A tough day for Team Ireland in the Time Trials at the European Road Championships
Ryan Mullen and reigning Time Trial National Champion Conn McDunphy represented Ireland in the Elite Men’s Time Trial today at the UEC European Road Championships. It was a tough day for Team Ireland with headwinds impacting the riders.
McDunphy was first to race for Ireland taking to the start line for the 22.4 kilometre Time Trial in the Elite Men’s category. McDunphy crossed the line in a time of 27:11.55, averaging 49.43kph. Mullen went faster again, making it through the course in a time of 26:39.36, averaging 50.42kph to finish in 18th position.
The European Title was won by Stefan KÜng of Switzerland, who completed the course in a time of 24:29.85 averaging an impressive 54.86kph. Filippo Ganna of Italy claimed the silver medal clocking a time of 24:37.55 recording an average speed of 54.58kph. The bronze medal was won by Belgium rider Remco Evenepoel.
Speaking after the Time Trial, McDunphy said:
“It was hard. I started off a bit too optimistic and I was good until the turn and then I struggled a little bit. There was headwind out and I knew I had to push but I think I might’ve pushed it a bit too hard. I did have to get back on top of it but I think there was like two of three K there where I kind of lost time, but sure look you live and learn.”
Mullen and McDunphy will be joined on the Irish team by Sam Bennett and Matt Teggart for the 179.2 kilometre Road Race on Sunday. McDunphy has described the Road Race as “savage”. He added:
“The road race is going to be something else, very hilly, very hard so we’ll just have to play it by ear. It’s going to be more of an elimination really. Obviously with the top guys, best in the world are here so we’ll have to see, see what the team plan is and go from there.”
Commenting on his performance in the Time Trial, Mullen said:
“It definitely wasn’t one of my better performances today. Some days you have a good day and some days you have a bad day and today was an exceptionally bad day as it turns out. I just kind of blew up in the headwinds sections after about ten minutes and I couldn’t quite get back on top of the gear.”
Mullen aims to put today’s performance behind him and is looking forward to the Road Race.
“I’m looking forward to going into the road race. I should hopefully go a bit better than that coming off the block of racing I have been doing. But yah, I’m going to put today behind me and crack on to the road race,” he added.
Aaron Wade and Kevin McCambridge were also in action today for Ireland competing in the U23 Men’s category. Both riders put in a strong performance against a field of 49 riders. Kevin McCambridge went around the course in a time of 27:32.10 putting him in 26th position. Aaron Wade completed the course in a time of 28:46.08, placing 38th overall.
First up tomorrow morning, Friday 10th is the Junior Men’s Road Race where a team six riders will represent Ireland. Startng at 8am, the riders will complete eight laps of the 13.2 kilometre Trento circuit, totalling 107.2 kilometres. The Junior Men’s team includes Darren Rafferty, Conal Scully, Ronan O’Connor, Adam Gilsenan, Dean Harvey, Ruairí Byrne.
The Junior Women’s Road Race will commence at 12:50pm where sole Irish rider, Aoife O’Brien will compete over five laps, 67.6km. A team of three U23 riders will compete in the Women’s Road Race where they will face six laps of the Trento circuit starting at 3:30pm.