Martin Irvine has moved closer to Olympic qualification when he finished a fine fifth in the Cali round of the World Cup in December.
This weekend Martyn Irvine will be in Beijing for the next world cup round.
The 26-year-old is due to begin the multi-event Omnium campaign today when he competes in the qualification race, and is feeling ambitious. “Things are going well,” he told The Irish Times yesterday. “My preparation is as normal and I’m injury-free and healthy. For me I want a podium here, I know it’s in me. I just need to execute each race the best I can and avoid any disasters.”
Irvine’s fifth place in Cali followed a similar result in the European Championships. It left him 11th in the World Cup standings and, by Cycling Ireland’s estimates at the time, improved Ireland to ninth in the European table for National Olympic Committees. The top eight will qualify for London, and so Irvine needs to keep the pressure on in the three remaining qualification events.
They are this weekend’s World Cup race in Beijing, the final round next month in London and then the World Championships in Melbourne in April.
He will compete in four separate rounds today. The elimination race determines who goes through to the competition proper, then he will ride the flying lap, points race and elimination. Three more events follow tomorrow, with the combined total of points determining where he finishes overall.
If he succeeds in riding strongly, he will give himself a major boost for Olympic qualification.