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Lucy Benezet Minns, the Irish junior road race and TT champion, has made a big impression at the Ghent International Track Meeting in Belgium (Photo with thanks to Nancy Goossens)

Lara Gillespie and junior rider Lucy Benezet Minns have scored podium results for Team Ireland at the Ghent International Track Meeting in Belgium; part of Ireland’s build-up to some much bigger fixtures to come.

Gillespie, now a road World Tour rider with UAE ADQ and preparing for the track races at the Olympics, was 3rd in the omnium. She shared the podium with winner Lotte Kopecky (Belgium), the world road race champion – and elimination and points race world champion.

Ally Wollaston (New Zealand) was 2nd in the omnium and she is a former world junior champion on the track, who also claimed team pursuit silver in the elite Worlds in Glasgow last year.

In the junior omnium in Ghent on Sunday, Irish junior TT and road race champion, Benezet Minns, was 2nd – a brilliant result – behind Germany’s Messane Bräutigam, with another of the Germans, Judith Friederike Rottmann, taking 3rd place.

Benezet Minns began her campaign in the four-race omnium in the best possible way by winning the scratch race, from 17 starters. Fellow Irish riders Mya Doocey and Rhiannon Dolan were 8th and 17th.

In the tempo race, Benezet Minns was 5th with Doocey and Dolan 15th and 16th. In the elimination race, Benezet Minns, Doocey and Dolan were 11th, 13th and 17th respectively. And in the points race, the last of the four events, Benezet Minns was one of just two riders to gain a lap, and 20 points for that, as well as taking four sprints points.

In the end, Bräutigam ran out the winner overall with 146 points while Benezet Minns was 2nd on 116 points and Rottmann was 3rd on 106 points. Doocey did not start the points race while Dolan finished 15th overall.

In the senior women’s omnium on Saturday, Gillespie was 8th in the points race, with compatriot Erin Creighton 17th, of 23 starters. In the tempo race, Gillespie was 3rd, with Creighton 20th while in the elimination race Gillespie was 7th and Creighton 16th.

In the final points race, Gillespie was one of five riders in the field to gain a lap, and 20 points, while she also scored 12 sprint points, the fourth highest sprint point tally in the field. Overall, Kopecky won on a total of 130 points, with Wollaston 2nd on 127 and Gillespie 3rd on 122 points. Creighton was 16th overall on 20 points.

On Friday, the opening day of the three-day meeting, Creighton rode the scratch race and placed 14th while she was also 17th in the points race on the same day. In the junior men’s points race, Ireland’s Philip O’Connor, Max Fitzgerald and Luca Holmes were 4th, 5th and 6th.

Also on Friday, Seth Dunwoody took on the junior men’s omnium and was 15th – of a 24-rider field – in the scratch race. He then went on to place 10th in the tempo race, 19th in the elimination race and 3rd in the points race, where his tally included a lap gain.

Dunwoody ended the omnium 14th overall on 66 points. It was won by Davide Stella (Italy) on 123 points from Nolan Huysmans (Belgium), on 111 points, and Matijs Van Strijthem (Belgium), who scored 108 points.

On Saturday, Doocey and Dolan teamed up in the junior madison – a fantastic opportunity to get their eye on, and generally work on their race craft, in an international setting – and finished in 7th place. Ireland’s Holmes and O’Connor rode the junior men’s madison on the same day, placing 14th.

On the final day of the meeting on Sunday, Lara Gillespie and Alice Sharpe teamed up for the elite women’s madison, finishing in 4th place.

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