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Next year is an Olympic season, with fierce competition to get to the Games, including within the Irish camp as there are few places and several contenders (Photo: SWPix)

The dust hasn’t long settled on the 2023 season but already planning is in full swing for next year, including national team selection for road and track.

With 2024 an Olympic year, the best Irish riders still have to secure qualification for the velodrome at the Paris Games. And our top road riders will be competing against each other to be selected for the road race and TT berths.

The first big selection of the year will be the European Track Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, from January 10th to 14th. And Cycling Ireland has thrown up the selection process for those championships, also setting out the selection criteria.

Candidate athletes have until 5pm on Thursday, November 30th, to submit their expressions of interest for the Europeans. They must be submitted to [email protected].

“Apeldoorn is a huge venue, and an enthusiastic crowd always provides an enjoyable atmosphere for the riders,” said Cycling Ireland high performance director Iain Dyer.

“We’ve had a good season in 2023 building towards Olympic qualification with the women’s endurance squad and this European Championships is part of the final run in, so we are looking to maintain that momentum during the remaining events. We are now very much focused on using our remaining events to hone our performances ahead of Paris.”

Cycling Ireland said its high performance unit “consider the European Track Championships to be an important stepping stone” in the Olympic qualification process.

“As such selection will be guided by those aims. Selection for non-Olympic disciplines will come from the squad selection for Olympic disciplines, and not selected for discretely in their own right,” it added.

The criteria are more general than being required to meet specific performance standards, or times, for events, though in the sections riders are asked to complete, there is room for such details. Riders are asked to set out their world ranking, where applicable, their results and other aspects of their performance, including their contribution to a team.

“Be thorough completing information, such as event name, date, finish position,” Cycling Ireland said in its notes to riders. “This does not need to be an exhaustive list of all of your races or events. There should be no need to add more than 7-8 of your most significant results.

“Please note that depending on the discipline, your performances may not necessarily be reflected in your results you submit. We understand the complexities of team roles in an event like team pursuit for example, so consider how you might use the next column to convey the nature of your performances, versus your results.”

You can read the criteria by following this link and the guidance notes here. The expression of interest form can be found here.

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