The 2018 UCI Road World Championships got underway yesterday in Innsbruck, Austria with three Irish riders in action on day one.
Lara Gillespie, who claimed two medals at the European Track championships last month, was first off in the Women’s Junior TT where she finished 19th in what is her first World Championships. Gillespie, 16, clocked a time of 28:14 over the 19.8km course, just 1.12 behind the winner Rozemarijn Ammerlaan of Holland.
Later in the day, Conn McDunphy and Michael O’ Loughlin both competed in the Men’s Under-23 TT event.
Mikkel Bjerg of Denmark was fastest over the technical 27.7km course with a time of 32.31.
The Dane gained over half a minute on his closest rival and clocked a blistering average speed of 51.3 kmph.
O’Loughlin was the strongest of the two Irish finishing in 25th, 1:28 behind Bjerg. McDunphy was 38th fastest of the 70 competitors, 2:06 off the leader.
Today will see more time-trial action with Aaron Doherty and Ben Healy taking part in the Junior Men’s TT while Eileen Burns and Kelly Murphy will compete in the Elite Women’s event.
In total, 19 Irish athletes are set to compete in the various disciplines, culminating with the Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s Road Races’ next weekend.
The hilly terrain in Innsbruck is set to favour the climbers, with many nations opting to only send athlete’s with strong ability in the mountains.