By Shane Stokes
Following a strong showing in the Revolution track meet held a fortnight ago in Manchester velodrome, Olympic hopeful David O'Loughlin has confirmed that he expects to take part in the next edition of the competition.
The Mayo rider is the current Irish road race champion but, on the basis of some encouraging performances in the past year, has decided to change his focus and target qualification for the Beijing track races.
He and several other Olympic hopefuls recently had a significant boost when a new UCI-registered track and road team was launched. Backed by the Galway-based Pezula company, the team includes O'Loughlin, former Navigators Insurance team-mate Ciarán Power, Paul Healion, Eugene Moriarty, Martin Irvine, Ryan Connor, William Connolly, Morgan Fox and Louise Moriarty.
It is expected that these riders will form a significant part of Cycling Ireland's ongoing push to develop a strong international track presence.
The Pezula racing team had a good first outing on October 20th at the 17th Revolution track meet. O'Loughlin finished second in the 15 kilometre scratch race for elite men, crossing the line just behind former world points race champion Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk). He was also seventh in the 10 km points race, with Healion fifth in both that and the 28 lap motor-paced scratch event. Martyn Irvine was eighth in the latter.
The next Revolution meet will take place in Manchester on November 17. O'Loughlin and other Irish riders will be there. The next targets for the Mayo rider will then be the track World Cups in Beijing (December 7 - 9), Los Angeles (January 18 - 20) and Ballerup in Denmark (February 15 - 17).