Following on from Ryan Mullen’s superb silver medal in yesterday’s under-23 time trial, Carrick-on-Suir rider Michael O’Loughlin has taken another strong result for the Irish team at cycling’s world road race championships in Ponferrada, Spain.
O'Loughlin finished eighth in the junior time trial this morning, covering the 29.5 kilometre distance one minute 42.81 seconds off the winning time of the Germany's Lennard Kamna. Adrien Costa (USA) was second with Michael Storer (Australia) third.
O’Loughlin’s time put him 44.92 seconds out of the bronze medal position. He will take considerable encouragement from the performance, both because it greatly exceeded his pre-race goal of a top 20 position and also because he is a first year junior.
Five out of the seven riders ahead of him were all in their second, and final, year in that category, putting him in line for medal contention next year.
O’Loughlin was one of the earlier starters and posted what was provisionally the quickest time. He was eventually bumped down the list when the higher-seeded riders got their own tests underway, but had the experience of sitting in the hot seat until then.
Fellow Irishman Mark Downey finished 34th in the race.
O'Loughlin will compete again at the world championships on Saturday, lining out in the junior men's road race. He will be joined on the five-man team by Daire Feeley, Dylan O'Brien, Stephen Shanahan and the rider tipped by many for a strong performance, the national champion and double Junior Tour of Ireland winner Eddie Dunbar.
Before then, Nicolas Roche will compete in tomorrow's Elite time trial. Ireland will also have entrants in the under-23 and junior women's road race on Friday.
Junior men’s time trial
1 Lennard Kamna (Germany) 29.5 kilometres in 36 mins 13 secs
2 Adrien Costa (USA) at 44 secs
3 Michael Storer (Australia) at 58 secs
4 Filippo Ganna (Italy) at 1 min 5 secs
5 Zeke Mostov (USA) at 1 min 19 secs
6 Tom Wirtgen (Netherlands) at 1 min 29 secs
8 Michael O'Loughlin (Ireland) at 1 min 42 secs
34 Mark Downey (Ireland) at 3 mins 9 secs