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Dunne Unveils New Irish National Champions Jersey

23/07/2018

GALLERY: Dunne unveils new Irish national champion’s jersey

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Newly-crowned Irish National Road Race Champion Conor Dunne has revealed his special edition team jersey for the next 12 months.

Dunne, who soloed to victory in the Elite Men’s competition held in Coolaney, Sligo on July 1, will wear the jersey and matching kit in competition and training for the remainder of 2018 and the first half of 2019, honouring the entitlement of a national cycling champion.

Designed by Aqua Blue Sport in collaboration with Cycling Ireland, the sport’s governing body in this country, the jersey has been manufactured by team kit partners Vermarc Sport of Belgium. It features a striking white base with a green band across the chest and back augmented by subtle shamrock detail, with the iconic gold chevron of Aqua Blue Sport still in situ. On the sleeves, the jersey features a green, white and gold tricolour band in a double nod to the Irish national flag and to the Aqua Blue Sport team colours, a detail which is duplicated on the cuff of Dunne’s matching bib shorts. The Irish tricolour is also found – as it is on all Aqua Blue Sport jerseys – on the inside collar. On the rear of the jersey, Dunne’s name is emblazoned in green across the shoulders, in keeping with standard team edition kit.

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Dunne will also ride a special edition frame for the duration of his tenure as champion. Crafted by Alistair McLain of UK custom paint workshop Fat Creations, the frame features a shamrock flake, plus tricolour banding on the seatstays and inside the fork blades. Dunne has also added some personal touches – the initials ‘R.’D. and the dates ‘1958-2015’ on the seat tube pay tribute to his late uncle Roger, the man who Dunne credits as having introduced him to cycling, and himself a rider of repute in his day. Finally, a giraffe emoji behind the bottom bracket was a late request from the 6’8” (204cm) rider, and needs no explanation.

Frame details. Pictures: Karen M. Edwards.

Dunne will ride the jersey in competition for the first time at the one-day Grand Prix Cerami in Belgium on Thursday, July 26.

Speaking from home in Ireland where he is currently training on his favourite Co. Waterford roads, Dunne said he was honoured to wear the national colours on his shoulders.

“I’m absolutely loving the new jersey,” Dunne commented. “I’m going to be really proud to represent it and to show it off for the next year. It’s great to have the special touches and the changes which will make it stick out a bit! It’s really cool and I’m proud to wear it.”

With victory in the Irish National Championships a long-held goal for Dunne, he was understandably emotional in the immediate aftermath of his win. Now that the dust has settled, has it started to sink in?

“I’m just proud of myself for winning it,” he added. “I guess it will start to sink in a little more when I return to racing, and line up on the starting line in this special jersey. I’ve had so many nice message from people since winning the jersey, including lots who may have been alongside me at the start of my cycling journey but with whom I may have lost touch. That’s been amazing. It’s been nice to hear from everyone and to share the victory with everyone.

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

For now, his priority is a return to competition and a renewed focus on racing goals for the remainder of the season.

“It would obviously be super special to win in this jersey and I will be pushing myself that little bit harder to try to achieve that,” he said. “This period has been good for getting a little bit of continuity back in my training – getting out every day and getting quality work done.

“Now it’s time to push on for the remainder of the year and focus on getting some good performances. I want to represent this jersey and the Irish colours to the best of my ability and to do them proud. It’s an added boost for me to have this jersey on my back and I want to keep doing what I am doing – being aggressive in races.

“I want to be prominent – whether that be in the breakaway, helping my teammates or getting in the mix in the finale of a race and going for the win. That’s the plan for the rest of the year and I’ll be doing my best to focus on that.

“I’m really enjoying my cycling at the moment, relishing the role I have to play for this team and it’s a great time for me to be on my bike.”

The official Irish National Road Race Champion 2018/19 jersey is now available for pre-order from www.aquabluesport.com.


VIDEO:

GALLERY:

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Picture: Karen M. Edwards

Picture: Karen M. Edwards


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