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2017 World Road Championships - Report 1
By Heather Boyle, Cycling Ireland Communications Officer
19 Sep 2017,

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Burns Debuts at World Championships in Elite Women’s Time Trial
19th September 2017

Making her World Championship debut today at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships, Eileen Burns finished 40th in the Elite Women’s 21.1km Time Trial. Dutch riders dominated the top steps of the podium with Annemiek Van Vleuten winning ahead of her team mate Anna Van Der Breggen. Australia’s Katrin Garfoot rounded off the podium with bronze.

Earlier this morning juniors Xeno Young and Ben Walsh were 30th and 45th respectively on the same circuit in the Junior Men’s Time Trial, both within two minutes of the winner, Thomas Pidcock (GB).

Speaking after her race Burns described a technical circuit – “There was a bit of everything today – the longest climb was a kilometre long with some fast, flowing descents. There were two underground tunnels that you descended into, as well as two 180 degree turns and a cobbled section! And the crowds were class!”

Although it was her first World Championship event, the Ballymena rider was not daunted – “It’s my first World Championships – I crashed in Denmark at the European Championships so I really wanted to do well today and give my best performance. I know I’m competing against the best in the world, but I wasn’t daunted out there. Once you’re off the ramp you could be anywhere in the world. I don’t think about anyone else – you’re on your own, and race your own race.”

Although it was an individual time trial, it was a team effort in Bergen at the race, with U23 racer Michael O’Loughlin providing support by radio – “It was great having Michael on the radio. He wrote notes for me beforehand, and he told me where it was safe to put the power down. Because he was feeding that to me I felt safe when I put on the pressure.”

Competing against the best has left Burns hungry for more – “I’m still working; I work as an Occupational Therapist, so am on annual leave at the moment – I’ll be back in work on Thursday! It was good to compete against professional riders, and I feel I can give so much more. I’d love to get selected for the Commonwealth Games next year, and see if I took time off work to train where it would take me.”

Junior Men’s Team Manager Martin O’Loughlin was pleased with the performances of both Young and Walsh earlier today, highlighting the long successful season that both riders have had – “They both were technically good and went as hard as they could on the day, especially considering the phenomenal seasons that they both have had.”

In July Walsh won the prestigious Junior Tour of Ireland, while Young won medals in both the European Track Championships and the World Track Championships.

“Some of the riders were stronger at the stage of the season, and Pidcock (winner) is a super talent. But you look at Ben in the Junior Tour and the Nations Cup in France and Germany this summer, and the European and World medals that Xeno won – it was a long season and they were decent performances,” O’Loughlin pointed out.

Tomorrow is the final Time Trial day at the World Championships, before the focus switches to the Road Races, and Nicholas Roche will be competing in the Elite Men’s Time Trial. The 31km race against the clock will see the riders finish on a 3.4km climb.

The World Road Championships run from the 17-24 September, during which eighteen Irish riders compete across eight events.


Gold: Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED) 28:50.35
Silver: Anna Van Der Breggen (NED) +12.16
Bronze: Katrin Garfoot (AUS) +18.93
40th Eileen Burns +4.11.69

Gold: Thomas Pidcock (GBR) 28:02.15
Silver: Antonio Puppio (ITA) +11.92
Bronze: Filip Maciijuk (POL) +13.29
30th Xeno Young +1.34.63
45th Ben Walsh +1.56.66


Mechanicals Hamper O’Loughlin’s World Championships Time Trial
18th September 2017

Three mechanicals hampered Michael O’Loughlin’s World Championship race today, resulting in a 54th place finish in the Men’s U23 Time Trial at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships. The 37km ‘Race of Truth’ was won by Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg in a time of 47:06:48. Brandon McNulty (USA) was second a minute down, with France’s Corentin Ermenault winning the bronze medal in the championships which take place this week in Bergen, Norway.

Speaking after the race the disappointed twenty-year-old described a frustrating race in which his electronic gears stopped working during the race, saying – “My gears stopped working about 4km from the end of the first lap. I carried on for a few kilometres while the course was flat, but once I came out of the tunnel and the road started to rise, I had to get a bike change.”

The Team Wiggins rider kept calm throughout – “I just wanted everything to run smoothly, but there is nothing to do once something like that happens. Once I hit the rise, I was stuck in too big a gear, and it was time to change the bike. You just have to think about what to do next, how to solve it. Everyone in the support car was great, and they got me going really fast. I just wanted to finish as best as I could for them.”

That wasn’t the end of the trouble for O’Loughlin – “That wasn’t the end of my day! I had two more mechanicals. When I got back going I hit a few speed bumps 2km later, and my saddle dropped. I had to stop and raise my saddle – and then it happened again after that!”

This brought to end another successful year for the young Tipperary man – “The Worlds were one of my biggest goals. I fractured my collar bone on the second last day of the Tour de l’Avenir three weeks ago, and that put a spanner in the works. Luckily, a few days after that I was doing Watt Bike session, and within a week I was on the road. My goal switched from striving for a top ten to looking for my best performance – but I felt good when I was here. I felt fresh today, but unfortunately mechanicals can happen.”

O’Loughlin is just one of many young riders performing well on the world stage, and he believes that they motivate each other – “It’s definitely motivating having guys like (Ryan) Mullen and (Eddie) Dunbar going well – it raises everybody’s level.”

The Time Trials continue tomorrow morning, with Juniors Ben Walsh and Xeno Young competing in the morning over a 21.1km circuit, the same course that will be used by the Elite Women in the afternoon – with National Champion Eileen Burns flying the flag for Ireland.

The World Road Championships run from the 17-24 September, during which eighteen Irish riders compete across eight events.

Gold: Mikkel Bjerg (DEN) 47:06.48
Silver: Brandon McNulty (USA) +1:05.92
Bronze: Corentin Ermenault (FRA) +1:16.65
54th Michael O’Loughlin (IRL) +7:21.25

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