Reigning Irish champions Chris Dawson (McGlinchey) and Maria Larkin have been confirmed as part of a five-rider national selection to compete in the inaugural UCI cyclo-cross World Cup race in Dublin on December 11th.
The duo won the Irish title in January and will look to perform well in the event, which is taking place at the Sport Irish Campus in Blanchardstown. Dawson will be joined by Irish under-23 road race champion Dean Harvey, who won the first two rounds of this year’s national cyclo-cross series. Also on the men’s team is former national cyclo-cross champion Darnell Moore.
Harvey has shown strong form in winning the first two rounds of this year’s national cyclo-cross series, with Moore taking second in the most recent of those. McGlinchey has not competed in either but won the latest round of the Ulster series in Ballymena on Sunday.
Unlike the men, the two Irish female riders selected have competed in recent rounds of the UCI World Cup. US-based Larkin was 33rd in both the Waterloo and Fayetteville rounds in November. She will be joined by national championship bronze medallist Roisin Lally, who was 41st in both the Hoogstraten C1 event and the Overijse World Cup event this month.
The quintet was selected by Cycling Ireland’s off-road commission and will line out against some of the biggest names in world cyclo-cross. The men’s lineup will include world champion Tom Pidcock and three-time worlds winner Wout Van Aert, who won the green jersey in this year’s Tour de France.
Other Irish riders will be in action in the UCI C2-ranked races for male and female junior riders on Sunday December 11th, held prior to the elite World Cup events, as well as in the support races the previous day.
Tickets can be purchased at the UCIcyclocrossworldcup.com website.
Meanwhile national road race champion Rory Townsend has confirmed a new team for next season, with the 27-year old moving across to the New Zealand squad Bolton Equities Black Spoke Pro Cycling. He said that he hopes to chase results in sprints and classic-style races and also to draw on his experience of European racing to help the team.
Townsend won the nationals with a strong solo move in June, and won the GP Lucien Van Impe and the Omloop Mandel-Leie-Schelde Meulebeke Belgian races in August. He also took stage four plus the points classification in the Rás Tailteann.