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Conroy Finishes Well in Tricky Conditions in Heusden - Zolder
By Cycling Ireland
31 Jan 2016,

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Bad Luck for Montgomery at Cyclo-cross Worlds

A back injury led to the withdrawal of Ireland’s David Montgomery after three laps of the 3km course at the 2016 UCI U23 Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium today. The An Post Chainreaction rider was racing well in the early part of the race, but a niggling back injury forced him to retire early. The race was eventually won by Belgian Eli Iserbyt (BEL) in a drama filled race, where silver medallist Adam Toupalik (CZE) mistimed the finish, sprinting home a lap early. The 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships ran from the 30-31 January in Belgium.

Montgomery started well in the U23 event, avoided a crash in the opening section of the first lap, and maintained a strong position, trailing the lead riders by roughly 1.5 minutes. However, after three laps he could not proceed. Despite the disappointment for Montgomery team manager Andy Layhe felt the World Championships were a great experience for both Montgomery and David Conroy who came 48th yesterday in the junior men’s race.

“This was a great experience in general, especially as they are both young. It’s a different level here; riders need to be racing at this high level. It is only through the development of the youth section at home are we going to improve. Apart from David’s mishap today it was a great weekend, David Conroy did a great race yesterday.

It was good experience for him especially as he is looking to race U23 in the future. By giving these guys an opportunity to race at the world level we are giving hope to the younger kids at home, gives them something to aspire to, and that increases the standard. Through the development of the youth section back home, and by focusing on technical ability specific to cyclo-cross we can move forward. We have the pedigree of athletes in Ireland to work with.”

The World Championships this weekend rounded off the cyclo-cross season. It is hoped that at some point in the future this spectator friendly discipline of cycling will be included on the Winter Olympic programme. Replays of all of the races from the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships can been seen on the UCI YouTube Channel.

Under 23 Men's Cyclo-Cross World Championships:
1. Eli Iserbyt (BEL)
2. Adam Toupalik (CZE)
3. Quentin Hermans (BEL)

DNF David Montgomery (IRL)


48th Place for Conroy at UCI 2016 Junior Cyclo-Cross World Championships - Report on 30th January.

David Conroy
Irish cyclo-cross rider David Conroy has finished an impressive 48th place at the 2016 UCI Junior Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium today. The Wicklow man raced a technical race in tricky conditions to complete eight laps of the 3km course on a day where many riders failed to finish. An Post Chain-Reaction rider David Montgomery competes in the U23 event tomorrow morning at 10am Irish time. The 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships run from the 30-31 January in Belgium.

Seventeen year old Conroy, who rides for Scott, enjoyed the technical aspect of the course today, after a night of rain saying:

“It was raining all night, and the course changed throughout the race, this suited me as it made it more technical and slowed the race down, a lot less people finished the race than started it! The fast descents played to my strengths, it’s where I did most of my passing and made up placings.”

At the start of the race Conroy was placed 30th on the grid, and avoided a big crash:

“The start was mental; people going for gaps that weren’t there. There was one big crash that I had to get off the bike to avoid. I raced two World Cups and even at them there was more order at the start. The course is very different to what we race back home. I think most riders would opt for a mountain bike on some parts of the course here.”

Conroy found the experience beneficial:

“It’s a great experience. I love every race I do. They motivate you and you get faster and get better at riding them the more that you do, there’s only positives in going to them. It’s great having my coach Andy (Layhe) here, and the support from Simon (Curry) and Donal (O’Brien) has been brilliant. They do everything I want and more. Today there was a huge Irish contingent here, some of that is due to the fact there are riders racing. The cheering from every corner of the track really lifted me.”

Cyclo-cross has been growing in popularity in Ireland over the past few years, and is especially popular with younger riders like Conroy, who will now switch his focus to mountain biking before he gets ready for the transition to the U23 ranks in Cyclo-cross next season.

“I love everything about cyclo-cross, it’s such a super sport, not as technical as downhill racing and not as tactical as road racing, but combines everything from cycling. I just love riding it, the crowds, the tracks, the whole discipline really appeals to me. It’s great to see it taking off, and great to see Cycling Ireland sending a team to it this year, as it keeps pushing people nationally and internationally. Who knows, maybe we will see a World Champion in it someday.”

Next up in Belgium is David Montgomery, racing at 10am Irish time tomorrow (Sunday 31st January). The 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships run from 30th- 31st January in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. Highlights of the competition will be on Eurosport, with full footage being available for live viewing on the UCI YouTube Channel.

Junior Men Cyclo-Cross World Championships:
1. Jens Dekker (NED)
2. Michael Crispin (FRA)
3. Thomas Bonnet (FRA)

48 David Conroy (IRL)


Conroy and Montgomery Ready for Action at UCI 2016 Cyclo-Cross World

The Irish cycling team of David Conroy and David Montgomery will be competing in the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium this weekend, 30-31 January. Junior rider Conroy kicks off the action on Saturday in the junior men’s category, while Montgomery competes on Sunday in the U23 event. Both riders will compete on the same course, a fast and technical lap, with several tough climbs. The junior event takes approximately 40 minutes, with the U23 race lasting just over an hour.

First up is Wicklow rider Conroy, who will be competing at 10am Irish time on Saturday. Conroy has been dominant in the junior category in Ireland, topping off his season with a convincing win at the National Championships in Tollymore Forest Park earlier this month. Conroy’s Coach and Team Manager Andy Layhe is happy with the course, and happy with the his preparation saying:

“Both riders did four laps of the course today, and went through a few sections several times to have a look. It’s a very friendly course, and will become quite compact, as it’s mostly clay or sandy, not like the courses at home. It’s a strong rider’s course, and is very technical. This will suit David (Conroy), he’s a technical rider, especially on the tricky descents. His legs feel good and he’s been tapering since Sunday.”

David Montgomery
Montgomery will be competing in the U23 event on Sunday at 10am Irish time. Riding for An Post-Chainreaction Montgomery finished second in the Men’s Elite National Championships this year, and competed in World Cups throughout the season.

Cyclo-cross has been seeing a healthy resurgence in Ireland over the past number of years, with an increasing number of road and mountain bike riders adding it to their winter training programme. It is a technical side of cycling, with bikes that are a mix between road racers and mountain bikes. The slim tyres and drop bars allow for fast racing, while the mud tyres allow for increased grip in the muddy off-road terrain. Lahye is excited about this resurgence in the sport saying:

“It’s great to see the sport flourishing back home. Cyclo-cross is great for young riders, I love helping them come through. It’s not only about intervals, but about technical riding. With kids if you can teach them the technical stuff early on, they can still go on to compete on the road, or wherever. It always frustrates me when I see riders with the physical strength but lacking the technical skill. Cyclo-cross is great for learning it. It’s also a family friendly sport, where you can have the younger riders competing in the morning, and the parents in the afternoon.”

The 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships run from 30th- 31st January in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. Highlights of the competition will be on Eurosport, with full footage being available for live viewing on the UCI YouTube Channel.

Photos: Courtesy of Andy Layhe and Simon Curry

Irish Team:

JUNIOR MEN: David Conroy (Scott
U23 MEN: David Montgomery (An Post-Chainreaction)

TEAM MANAGER: Andy Layhe (Trail Demons CC)


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