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Mechanicals Hamper O'Loughlin's Race at Worlds

Mechanicals Hamper O'Loughlin's Race at Worlds

Three mechanicals hampered Michael O’Loughlin’s World Championship race today, resulting in a 54th place finish in the Men’s U23 Time Trial at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships. The 37km ‘Race of Truth’ was won by Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg in a time of 47:06:48. Brandon McNulty (USA) was second a minute down, with France’s Corentin Ermenault winning the bronze medal in the championships which take place this week in Bergen, Norway.

Speaking after the race the disappointed twenty-year-old described a frustrating race in which his electronic gears stopped working during the race, saying – “My gears stopped working about 4km from the end of the first lap. I carried on for a few kilometres while the course was flat, but once I came out of the tunnel and the road started to rise, I had to get a bike change.”

The Team Wiggins rider kept calm throughout – “I just wanted everything to run smoothly, but there is nothing to do once something like that happens. Once I hit the rise, I was stuck in too big a gear, and it was time to change the bike. You just have to think about what to do next, how to solve it. Everyone in the support car was great, and they got me going really fast. I just wanted to finish as best as I could for them.”

That wasn’t the end of the trouble for O’Loughlin – “That wasn’t the end of my day! I had two more mechanicals. When I got back going I hit a few speed bumps 2km later, and my saddle dropped. I had to stop and raise my saddle – and then it happened again after that!”

This brought to end another successful year for the young Tipperary man – “The Worlds were one of my biggest goals. I fractured my collar bone on the second last day of the Tour de l’Avenir three weeks ago, and that put a spanner in the works. Luckily, a few days after that I was doing Watt Bike session, and within a week I was on the road. My goal switched from striving for a top ten to looking for my best performance – but I felt good when I was here. I felt fresh today, but unfortunately mechanicals can happen.”

O’Loughlin is just one of many young riders performing well on the world stage, and he believes that they motivate each other – “It’s definitely motivating having guys like (Ryan) Mullen and (Eddie) Dunbar going well – it raises everybody’s level.”

The Time Trials continue tomorrow morning, with Juniors Ben Walsh and Xeno Young competing in the morning over a 21.1km circuit, the same course that will be used by the Elite Women in the afternoon – with National Champion Eileen Burns flying the flag for Ireland.

The World Road Championships run from the 17-24 September, during which eighteen Irish riders compete across eight events.


Gold Mikkel Bjerg (DEN) 47:06.48

Silver Brandon McNulty (USA) +1:05.92

Bronze Corentin Ermenault (FRA) +1:16.65

54th Michael O’Loughlin (IRL) +7:21.25

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