A total of 10 riders have now been named by Cycling Ireland for the Under 23 teams for training assignments and international races over the upcoming months, and the teams for the European Track Championships and European Road Championships have now also been decided upon. The panel of 10 riders is a combination of under 23s who are permanently racing overseas and those that are currently based in Ireland. Possibly the rider with the most hectic schedule on the teams that have been named up to now is 18 year old Ryan Mullen, who features in the line up for both the separate Track Championships and the European Road Championships.
The two man team for the Under 23 European Track Championships (which will be held in Portugal from July 10th to 14th) pairs Ryan Mullen with Eoin Mullen, an emerging sprinter. Both athletes have exciting potential, with Mullen having been in full time training in Switzerland's UCI World Cycling Centre. Already he has competed at the elite World Track Championships and at some elite World Cup meetings as well as having smashed his own sprint personal best time this year. This opportunity to be part of the Irish team will allow him to measure his skills against the other top performing European Under 23 contenders. While Eoin Mullen competes in the Euro sprint events and leads the Irish Team, Ryan Mullen will be participating in endurance events, having already gained a silver medal at last year's Junior European TT Championships and having come 9th in last September's Junior Road Worlds TT race. This is his initial year of elite professional racing and, although he has spent it practising his road racing, his excellent performance in the British 25 mile TT championship has proved that his testing has not been neglected. This year, his trip to Portugal will be primarily to gain further elite level track experience.
July 18th to 21st will see the start of the Under 23s European Road Championships in the Czech Republic, and Conor Dunne, currently based in Belgium with VL Technics-Abutriek, will lead the Irish team after having won the first stage of the recent An Post Ras to take the 1st yellow jersey. Despite having fractured his elbow during a crash at a later stage of that race, the latest news is that he will be fit and well in time to compete in the Euros where he will ride the TT together with Ryan Mullen. Cycling Ireland has high hopes that these two promising contenders will both be placed in the top ten ranking of the competition. In the road race, the pair will then be joined by Jack Wilson and another rider who is yet to be confirmed. Jack Wilson will be competing for the second time in the Under 23s category in this competition and is quite an experienced rider already, having competed in last year's U23 World Championships and become part of the An Post-Chainreaction team in Belgium.
Although the Irish teams for the Euro track and road events have now been released, the Under 23 World Road Championship team to compete in September in Florence won't be named until the middle of August. However a panel of 10 riders have been named by Cycling Ireland to travel to the Continent for 4 weeks in July and August as part of the national set up to compete in Belgium in both road and track racing, and training.
The full line up for all of the Continental assignments released so far is as follows:
Ireland's Under 23 Panel – July/August in Belgium
Conor Dunne (VL Technics-Abutriek)
Cormac Clarke (Newry Wheelers)
Conor McIlwaine (Errigal CC)
Eoin McCarthy (Terra Footwear)
Daniel Stewart (Antrim East Audi)
Jack Wilson (An Post-Chainreaction)
Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT)
Stephen Clancy (Novo Nordisk)
Ryan Mullen (IG Sigma Sport)
Javin Nulty (DID Dunboyne)
Ireland's Team for the European Road Race Championships - 18th to 21st July Czech Republic
Another rider – will be named after National RR
Irish Team for the European Track Championships - 10th to 14th July in Portugal
Ryan Mullen – Endurance events
Eoin Mullen – Sprint events