Townsend In 150km Breakaway At Road European Championships

Posted in: ROAD RACING
By Ciara O’Shea, Cycling Ireland
Sep 24, 2023 - 7:40:17 PM

Ireland’s Road European Championship campaign concluded on Sunday, September 24th as Rory Townsend spent much of the race in the breakaway while Áine Doherty earned a top 40 finish.

Five riders were in action across the day in the Elite Men’s and Junior Women’s Road Races in Drenthe, Netherlands.


Rory Townsend and Dillon Corkery took to the start line of the Elite Men’s Road Race taking on 199.8km starting in Assen and finishing with six laps of the Col du VAM circuit.

Townsend was to the fore of the Elite Men’s Road Race as he formed part of the main breakaway of the day. A group of five riders established a breakaway in the opening 10km of the 199.8km race as the group worked well together to extend their lead.

The breakaway whittled down to just three riders on the first passage of the Col du VAM as the race approached their first of six laps of the 13.7km circuit.

Townsend gave it everything to stay away but his time in the breakaway came to an end after their third passage of the Col du VAM with around 50km to go.

The monstrous 150km breakaway ride took its toll on Townsend as he started to lose contact with the bunch. The former National Champion can be proud of his effort today as he rode to the finish after being pulled from the race from losing too much time.

Unfortunely his teammate Dillon Corkery got caught up in a crash with 115km to go, forcing him out of the race.

The Elite Men’s Road Race title was won by French rider, Christophe Laporte who held off Wout Van Aert on the line to take an impressive win.

Three riders represented Ireland in the Junior Women’s Road Race early this morning as the riders faced five laps of the challenging Col du VAM circuit totalling 69km.


Áine Doherty and Lucy Benezet Minns fresh from competing at the World Championships last month were joined by Julia Murphy who made her debut this week representing Ireland in the Individual Time Trial.

A high pace was set right from the start and splits began to form as the main bunch whittled down with each passage of the Col du VAM ascent.

Doherty had a huge performance on the day as she maintained a position in the main bunch for most of the race, ultimately finishing in 39th place just 32 seconds behind the winner, Fleur Moors of Belgium.

Benezet Minns had some misfortune getting held up on the cobbled section of the Col du VAM ascent early in the race forcing her and a number of other riders to unclip as they lost contact with the main bunch. Benezet Minns battled hard behind in a smaller group to finish in 43rd position some 40 seconds down.

Murphy got distanced in the opening couple of laps and was eventually pulled from the race with a number of riders after they lost too much time.

Image Credits: SWpix/Inpho Photography

European Road Championships Results – September 24th

Elite Men

Rory Townsend – DNF
Dillon Corkery – DNF

Junior Women
Áine Doherty – 39th
Lucy Benezet Minns – 43rd
Julia Murphy - DNF


Full results: UEC.. click here