Ireland’s Shannon McCurley has claimed a silver medal in the scratch race on the opening day of competition at the European Track Cycling Championships in the Netherlands.
The 10km 40-lap race was won by Emily Nelson of Great Britain, with Portugal’s Maria Martins rounding out the podium places.
Nelson briefly appeared to have done too much up front as the bell sounded for the final lap, but the reigning world madison champion had enough in reserve to repel the late thrusts of both McCurley and Martins, who closed all the way to the line.
Speaking after the race, a delighted McCurley said: “With seven laps to go, I was right at the back.
“I think I was hopeful that it was all going to go up and it did. I think with about three laps to go I spotted Emily shoot down the bottom, and I knew she had good legs, she was coming into this strong, and that was the wheel I wanted to be on.
“It’s been a long time coming. As you saw me at the end of the race, I was speechless.”
McCurley, who was born in Melbourne to Irish parents, became Ireland’s first female track cyclist to compete at an Olympic Games when she contested the keirin at Rio 2016.
Meanwhile, the Ireland team of Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe and Orla Walsh just missed out on qualifying for the knockout phase of the team pursuit after finishing ninth, with the eight fastest teams progressing.
A team of 14 Irish riders are completing in Apeldoorn, with the championships concluding on Sunday evening.