Biggest Irish squad at World Cyclo-cross Championships

The Cycling Ireland Off Road Commission supported seven riders at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships which took place in Valkenburg, Netherlands over the weekend of the 3-4 February 2018.   The support team were: Andy Layhe, Martin Eadon, Aaron Baines, Suzanne Clarke, Donal O’Brien and Richard Conroy.  There was a large squad of travelling supporters from Ireland keen to cheer on the riders.

On the Saturday  the Junior men, Under 23 women and Elite Women raced.   On the Sunday the Under 23 men and Elite men raced.

Lara Gillespie (Under 23 women) – finished 23rd (4th junior).

“This was an amazing experience, the crowds, particularly the Irish fans were amazing. There was so much shouting for me, so thank you to everyone who shouted for me.”

“I was sick last week, we kept it under wraps but I didn’t touch the bike for seven days so was touch and go if I would even make the start line.”

“I’ll have few days off now and I’m back to Belgium for the junior Ghent-Wevelgem in March. Our school team has also been selected for the World Schools Cross Country Championships in Paris over Easter.”

“I’m hoping to improve my off rosd skills over the summer by doing some mountain biking and have some fun.”

“I’d like to thank the Irish staff here who have helped me at the worlds for all their help, it’s been amazing.”

Thomas Creighton (Junior men) – finished 52nd

“An unbelievable experience for me. I’ve ridden the MTB worlds but this was just something else. The atmosphere was out of this world and the start was hectic. The course was probably the toughest I’d ever ridden but you’d expect that from a World Championship.”

Adam McGarr  (Junior men) – finished 57th

“It was the experience of a lifetime, this has really spurred me on to progress and go to another level. I’m a first year junior so this has been a great learning curve for me. It was a super hard, muddy course and the running was hard.”

Archie Ryan  (Junior men) – finished 70th

“The course felt like a bog, the atmosphere was unreal and the best experience I’ve ever had on a bike”

Maria Larkin (Elite Women) – finished 39th

“This was the most special race I’ve ever ridden, the crowd, atmosphere and the Irish fans were amazing. My last lap was tough, I made a few mistakes. I could hear the Irish fans cheering my name and some of my Chicago friends too.”

David Conroy (U23 men) – finished 54th

“It was a fantastic weekend away and brilliant to be part of the largest ever Irish team at the world cyclocross championships.  It was amazing to be racing on a weekend where 40,000 spectators turned up. Included was a large number of Irish fans who made themselves heard all around the course.”

“Huge thanks to Andy, Donal, Martin, Aaron, Richard, Suzanne and Cycling Ireland for all their help and support making this trip as easy as possible for the riders and allowing us to focus entirely on the race.  Personally my race didn’t go to plan despite the course suiting my riding style, however my season as a whole has been a success and I’m already looking forward to building towards next season.”

Glenn Kinning (Elite men) – finished 55th

“The last week has been great. Support team has been excellent and so has preparation. Today’s race was probably one of the hardest I’ve ridden. Conditions like that back home and the race would be called off. Slipped a pedal on the line but got back past a few riders by dismounting early. The top guys are on a different level but I went deep and then a bit. Finished empty and got as far as I hoped for.”

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