Conor Dunne and Ryan Mullen were among 13 riders selected by Cycling Ireland for the upcoming UCI World Road Championships later this month in Virginia, USA.
An Post star Mullen, who will join WorldTour team, Cannondale-Garmin, next season will be first in action, lining out for the men’s Under 23 World Time Trial on Monday, the 21st of September. Mullen will hope to go one better this year after coming agonisingly close to claiming a gold medal at last year’s World Championships in Spain, losing out to Australia’s Campbell Flakemore by just 0.49 seconds.
After a highly impressive outing at the Tour of Britain, the World Championships can’t come soon enough for Dunne. The mighty 6’8” rider was a constant thorn in the sides of the WorldTour teams, attacking at every opportunity and setting a frightening pace, eventually finishing second in the sprints classification. Dunne will line out alongside former An Post star Sam Bennett for the final event of the week, the Men’s Elite Road Race, which comprises 16 challenging laps of a technical 16.1 kilometre course in Richmond.
An Post team manager Kurt Bogaerts is looking forward to seeing how Dunne and Mullen perform and feels Dunne is particularly deserved of his place on the team.
“It’s great to have Ryan and Conor on the team. We all know what Ryan can do and he’s shown time and time again that he is already riding at a world class level. Conor showed what he is capable at the Tour of Britain and I’m very happy he got the call up as he deserves it. He’s put a lot of hard work in lately and I think he’ll take great confidence from his recent performance.”
Meanwhile, the An Post Chain Reaction team will be in action in Belgian for the one-day race Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen (1.1), tomorrow (Friday 18th Sept).
The race itself will take place in Koolscamp in West Flanders and span a gruelling 192km, part of which will be tough terrain where the riders will have to navigate tricky inclines paved with the famous cobbles. Dunne will feature in the eight man team alongside fellow countryman Jack Wilson. Belgian trio Xandro Meurisse, Alexander Maes and Jens Vandenbogarde will join the pair along with Lithuanian road champion Aidis Kroupis and British rider, Alistair Slater. Meurisse, in particular, will be looking to keep his momentum going having put in some of the best rides of his career last week at the Tour of Britain.
“Xandro had his best ride of the season last week and I’m hoping he’ll be able to keep up his great form. He has been training extremely hard the past few weeks and we’re starting to see the fruits of his labour. Hopefully he has a good ride tomorrow and we’ll see him on the podium.”
The UCI World Championships commence on the 19th of September in Richmond, Virginia until the 27th of September.
An Post Team for Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, Belgium (1.1) – 18th September 2015
Conor Dunne (IRL)
Jack Wilson (IRL)
Xandro Meurisse (BEL)
Alexander Maes (BEL)
Aidis Kruopis (LTH)
Jens Vandenbogaerde (BEL)
Paulius Siskevicius (LTH)
Alistair Slater (GB)
Ireland Team competing in the UCI World Road Championships – Richmond, Virginia 9th – 27th September.