Red Hand Tropthy winner is World Champion.

25 February 2013
Newtownards cyclist Martyn Irvine had local cycling enthusiasts on the edge of their seats as they watched history unfolding at the Minsk velodrome last Friday afternoon.Irvine had won a silver medal in the World Championship individual 4000 metres pursuit less than an hour before lining up, in a twenty-three rider field, for the 15 kilometre (60 laps) "scratch raceĒ and no one would have dared to imagine what was to happen next, as they witnessed the proceedings on live television.As the race progressed Irvine was included in an eleven rider leading group and then, with ten laps, 2500 metres, to go he attacked on his own in a bid for glory. With three laps to go, Austrian rider, Andreas Mueller, jumped across to Irvine and drew alongside as he challenged for the win. However, Irvine resisted the challenge and dug in to cross the line in first place. Luke Davison from Australia took the Bronze Medal. Irvineís winning time for the 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) event was 17 minutes 23 seconds, an average speed of 51.748 kph.This was an historical day for Irish Cycling, as this was the first World Title won on the Track in the modern era, a monumental moment for the country that has no indoor Velodrome. Irvine does his track training on the velodrome in Palma, Majorca where he is based during the track season.Earlier in the day the 4000 metres Pursuit final saw Michael Hepburn of Australia lead from the start, with Irvine just marginally out powered.The last Irish track world champion was Harry Reynolds who won the one mile championship in Copenhagen in 1896. There is a tenuous like between Reynolds and Irvine through Ballymena Road Clubís historic Red Hand Trophy, which is dated 1896. Martyn Irvine won the Red Hand race in 2011 and it is believed that Reynolds may well have raced for the same trophy way back in the late 1890ís when riders travelled from all over Ireland to race on a cinder track within the Ballymena showgroundsAfterwards Irvine said "I canít believe I did that. I gave it everything in the individual pursuit and my legs felt absolutely hollow before the start of the scratch. I went with about 12 laps to go because I started to feel good but I could sense a shadow on my shoulder before the last two laps. I didnít know if I could hold off Andreas Mueller, the Austrian guy.Ē