.

Aside from keeping one rider fresh, the tactic will ensure that all five will add to their competitive experience.

The riders will also compete in other endurance events. Griffin goes in the scratch race on Thursday, while double under-23 European champion Gillespie disputes the women’s omnium on Friday.

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The quintet will all be in action again over the weekend, with Saturday’s elimination race and points race being contested by Griffin and Gillespie respectively.

Gillespie and Sharpe will then twin up in the women’s Madison race on Sunday, while Murphy and Creighton will each ride the individual pursuit.

Ireland is currently ninth in the world rankings in the team pursuit. The first 10 will secure Olympic qualification in that discipline, which in turn will enable the riders to also compete in the individual events in Paris.

The European Championships and the subsequent Track Nations Cup races in Adelaide, Hong Kong and Milton, Canada all award qualifying points.

However, only two out of those three Nations Cup events will count for the scoring, meaning that strong performances by the Irish riders between now and Hong Kong could ensure a place in Paris.

Team Ireland Schedule at the 2024 Track European Championships, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

January 10th

Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying: Erin Creighton, Lara Gillespie, Alice Sharpe, Kelly Murphy

Women’s Team Pursuit Round One: Mia Griffin, Gillespie, Sharpe, Murphy

January 11th

Women’s Scratch Race: Griffin

January 12th

Women’s Omnium: Gillespie

January 13th

Women’s Elimination Race: Griffin

Women’s Points Race: Gillespie

January 14th

Women’s Madison Race: Gillespie and Sharpe

Women’s Individual Pursuit: Murphy and Creighton

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