Track World Championships: Olympics failure haunts Irvine

By Nigel RinglandBBC Sport NI
Martyn Irvine hopes to end his injury-plagued season on a high at the World Track Championships in Paris.
Track World Championships on the BBC
Dates: 18-22 February
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Northern Ireland's Martyn Irvine goes into the Track World Championships desperate to bolster his chances of getting to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The Newtownards man is desperate to make amends for falling short at the London Games in 2012.

"I put on a horrible show and it still haunts me a bit so I want to bury that demon," said the 29-year-old former world champion.

"It is kind of the reason why I am doing this."

Irvine, 13th in the Olympics, has endured an injury-plagued season, during which he admits he felt like "throwing his bike in a hedge".

But he wants to end the season on a high in the men's omnium at the World Championships in Paris.

Irvine has made it to the championships despite breaking his collarbone at the first World Cup of the season in Mexico in November.

It forced him to miss the second event in London but he was able to pick up a few points at the third and final World Cup in Cali in January.

However, he is behind schedule in the race to make the Olympics and with the remaining qualifying events being the European Championships, three World Cups and next year's World Championships at the London Olympic Velodrome, a strong finish at the Velodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines would be welcome.

The omnium incorporates the individual pursuit, points and scratch races, a flying lap, 1km time trial and elimination race to find the best all-round cyclist.

Irvine won a bronze medal in the event at last year's European Championships in the Netherlands.

martyn irvine
Martyn Irvine is driven on by his London 2012 disappointment

Two years ago in Minsk, he became world champion in the scratch race and 12 months ago he took silver in the event.

He will ride the scratch once again in Paris on Thursday before embarking on the omnium on Friday.

Irvine says he would be satisfied with a top-10 placing in France and that his ultimate goal is success at Olympics level.

"There are big events like the World and European Championships which are right up at the top of the tree," added Irvine.

"They are the biggest races I have to do, bar the Olympics, and they are every year.

"I have proved winning a world championship title does not change my lifestyle.

"But an Olympic medal could do that, and that is what I am striving towards, just to be noted a bit more."

BBC TV coverage

Wed 18 Feb: 18:00-21:05 GMT (Red Button) and 19:00-20:00 (BBC Two)

Thu 19 Feb: 18:00-21:25 (Red Button) and 19:00-20:00 (BBC Two, BBC Two Scotland and BBC Two Northern Ireland but not BBC Two Wales)

Fri 20 Feb: 18:00-21:25 (Red Button)

Sat 21 Feb: 18:00-21:10 (Red Button)

Sun 22 Feb: 13:00-17:00 (BBC Two)

BBC 5 live sports extra coverage

18-21 Feb: 18:00-21:15/21:30

22 Feb: 13:00-16:15

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