||Last Updated: 3 Feb 2022 - 10:07:03 AM
Media Release: 30/01/2022
Ireland’s Cyclocross Worlds Campaign draws to a close
By Ciara O’Shea, Cycling Ireland
30 Jan 2022,
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The final day of racing at the Cyclocross World Championships got underway today with the junior men's race. Ireland was represented in the junior men's race by Liam O'Brien and Travis Harkness.
Harkness and O'Brien got off to a great start and held their spots well while also moving up a few places in first few laps. Both riders kept fighting until the very end battling the tough heat conditions to ultimately finish 28th (O'Brien) and 31st (Harkness) after the six laps.
Jan Christen of Switzerland was crowned Junior CX World Champion beating Aaron Dockx of Belgium and Nathan Smith of Great Britain in the sprint for the line.
It has been an incredible experience for the two young riders and who gave it everything they had today. Both riders have gained invaluable experience competing at this level which will most definitely stand to them going forward.
Speaking after the race, O'Brien said:
"I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to represent Ireland at the Worlds. It was tough out there today with the heat, I gave it my best but the crowds and support we received today was amazing."
"Tough, fast race today. Brilliant atmosphere and crowds showing their support around the entire course."
Cyclocross Coordinator for the Cycling Ireland Off-Road Commission and Team Manager, Paul Birchall said:
"Our two first year juniors added immensely to the success of our Cyclocross Worlds campaign. Both of them have just ridden, competed and finished, 6000 kilometres from home with the fastest juniors in the world and we are so proud of them!"
Irish riders battle hard at Cyclocross World Championships
Media Release: 30/01/2022
Cheering crowds greeted the Irish riders at the Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The support the Irish riders received was incredible adding to the already electric atmosphere.
Sean Nolan and Dean Harvey were first to represent Ireland at the Championships in the U23 men's race. An unfortunate puncture early in the race set Dean Harvey back which meant he had to run half a lap, however the first-year U23 rider never gave up. Nolan (40) and Harvey (41) kept fighting until the end showing true heart and determination.
Speaking after the race, Dean Harvey said:
"I got a good start, I was second last row but I think I was 25th early on and then with the heat it was hard, with breathing I started dropping back a bit. I started to feel good again and then I got the puncture and had to run half a lap which wasn't great and that was pretty much it. I'm happy that I just kept going and made the most of it."
Sean Nolan commented:
"It was a slightly disappointing day overall for me but the atmosphere was brilliant, the crowd was very energetic and there was a lot of support for the Irish. At the start after about ten pedal strokes unfortunately my foot came out of the pedal and then early on the first lap I unchipped my chain so that put me on the back foot a little bit. I worked on trying to make up a few places after losing a lap and then the dry air unfortunately played havoc with my lungs and my asthma so I lost a few places again. It was a fantastic experience and I'm really happy to be here and honoured to represent my country."
The race was won by Belgian rider Joran Wyseure who launched an attack in the second lap and maintained a strong lead right to the finish. It was an all-Belgian podium as teammates Emiel Verstrynge and Thibau Nys came home in second and third place respectively.
Maria Larkin was next to race in the elite women's race. A race that saw Marianne Vos outsprint defending champion Lucinda Brand to claim an eighth Cyclocross World Championship title. Italian rider Silvia Persico rounded off the podium.
Speaking about the race, Larkin (30) said:
"It was amazing. Not just my own race itself, I felt like I had a good race and I didn't make any mistakes, I had fun but the atmosphere was incredible. I'm not super happy that I was at the back or that I was in last position but when you look at the number of women that are out there, there's 30 women on the line and it's the best thirty women in the world and that's the race that it is. I couldn't be more pleased with my handling, I didn't feel like I made any mistakes. The climb was just a killer but I felt good overall. I was happy and then I kind of had mixed bag feelings just because of where I was in the field. The atmosphere was just incredible, my ears were ringing. The cheers coming up the climb, there was cheers for Ireland up the stairs, it was just incredible."
Cyclocross Coordinator for the Cycling Ireland Off-Road Commission and Team Manager said:
"Sean, Dean and Maria lined up against the very best cyclocross riders in the world today, they didn't hold back for a moment and earned huge support from the very enthusiastic crowds who came out to watch the racing. All eyes will be on Liam and Travis who race the junior men's World Championships tomorrow morning."
The championship continues today with the junior men's, U23 women's and elite men's races. Liam O'Brien and Travis Harkness will fly the flag for Ireland in the junior race which gets underway at 5pm Irish time. Watch the race live on Eurosport/GCN.
1 Joran Wyseure Bel 49.21
2 Emiel Verstrynge Bel 49.34
3 Thibau Nys Bel 49.54
40 Sean Nolan Irl 56.45
41 Dean Harvey Irl -3 laps
1 Marianne Vos Ned 55.00
2 Lucinda Brand Ned 55.01
3 Silvia Persico Ita 55.51
30 Maria Larkin Irl - 3 laps
1 Jan Christen Sui 43.11
2 Aaron Dockx Bel 43.12
3 Nathan Smith Gbr 43.12
28 Liam O'Brien Irl 46.04
32 Travis Harkness Irl 46.59
Full Results link
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