Sam Bennett to lead Irish Team at European Championships

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A team of 22 riders will represent Ireland at the UEC European Road Championships in Trento, Italy from 8th – 12th September. 

Sam Bennett will make his return to racing to lead the Irish team after injury forced him out of the 2021 Tour de France. The Carrick-on-Suir sprint specialist will be hoping to regain some of his early season form which saw him take seven victories before injury struck.

Bennett will be joined in the Elite Men’s Road Race by Ryan Mullen, Conn McDunphy and Matthew Taggart. Powerful time triallist, Ryan Mullen will be a key ally for Bennett at the European Championships and is set to join Bennett at BORA – Hansgrohe for the 2022 season.

Both Ryan Mullen and reigning Time Trial National Champion Conn McDunphy will ride the 22.4-kilometer Time Trial on Thursday, 9th September.

Megan Armitage and Ellen McDermott will represent Ireland in the Elite Women’s Road Race on Saturday, September 11th. Armitage has shown her class in recent weeks winning Emptinne GP Roland Warnon in Wallonie, outspringing five-time Belgian Champion Ann-Sophoe Duyck and finishing 2nd at Kermis Erwetegem. 2020 Road National Championship bronze medallist Ellen McDermott completes the Elite Women’s Team.

Ireland will send a large U23 and Junior contingent competing across both the Road Race and Time Trial. The U23 Men’s Road Race team comprises of Kevin McCambridge, Aaron Wade, Dillon Corkery, Adam Ward, Devin Shortt and Matthew Devins. Both McCambridge and Wade will also ride the Time Trial.

Caoimhe O’Brien, Darcey Harkness and Lucy O’Donnell are selected for the U23 Women’s Road Race while Aoife O’Brien will ride the Junior Women’s Road Race.

The Junior Men’s team includes Darren Rafferty, Conal Scully, Ronan O’Connor, Adam Gilsenan, Dean Harvey and Ruairí Byrne. Rafferty and Scully both go in the Junior Men’s Time Trial.

All the road races except for the Elite Men’s Road Race will be decided on a 13.2km circuit which starts and finishes in Piazza Duomo. The circuit has 250m of elevation gain and features the Povo climb, 3.6km of a climb at 4.7 per cent followed by a descent which brings the riders to Piazza Vicenza for the final 4km flat section to the finish line. 

The Elite Men’s Road Race will feature an opening 73km loop in the Valle dei Laghi which leads back to Piazza Duomo in Trento where the riders will complete 8 laps of the 13.2km circuit. 

The flat 22.4km Time Trial course features 90-degree curves, roundabouts and long straights. The course will begin at the MUSE, Trento Science Museum and will finish in Piazza Delle Donne Lavoratrici. 

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