Irish teams named for European under 23 and junior Championships plus Junior Tour of Ireland
Over a dozen of Ireland’s best young riders have been selected to compete at the European road race and track championships in Anadia, Portugal, this month.
The programme will begin with the time trials on Thursday July 7th.
The new Irish under 23 time trial champion Darren Rafferty (Hagens Berman Axeon) and silver medallist Kevin McCambridge (Trinity Racing) will represent Ireland in the Under 23 men’s TT that afternoon. It will be held over 22 kilometres. Earlier in the day, the new junior champion Conal Scully (Carlow RCC) and Liam O’Brien (Fermoy CC) will be the entrants in the junior men’s time trial, which will be held over the same distance.
Rafferty dominated the junior road race and time trial championships last season and this year has impressed in his first few months with the Hagens Berman Axeon squad. Having stepped up strongly to the under 23 level, he has helped teammates to several victories, including the recent Under 23 Giro d’Italia, and took a huge win himself on May 28th when he won the Strade Bianche di Romagna.
McCambridge had his own taste of success in taking the final stage of the Rás Tailteann nearly two weeks ago.
Rafferty and McCambridge were fifth and ninth last Sunday in the senior men’s event at the Irish road race championships. They were second and fourth respectively in the Under 23 contest.
Racing will continue for the Irish team on Saturday morning July 9th, when the first two riders in the junior national road race championships, Erin Creighton (McConvey Cycles) and Aoife O’Brien (Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar), will represent the country in the four lap 83.1 kilometre junior women’s race race.
Six Irish riders will line out in the junior men’s road race that afternoon, taking on some of Europe’s top young riders over six laps/125.9 kilometres.
That lineup will include Scully and O’Brien, as well as the Irish junior championship silver medallist Niall McLoughlin (Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club) and bronze medallist Patrick O’Loughlin (Panduit Carrick Wheelers). Adam Gilsenan (Club Ciclistico Canturino) and Sam Bolger (Killarney Cycling Club) will complete the lineup.
The following day’s under 23 women’s road race will feature Caoimhe O’Brien (Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar) as the sole Irish entrant. She narrowly missed out on a bronze medal at last Sunday’s senior women’s road race championships, finishing fractionally behind Fiona Mangan (IBCT) right at the line.
O’Brien will line out in the five lap, 104.5 kilometre road race in the morning, while six Irish riders will contest the Under 23 road race that afternoon.
Rafferty and McCambridge will double up from the time trial, and will be joined by the gold and bronze medallists from last Sunday’s Under 23 championships, Dean Harvey (Spellman-Dublin Port) and Archie Ryan (Jumbo-Visma Development Team). The squad will be completed by Rás Tailteann stage three winner Adam Ward (Team SmartDry Girona Cycling Club) and stage four runner-up Odhran Doogan (Team Caldwell Cycles).
That race will be fought out over seven laps for a total of 147.3 kilometres.
Track moves into focus:
Four of those riders will stay on in Anadia for the European under 23 and junior track championships, which run from July 14th to 19th. The juniors Aoife O’Brien, Erin Creighton, Patrick O’Loughlin and Niall McLoughlin will be joined by the highly successful Europeans campaigner Lara Gillespie (UCD Cycling Club).
Under 23 rider Gillespie’s past results include six European championships medals, beginning with gold in the junior points race and silver in the junior pursuit in 2018, silver medals in the junior points race, scratch race and individual pursuit the following year and then under 23 silver in the individual pursuit in 2021.
Each of those riders have been pre-entered for five events, namely the elimination race, the individual pursuit, Omnium, the points race and the scratch race. The final race participations for each will be determined closer to the events.
Cycling Ireland’s High Performance Director Iain Dyer said that the campaign will be a very important one for the Irish squad.
“I’d like to offer my congratulations to everyone that was selected for the Junior and U23 Road and Track Championships in Anadia. Being packaged up as back to back events by the UEC means this is our largest challenge of year in terms of team sizes and logistics, but it’s a great opportunity for our young aspiring riders to show what they can do on the bigger stage. I’m looking forward to see how we perform.”
Junior Tour of Ireland lineup revealed:
Meanwhile the national team lineup for this month’s Eurocycles Eurobaby Junior Tour of Ireland has been announced.
New national road race champion Oisin Ferrity (Island Wheelers) will be one of the five riders, along with national time trial championship silver medallist Quillan Donnelly (Usher Irish Road Club), plus the above-mentioned Liam O’Brien, Conal Scully and Adam Gilsenan.
The Eurocycles Eurobaby Junior Tour of Ireland runs from July 12th to 17th. It will be based in Clare, with stage finishes in Barefield, Corrifin, Kilkee, Barefield and Ballyvaughan.
Europeans under 23 and junior road championships, Anadia, Portugal:
Thursday, 7th July
11-12.30 – Junior Men’s Individual Time Trial (22km): Conal Scully (Carlow RCC), Liam O’Brien (Fermoy Cycling Club)
16-17.25 – U23 Men’s Individual Time Trial (22km): Darren Rafferty (Hagens Berman Axeon), Kevin McCambridge (Trinity Racing)
Saturday, 9th July
10-12.30 - Junior Women’s Road Race (83,1km – 4 laps): Aoife O’Brien (Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar), Erin Creighton (McConvey Cycles)
14 – 17.10 - Junior Men’s Road Race (125,9km – 6 laps): Adam Gilsenan (Club Ciclistico Canturino), Sam Bolger (Killarney Cycling Club), Patrick O’Loughlin (Panduit Carrick Wheelers), Niall McLoughlin (Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club), Conal Scully (Carlow RCC), Liam O’Brien (Fermoy Cycling Club)
Sunday, 10 July
10-12.50 - U23 Women’s Road Race (104,5km – 5 laps): Caoimhe O’Brien (Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar)
14-17.30 - U23 Men’s Road Race (147,3km – 7 laps): Archie Ryan (Jumbo-Visma Development Team), Dean Harvey (Spellman-Dublin Port), Adam Ward (Team SmartDry Girona Cycling City), Odhran Dooggan (Team Caldwell Cycles), Darren Rafferty (Hagens Berman Axeon), Kevin McCambridge (Trinity Racing)
European under 23 and junior track championships, 14th – 19th July, Anadia, Portugal:
Aoife O’ Brien (Torelli-Assure-Cayman Islands-Scimitar), Erin Creighton (McConvey Cycles), Lara Gillespie (UCD Cycling Club), Patrick O’Loughlin (Panduit Carrick Wheelers), Niall McLoughlin (Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club)
All registered for: Elimination race, individual pursuit, Omnium, points race and scratch race.
Thursday, 14th July
- WU23 Individual Pursuit
- WJ Scratch Race
- MJ Scratch Race
Friday, 15th July
- WU23 Scratch Race
- WJ Elimination Race
- MJ Elimination Race
Saturday, 16th July
- MJ Individual Pursuit
- WJ Individual Pursuit
Sunday, 17th July
- WJ Omnium
- MJ Omnium
- WU23 Points Race
Monday, 18th July
- WU23 Omnium
- WJ Points Race
- MJ Points Race
Eurocycles/Eurobaby Junior Tour of Ireland Irish national team selection:
Oisin Ferrity (Island Wheelers), Quillan Donnelly (Usher Irish Road Club), Adam Gilsenan (Club Ciclistico Canturino), Conal Scully (Carlow RCC) and Liam O’Brien (Fermoy Cycling Club)