Euro Silver for Mitchell

Last week saw a small contingent of Irish riders compete in the European Masters Track Championship in Newport Wales. The timing of the event for some was not ideal coming just days after an exhausting weekend racing (for our female riders) at the Senior Nationals, but the prospect of getting some much needed time on the boards with a month to go to the World Masters was a prospect that had to be taken advantage of. The week started with Susie Mitchell competing in the Standing Start 500m TT and although posted a personal best, finished just outside the medals in 4th .

Reduced entry levels compared to the world event meant that some age categories were combined which placed the legend that is Janet Birkmyre into the mix for our female riders to contend with. In the 3k pursuit Mitchell was drawn against the 18 times World Champion Birkmyre in the qualifying round and made the Gold/Silver ride off (2.36.922) with a time close to her winning time from the Worlds last year. She finished one second behind Birkmyre who lead from the start, but with this her first ride on the boards this year and first outing over this distance, all bodes well for the defence of her title in October. In the final Mitchell took the race to her GB opponent with a more aggressive start and was ahead for 4 of the six laps, however Birkmyre made her experience count and came with a late rush and posted a lifetime best to take the title. With speed work to come over next few weeks and having knocked another second off (2.35.920) in the final Mitchell was quite pleased with her performance and of course the Silver medal.

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