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The team pursuit is the centre of the universe for this Irish team as it’s the ticket to the Olympic Games. These riders have already done a lot of hard yarns and put themselves in a great position (Photo: Drew Kaplan)

The five-rider Irish track team faces a busy schedule of racing at the European Track Championships in the Netherlands this week, with a total of nine race outings in five days.

The all-important team pursuit effort will see all five riders get their chance as the line-up is being changed between qualifying and ’round one’, both of which take place in Apeldoorn tomorrow, Wednesday.

If the team pursuiters qualify for the Olympics, and that now looks like a very solid possibility, that would also secure berths in the omnium and madison at the Paris Games for the Irish.

The selections for those other endurance events at the Europeans in coming days perhaps offer some insight into which riders will be picked for those events at the summer Games.

Lara Gillespie, Alice Sharpe and Kelly Murphy will ride both team pursuit qualifying and ’round one’, with Erin Creighton competing the line-up in qualifying and Mia Griffin replacing the teenager for ’round one’.

Gillespie and Sharpe will team up for the madison, a race they took 12th in at the Worlds last year despite both crashing, and which Ireland will likely ride at the Olympics.

Gillespie is also set to compete in the omnium on Friday at the Europeans. She goes into the four-race event having taken 9th in the Worlds last August, as reigning U23 European champion and in the knowledge an Olympic start is very likely up for grabs.

Griffin is also set to compete in the scratch and elimination races at these Europeans while Gillespie will take on the points race. Creighton and Murphy are both scheduled to ride the individual pursuit on Sunday, the final day of action.

Team Ireland Schedule | Euros 2024

January 10th

  • Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying – Erin Creighton, Lara Gillespie, Alice Sharpe, Kelly Murphy
  • Women’s Team Pursuit Round One – Mia Griffin, Lara Gillespie, Alice Sharpe, Kelly Murphy

January 11th

  • Women’s Scratch Race – Mia Griffin

January 12th

  • Women’s Omnium – Lara Gillespie

January 13th

  • Women’s Elimination Race – Mia Griffin
  • Women’s Points Race – Lara Gillespie

January 14th

  • Women’s Madison Race – Lara Gillespie & Alice Sharpe
  • Women’s Individual Pursuit – Kelly Murphy, Erin Creighton

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