Conn McDunphy will wear the coveted national champion’s jersey after taking gold at the Senior Men’s Time Trial National Championships by just two seconds.
Irish cycling stalwart Eve McCrystal, of Strata 3/VeloRevolution Racing Team, took gold in the Senior Women’s event with a dominant 21 second lead over Kelly Murphy, with Eileen Burns of Ballymena Road Club finishing with 30’29’’.
But the story of the day was the continued 2020 trend of young riders beating their more established and experienced opponents. McDunphy’s victory could well be seen in the future as the handing of the Irish cycling elite mantel from the older generation to future stars.
Sunweb’s Nicholas Roche, a former National TT Champion, was favourite to take the title but he suffered bad luck shortly before the start with a mechanical forcing him to change his rear disc wheel to a less than aero training wheel just minutes before the start.
McDunphy who races in France with CC Nogent/Oise blasted home in a time of 26’29’’, Roche came home with 26’31’’ and Lindsay Watson of Powerhouse Sport securing the bronze with 26’51’’.
Ben Healy, of Trinity Racing, has been showing great form since the season restarted and it was no different in his race for the gold in the Men’s U23 category.
In fact Healy set the day’s fastest time out of all categories on the Knockaderry, Co Limerick course with a blistering 25’55” time, which bettered his closest rival Kevin McCambridge of Wiggle Weldtite Pro Cycling, who finished with 26’23’’, U23 bronze went to Mitchell McLaughlin of Zappi Racing team who recorded a time of 27’29’’.
Speaking following the medal ceremony Conn McDunphy said: “I’m in shock to be honest, to be one of Ireland’s best ever cyclists is never an easy feat. Nico has won so many things so I am just so happy with the ride.
“I felt I was on a good day. I wasn’t sure what to expect initially when I came home from France and was on quarantine for 14 days. I haven’t raced in 20 days but when I was warming up on the road I felt good and I got five kilometres in and, I know this sounds cheesy, but I just smiled because I knew I was a good day.
“On the way back it was really hard and I suffered a lot but I managed to get it all out.”
McDunphy said he has spent much time training on his time trial set up in recent weeks and it paid off.
He added: “I think changing to my new coach Tommy Evans has been one of the best, decisions I made. My training compared to lots of other people is actually really easy but it works. Doing simple things right.
“I had the power on the screen but I was just looking at speed. On the way back I knew I needed to keep the power over 450 watts in the last kilometre as it was up hill. It worked as I did my best ever power.
“I am riding the Road race on Saturday and then back out to France to ride the last two races there then the season is over.”
For Eve McCrystal her victory was a realisation of a long-term goal to be National Champion.
She said: “I think I am still in shock. I wanted this for years, to get it eventually I am happy now.
“I controlled the first half very well, and I just had to give it everything I had, I felt really good today.
“I had no feedback with splits, but it was great to have Kelly Murphy here this year and Eileen Burns to race against, they are really class competitors. I knew it was going to be close, just going on previous races, and I think that just spurs you on during the day as you know you could lose or win by just a second.
“I will just try and relax ahead of the road race as much as I can. I am really looking forward to it, and I feel a lot less pressure going into it after getting the medal. My goal for the Nationals was to try and medal at the TT and the road race would be something extra. I enjoy a road race so I am looking forward to it.”
Ben Healy also spoke of his delight with victory in the Under 23 category and the fastest split overall.
He said: “It is a pretty good feeling especially with the limited calendar this year. I’m delighted with the fastest time of the day. I am looking forward to Saturday’s road race and I am here to win hopefully.”
For full results please visit the Cycling Ireland website.
Cycling Ireland National Time Trial Championships, Knockaderry, Co Limerick
- Con McDunphy (CC Nogent/Oise) 26’29’’.
- Nicholas Roche (Team Sunweb) 26’31’’.
- Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport) 26’51’’.
- Marcus Christie (PerformanceSBR) 26’56’’.
- Rory Townsend (Canyon DHB p/b Soreen) 27’07
- Bryan McCrystal (Bellurgan Wheelers) 27’15’’.
- Sean Mullen (Unattached/Leinster) 27’16’’.
- Paul Kennedy (Spellman-Dublin Port) 27’16’’.
- Shane O’Connell (Blarney Cycling Club) 27’43’’.
- Conor Kissane (Killarney Cycling Club) 29’35’’.
- Ben Healy (Trinity Racing) 25’50.
- Kevin McCambridge (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) 26’23’’.
- Mitchell McLaughlin (Zappi Racing Team) 27’29’’.
- Eve McCrystal (Strata3/VeloRevolution Racing Team) 29’01’’.
- Kelly Murphy (Storey Racing) 29’22’’.
- Eileen Burns (Ballymena Road Club) 30’49’’.
- Mia Griffin (ILLI Bikes Cycling Team) 30’47’’.
- Hilary Hughes (Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club) 31’10’’.
- Jane Wilkinson (Bann Wheelers CC) 34’03’’.
- Ciara Havern (Newry Wheelers CC) 34’17’’.
- Emily Anne Doyle (Naas Cycling Club ) 36’43’’.
- Darren Rafferty (Island Wheelers) 28’22’’
- Matthew Devins (Team Fundacion Lintxu) 29’12’’.
- Tom Moriarty (O’Leary Stone Kanturk) 29’51’’.
- Caoimhe May (Quanta Scott Orwell Wheelers CC) 33’10’’.
- Eva Brennan (Deeside Wheelers) 34’04’’.
- Lucy O’Donnell (Velo Performance) 34’15’’.
- Damien Vereker and Marcin Mizgajski (Comeragh CC/Rossbury Racing) 27’14.
- Leo Hynes and Stephen Teeling Lynch (Tuam Cycling Club/Club Rothaiochta Na Sionainne) 30’04’’.
- Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne (Black Line) 33’51’’.
Paracycling C1-C5 Solo
- Ronan Grimes (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) 17’37’’
- Richael Timothy (Castlerea Cycling Club) 18’32’’.
- Scott Drummond (Cork County CC) 18’45’’.
- Gary o’Reilly ( Laois CC) 19’66’’.
- Declan Slevin (Rosemount Cycling Club) 20’34’’.
- Mary Millar (Velo Café Magasin) 21’55).