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ROAD RACING Last Updated: Aug 6, 2017 - 6:39:11 PM

Mullen Wins Ireland's First Major Championship Medal Since Kelly Roche Era
By Heather Boyle, Cycling Ireland Communications Officer
Aug 3, 2017,

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Ryan Mullen has won a bronze medal in the Elite Men’s Time Trial at the UEC 2017 European Road Cycling Championships in Herning, Denmark today. The reigning Irish National Champion finished 5 seconds behind gold medallist Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) with a time of 53.17 over the 46km course, with Poland’s Maciej Bodnar taking the silver medal.

While Mullen is no stranger to the podium, today’s performance marks itself as Ireland’s best result at a major senior road championship event since the Kelly Roche era in the 1980s. The double national champion was pleased with his performance saying:

“That was the best day I could have asked for – I had really good legs, and I was on it. I’m gutted that I was 5 seconds off the gold medal. That’s what I wanted - I didn’t come here hoping to be third.”

Mullen has now medalled at major championships in Junior, U23 and Elite level, having won silver in the World U23 Championships in 2014 and silver in the UEC Junior European Championships in 2012. Today’s medal is testament to his consistent performances at major championships.

The Cannondale-Drapac rider was the 21st starter of 34, and the blistering pace he set placed him first, and in the hot seat, until the last riders crossed the line. The 23-year-old said: “I had high hopes because I knew I did a good ride, and knew that it would take a big beating. That’s my first elite podium at a major championship – so that’s progress, and a step up from before. I came third to the silver medallist from last year’s championships, and Bodnar, who won the TT stage in the Tour de France.”

Earlier in the day Michael O’Loughlin performed strongly in the U23 Men’s Time Trial, finishing in 11th place with a time of 39:19:20 over the flat 31.5km course. The Team Wiggins rider finished just 0.3 second outside the top ten:

“I’m a bit disappointed to be just outside the top ten. You always look back and wish that you went around corners a bit quicker. But you can’t go back. At the end of the day it was a pretty solid ride. It was wet and windy, so that played a factor, but it was the same for everyone. The course was pan flat so you were constantly pushing on the pedals.”

Having come through the Cycling Ireland talent pathway, O’Loughlin maturely reflected on what was a great performance saying: “It’s a good starting point looking ahead at the Worlds, where the course is different. Maybe the hills will suit me a bit better. I’ve another two years to come back and fight for medals. It’s nice to be so close to some guys who are racing with World Tour teams, but you always want to beat them.”

Also in action today was Eddie Dunbar, who finished 19th in the U23 Men’s Time Trial. Anna Turvey was a late call up to the Irish Team, and she finished 19th in the Elite Women’s Time Trial, with Eileen Burns 29th in the same race. In yesterday’s Junior Men’s Time Trial Xeno Young was 11th place, the talented County Down rider won a silver medal in the European Track Championships two weeks ago, competing in the Individual Pursuit. Ben Walsh was 17th in the same race.

The focus now moves to the road races, with five Junior Men competing in the flat 120km road race tomorrow. The championships take place in Herning, Denmark, from Wednesday 2nd – Sunday 6th August.


TIME TRIAL RESULTS:

Elite Men

Gold Victor Campenaerts (BEL) 53.12
Silver Maciej Bodnar (POL) 53.15
Bronze Ryan Mullen (IRL) 53.17


Elite Women

Gold Ellen Van Dijk (NED) 40.33.58
Silver Ann-Sophie Duyck (BEL) 41.31.85
Bronze Anna Van Der Breggen (NED) 41.37.71

19th Anna Turvey (IRL) 43.56.04
29th Eileen Burns (IRL) 46.15.97

U23 Men

Gold Kasper Asgreen (DEN) 37.33.38
Silver Mikkel Bjerg (DEN) 37.35.15
Bronze Corentin Ermenault (FRA) 37.56.07

11th Michael O’Loughlin (IRL) 39.19.20
19th Eddie Dunbar (IRL) 39.55.18

Junior Men

Gold Andreas Leknessaund (NOR) 39.16.23
Silver Julius Johansen (DEN) 39.30.98
Bronze Sebastien Grignard (BEL) 39.35.34

11th Xeno Young (IRL) 40.35.95
17th Ben Walsh (IRL) 41.04.72



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