One of the nominees is professional cyclist Martyn Irvine who has had a roller-coaster year. In February he won the Scratch World title at the UCI World Track Championships in Minsk, only an hour after winning a silver medal in the individual pursuit discipline. A huge achievement and highlight in his career, making him the first Irish male rider to win a World Championship in 117 years.
This turned into an uncompromising race:
‘I rode smart for the first half of the race. I didn’t want to race too much, but then I started to use my head’
‘I looked around and other guys were grimacing more than me. I rolled off the front and got in the groove. It was a all or nothing’
From this point it seemed as though anything was possible, but a month after winning the Scratch World title he fractured his femur during the Tour of Taiwan. But like Patrick Sarsfield and The Wild Geese, Irvine was bolstered by this would be tragedy. Just seven months later, Irvine cycled and won the men’s points race at the Cycling World Cup in Manchester, UK.
‘I must have done something right in the rehab, looks like i need to break a leg to get good results!’, Irvine exclaimed after winning, maintaining the ‘can do’ attitude of The Wild Geese.
It’s good to see both Irvine’s achievements and determination rewarded with a recognition at this year’s Sports Personality of The Year. See the full list of nominees here: http://www.rte.ie/sport/darts/2013/1129/489989-rte-sports-awards/