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Annalise Murphy on the velodrome on Sundrive Road, Dublin, though she has gone to the UK independently to ride the real thing (Photo: Matthew Lysaght)

Annalise Murphy, the sailing Olympic medalist turned three-time national track champion, has said she is hoping to get an international racing opportunity from Cycling Ireland to show what she can do.

An ambitious athlete, who has obviously already reached the top of one international sport, Murphy is now aged 33 years. However, if she was motivated enough, and good enough, she could still be in contention to ride the Olympics in 2028.

She says she has not completely given up on somehow making the Paris Games, though that would mean slotting into the team pursuit line-up, which may be a stretch for someone who is still a novice on the velodrome.

However, having first flagged her interest in racing internationally during an interview with stickybottle last year, Murphy has now doubled down on that, saying she just needs a chance from Cycling Ireland.

She also said she takes inspiration from Annemiek van Vleuten, the former top pro rider who didn’t race seriously until she was well into her 20s. The Dutch woman was still one of the best road riders in the world when she retired last September just before her 41st birthday.

“I just have to get given an opportunity,” Murphy told The Irish Times. “Maybe if someone in Cycling Ireland thinks ‘oh she does have ability and let me try out…’ That’s what I’m missing out.

“I don’t have any international experience. I’ve gone over to the UK to go on an indoor velodrome. I went over to get experience. Very different to Sundrive. First of all as you are going around corners indoors you’re not getting blown off your bike.

“I’m 33 but not that old in cycling. I’d like to be given the opportunity. Love to. You can’t help but want to be what you can be. Maybe it’s also about pushing myself in sport. I find it very easy to motivate myself to train.”

She said her next move needed to be going to Europe to ride some international track events. And though it would he hard to break into the Irish Olympic team at this stage, she believed the power she could generate meant she was best suited to the pursuit.

“I might have left it too late. People have been preparing for years for the Olympics… it’s very hard to rock up and… I’d love the opportunity to try but I don’t think I’ll get the opportunity.

“Probably naively I thought I’m really going to go after this. If I’m not good enough I can accept that. It’s grand. You don’t always get what you want in life.”

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