Ryan Mullen claimed a wonderful solo victory in the Irish elite men’s road race championships in Co. Wexford, crossing the line ahead of a gallant runner-up Christopher McGlinchey.
Mullen adds the road crown to the time-trial title he won on Thursday. He was made to fight the whole way.
“This one means a lot more than the time trial title,” he said. “I fought so hard for it. The time trial is a pride thing. I expect to win. The road race, nationals are not your typical race so I’m just really happy I’ve won it.
“It was such a hard race and it was really negative,” he continued. “That’s how it goes with nationals. The amateurs sit on the pros and hope if they chase everything down, we’ll tow them to the finish and give them a chance at the victory.
“Normally a breakaway rider gets away but nothing went for the longest time. I kept trying and trying. I was tiring myself out and getting pretty angry that everything was being neutralised.”
Eventually the elastic snapped and he was off the front in the second half of the race. And having got across to Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) on the final lap and the impressive Irish amateur McGlinchey (ChainReactionCycles), Mullen knew the advantage was his. He attacked on what race organisers dubbed “the Wexford Poggio” and dropped Dunne and blew up McGlinchey.
Although Mullen would have been happy to allow the race to come down to a three-up sprint, he embraced the opportunity. With Dunne gone and McGlinchey weakened, Mullen attacked.
“There were 4kms left. It was the right moment. I had nothing left, but I gave myself a small gap, and I managed to hold on to it until the line.”
Michael O’Loughlin won gold in the U23 race to go alongside the gold he won in Thursday’s time-trial, with silver and bronze going to Angus Fyffe (Omagh Wheelers) and Ryan Reilly (Amicale Cycliste Biso).
Meanwhile, UK-based Dubliner Lydia Boylan (Team WNT) claimed her third consecutive road race in a drama-filled women’s race.
On the last lap, the race was forced to stop briefly to allow the men’s field pass. That unwelcome interruption didn’t impact Boylan and she stormed to victory from Lauren Creamer (NCC Group-Kuota-Torelli) and Ellen McDermott (EDCO Continental). Sinead Oakes took the Masters title from Grace Young and Nessa Rochford, all De Ronde Van Cork.
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