Chris Dawson And Ryan Henderson Named With Team Ireland For European Games
Two Team Ireland cyclists will be in action in Krakow next month for the European Games, with Ryan Henderson competing in BMX and Chris Dawson competing in Cross-Country Mountain Biking (MTB XCO). Both competitions double up as the European Championships and will have Olympic qualification places available.
The multi-sport European Games is run by the European Olympic Committees and will see approximately 7000 athletes from 48 countries take part in the event between 20 June and 2 July. The Olympic Federation of Ireland will be represented by approximately 120 athletes across seventeen sports.
Belfast BMX rider Ryan Henderson will be one of the first Irish athletes in action, competing in the BMX Freestyle event, which takes place in the Krzeszowice BMX Park just outside Krakow on the 21 – 22 June. Henderson impressed at last year’s European Championships when he became the first Irish athletes to compete in the event, finishing in tenth position. The winner of this competition will automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games next year.
Chris Dawson, also from Belfast, has enjoyed considerable success both offroad and in road cycling. He also represented Ireland in the UCI Cycling eSports World Championships earlier this year. Also a European Championship event, the European Games will offer valuable ranking points for Dawson on his Olympic journey. The Mountain Bike course is outside Krakow City, in Krynica-Zdroj Hill Park, and takes place on the 25 June.
Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Krakow 2023, Gavin Noble said,
“BMX and Mountain Biking are exciting additions to the European Games programme. Both Ryan and Chris have been impressive this season, and we are looking forward to supporting them in Krakow. These events are exciting to watch, with BMX sure to draw large crowds, while the Mountain Bike event doubles up as the UEC European Championships and so sure to have Europe’s very best in action from the UCI world cup circuit.”
High-Performance Director with Cycling Ireland, Iain Dyer, said:
"It’s great to see the off-road disciplines of MTB XCO and BMX freestyle come to the fore with the selection of Chris and Ryan to represent Ireland at the European Games. Both events will double up as the UEC European Championships too, so represent a real landmark in our racing calendar. I know both have worked hard to forge a path to these Games and we’ll be excited to watch their progress."
This is the latest team announcement for the European Games from Team Ireland, in the event that will see Irish athletes compete across seventeen sports. Already Team Ireland athletes have been named in Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Badminton, Triathlon, Fencing and Canoeing. More team announcements will follow over the coming weeks.
TEAM IRELAND CYCLISTS
Ryan Henderson (Belfast) BMX Men’s Freestyle
Chris Dawson (Belfast) Men’s Mountain Bike (Cross-Country)