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Healy Stars on Day Three of World Road Championships in Innsbruck


Ben Healy produced a fine performance to finish 13th in the Men’s Junior Time Trial at the World Road Championships in Wattens near Innsbruck today.

Healy, the reigning Irish Junior Time Trial champion, was second of the four Irish riders in competition on the day and showed his developing class as he put 58 riders behind him in recording a time of 36m04.28s, some 2m49.04s behind race winner Remco Evenepoel of Belgium.

Racing his first world championships, Healy rode consistently throughout the 27.7km hilly course to record 14th fastest time at the intermediate split at 18.1km and he carried that momentum through to set 14th fastest time at the finish line.

Healy was promoted one spot to 13th after a time penalty was imposed on another rider, ending the day just 16.19s from the top ten finish he had targeted.

“Yeah, it was pretty good, really,” he said afterwards. “I wanted to break into the top ten so I’m a bit disappointed with the result but I left it all out on the course.

“It started out fairly flat and the second half was more rolling. It’s a pretty technical course, fast and with a headwind today. I really liked the course. It was one that suited me today.

“I’ve been focused on this for a pretty long time and the form was pretty good coming into it. I’ve been training hard for the past six weeks I’ve really been knuckling down and getting everything perfect up to this. The form was actually really good.

“It being more hilly in the second half I thought, I’ve got to get aero for the first half, pace my effort, control my effort not take it easy but just not full gas and then give it everything on the hills.

“Obviously being on junior gears, it was a case of rest up as much as you can on the downhill and maintain momentum.”

Meanwhile Aaron Doherty was 46th of the 71 riders in a time of 37m54.07s. The Mayo native, riding in his first world championships, felt he had got the most out of a difficult day.

“I had hoped to do a little better but it’s my first world championships so I was happy just get the experience,” said Doherty.

“I just sort of knew after the first few minutes that I didn’t really have the best legs but I also knew I had to make the most of it then and try to get out as much from myself even if I wasn’t going great.

“Especially with the way the wind changed from yesterday. Today it was a headwind and I found getting over the top of the hills was the hardest part, trying to keep the speed up over the top and then you’re spun out on the descent on the junior gears.”

Later in the afternoon Kelly Murphy finished 33rd in the Women’s Elite Time Trial. The reigning Irish Time Trial champion recorded a time of 38m44.36s to finish the 27.7km test 4m19s adrift of double World Time Trial Champion Annamiek Van Vleuten of the Netherlands.

“The crowds were immense and the team and staff in Cycling Ireland do a really great job of making sure I was calm and collected. It was a fast course we’d recce-ed it a few times on open roads and you kind of know it’s going to be fast and laid it all out there and it was all over in the blink of an eye.

“It was a really wonderful experience. The weather was great the roads were smooth and fast and it was a strong headwind out and tailwind o the way back and it was just immense.

“It was quite flat to start out with so I started out pretty steady and I knew there was going to be a few sharp digs coming towards the middle and towards the end there was a massive descent so I planned to leave it all out there a lot earlier than you normally would for a TT. I wanted be empty with about 10km to because there was a long descent then.

“You can kind of recover and sort of go again. So the pacing strategy was a bit different and I was able to do that, thankfully, so I definitely left it all out there.

Earlier Eileen Burns had raced to 41st in the Women’s Elite Time Trial, within one place of her position in last year’s world championships. The Ballymena Road Club rider made the very most of another opportunity to race for Ireland at a major championship event.

“From recceing the course i was really looking forward to riding it but it was hard the climbs were hard and it really took a lot out of me to recover tom the climbs it took a lot out of me but I’m content with how I rode after a long season.

“I was very happy with how I got on in the Europeans in Glasgow but since then I feel that my form has dipped a little both physically and mentally so I wouldn’t say I was the best coming into it. However being selected to represent your country you come here and try to put everything out that you can on the day.

“If I was honest, I’m disappointed but I know that my form wasn’t the best coming into it but you do what you can on the day.

“It was maybe a little windier than I expected on the faster sections. It started off into a headwind which wasn’t expected and I think along the course it would have been slightly faster with a side tailwind but it was more a sidewind and it was hard to get the speed up on the fast sections that I maybe thought I would have.

“I gave it everything I could on the day. If I had the form I had in Glasgow I maybe would have gone better but from the condition I came here with I gave it what I could on the day and that’s all you can do.”

There are two Irish riders in competition tomorrow afternoon when Nicolas Roche and Ryan Mullen race for glory in the Men’s Elite Time Trial on a 52.5km course from Rattenberg to Innsbruck.

SCHEDULE (Irish Times):

Wednesday 26th September

1.10pm Elite Men’s TT

Nicolas Roche

Ryan Mullen

Thursday 27th September

8.10am Junior Women’s RR

Lara Gillespie

Maeve Gallagher

1.40pm Junior Men’s RR

Aaron Doherty

Ben Healy

Breandán Flannagan

Archie Ryan

Friday 28th September

11.10am U23 Men’s RR

Eddie Dunbar

Michael O’Loughlin

Matt Teggart

Daire Feeley

Darragh O'Mahony

Saturday 29th September

11.10am Elite Women’s RR

Alice Sharpe

Sunday 30th September

8.40am Elite Men’s RR

Dan Martin

Nico Roche

Conor Dunne

Ryan Mullen


Further Information:

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Official Website: https://www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com/en/

Cycling Ireland Website: www.cyclingireland.ie

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CI Twitter: @irecyclingfed

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