Kingspan-Trackproject.ie duo Felix English and Fintan Ryan will be heading for Tokyo this month in pursuit of track cycling glory. Felix has been selected to compete for Ireland in the men’s Madison alongside Mark Downey, while Fintan will travel as reserve. Ireland’s representative for the Omnium will be announced during the course of the Games.
The Trackproject.ie team was founded in 2016 by Felix and Fintan to support Irish riders on the international circuit and give them the best chance of fulfilling their goal of Olympic qualification. Kingspan came on board as the team’s principal sponsor in 2017, the first year of the qualifying process for Tokyo.
Kingspan’s support enables the team to train to the highest standards and race at track cycling events crucial for Olympic qualification.
“There was no specific track cycling team in existence before we established the team,” said Felix. “We started small but Kingspan’s support has enabled us to race around Europe and pick up points. It’s fair to say that without Kingspan’s support we’d have been saying sayonara to Tokyo!”
With no indoor velodrome in Ireland, Felix and Fintan are based in Majorca for about half the year. Covid restrictions have disrupted preparations and the pair have not been able to participate in competitive races for months.
What are Felix’s ambitions for the Madison? “It’s so hard to call as none of us have raced for 18 months,” he says. “I don’t really want to set a target, but it would be great to make it into the top ten.”
Now that the Games have been given the green light, Felix can look forward to his first Olympic experience and racing in the 50 per cent capacity Olympic velodrome. “The thought of going to the biggest race of my life with no fans was really strange,” said Felix. “I’m so pleased there will be some spectators to create that special Olympic atmosphere.”
“We wish Felix and Fintan and the very best for Tokyo,” said Alan Lawlor, Managing Director of Kingspan Insulation. “We’ve been backing them for four years on the long path to Olympic qualification. We are so proud to have stood by them all the way and to help them recognise their dreams and potential.”