Guide Dog Owner Martin Gordon is part of the Irish Para-Cycling team that took part in the World Championships in LA last weekend
Martin Gordon (third from left front row) with 2 Guide Dogs and other participant of Mizn2Malin 2012.
This weekend Cycling Ireland has a male tandem competing in the sprint events at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles, USA. On Saturday Martin Gordon and pilot Eamonn Byrne will be making their World Championship debut competing in the Men’s B Tandem 1km Time Trial, followed by the Men’s B Tandem Sprint on Sunday. The Championships run from Thursday 2nd March until Sunday 5th March.
Sligo man Martin Gordon has been a member of the Para-cycling Development Team for the last number of years having entered the sport via a fundraising cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Sundrive Track Team sprinter Eamonn Byrne has proven to be a perfect match for Gordon. Byrne has just begun a career break from his role as a Garda in Howth, and found cycling after stints as a track and field sprinter and as a rower.
Saturday will see Gordon and Byrne compete in the 1km Time Trial, which is a flat out effort against the clock in the Velodrome which saw Mark Downey and Felix English win gold last Sunday. The UCI Para-cycling Track World Championship event was a late addition to the Paracycling race calendar but speaking ahead of their competition Cycling Ireland Performance Coach Neill Delahaye believes their preparation has been good:
“While the late announcement of these Worlds did not give Martin and Eamonn a huge amount of time to prepare, they have worked very well together in training in Mallorca and we are confident they will deliver their best performance on the day.”
The Sprint event is a more technical event which takes place throughout Sunday. The Sprint involves a qualifying round where the tandems race over 200m against the clock, with the top riders progressing to the Match Sprint rounds where the competition becomes a cat and mouse tactical event.
"Tandem sprint events are very technical and while they are not experienced as a pairing together, they are looking forward to the challenge and excitement of taking on some of the best tandems in the world at these championships. The experience they will gain from this event is really going to put them in a strong position to develop for the future.”
This is the first time that a World Track Championships for Para-cycling has been held in the post-Paralympic season, and this is the first competition for the Irish team since the Paralympic Games in Rio. It will take place in the Velo Sports Centre Velodrome, Los Angeles, USA from the 2nd – 5th March.