Fans Enjoy Thrilling Day Of Racing At UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Dublin
The UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup returned to the Sport Ireland Campus, Dublin, as fans enjoyed a fantastic day of racing on Sunday, November 26th.
Following an exciting programme of domestic support races on Saturday, November 25th, the best Cyclo-cross riders in the world tore up the purpose-built course.
The feature races of the day – the Women Elite and Men Elite – saw rainy conditions make for muddy conditions – the favoured terrain for the high-octane discipline.
Victories for Pim Ronhaar and former world champion Lucinda Brand capped an enjoyable day for all the family, with two dedicated fan zones as well as an array of catering trucks, a children’s skills zone and much more.
Brand dominated the race, showing her experience and consistency throughout. The victory marked the 50th Elite win for Brand, who has recently returned to international competition following an injury.
Completing the podium was Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado in second and Zoe Backstedt in third, also claiming the top place in the under 23’s and extending her lead in the World Cup standings.
In the Elite Men’s race, Pim Ronhaar, Laurens Sweek and Eli Isberyt treated fans to a titanic battle as rain gave way to a mud-fest. A rear wheel puncture slowed down Laurens Sweek, but he dug deep to move back up the leaderboard moving into the final lap.
It was a fight until the end with little separating the leading. Sweek moved into second, putting pressure on Ronhaar throughout the final lap, making his move to overtake and holding onto the lead, but it was not to be, as Ronhaar made final push to claim victory in the very last stages of the course.
17 riders represented Ireland in a busy day for the national team, with impressive results for many including an 11th for Dean Harvey in the U23 Men’s race, 18th for Conor Murphy in the Junior Men’s race and 20th for Aliyah Rafferty in the Junior Women’s race.
Minister for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD, commented:
"It was terrific to see the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup brought back to the Sport Ireland Campus. Throughout the weekend, cycling enthusiasts from across Ireland and the world enjoyed a thrilling display of racing in the men’s and women’s categories. Hosting another World Cup event is a moment of immense pride for Ireland, and I want to commend Cycling Ireland, Sport Ireland and my Department for securing the hosting of such a prestigious sporting event."
Speaking after today’s event, Sport Ireland CEO Dr Úna May commented:
"Today marked another great occasion for high-performance cycling at the Sport Ireland Campus. Following the success of last year's event, the introduction of the Junior and U23 World Cup categories to the schedule brought further excitement for this year’s event. We are proud to host another stage of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and build on our legacy of showcasing the best Cycling talent from around the world on the campus. I extend my gratitude to all the participants, staff, and stakeholders for their invaluable support and contribution towards today's Cyclo-cross event."
Cycling Ireland CEO James Quilligan commented:
“Cycling Ireland are incredibly proud to have played a part in the return of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup to the Sport Ireland Campus, Dublin, for the second consecutive year. Once again, the event has proven to be incredibly popular, attracting large crowds and providing an excellent family day out for all. It's great to see thousands of passionate cycling fans creating a brilliant atmosphere for some of the best riders in the world. The event's success is a huge credit to those involved in making it happen."
Full results are available here.