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Mark Downey ninth in under 23 world championships

Ireland’s highest result thus far from the 2017 cycling world road championships

Mark Downey of Ireland celebrates winning during the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in the Netherlands last year. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Mark Downey took Ireland’s highest result thus far from the 2017 cycling world road championship campaign on Friday, finishing a superb ninth in the under 23 road race in Bergen, Norway.

The 21-year-old finished to the fore of a select chase group just three seconds behind the winner Benoit Cosnefroy (France) and runner-up Lennard Kämna of Germany.

Danish rider Michael Carbel Svendgaard won the sprint for bronze, with Downey close behind.

The result continues the strong run of results collected by the County Down rider during his career, and further underlines his versatility and promise.

Last November he won the points race in the Apeldoorn track World Cup, then took the same event in January in Cali, Colombia. Those performances saw him secure overall victory in the World Cup standings for that event, a superb feat.

In addition to that he landed World Cup gold and silver in the Madison event with compatriot Felix English in Cali in January and Los Angeles in February.