Eleven months after he finished second in the world under-23 time trial championships, Ryan Mullen will chase victory in the European equivalent when he lines out in the UEC European Road Championships time trial today.
The An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team rider is representing Ireland in the event and will battle it out against the other favourites in the 31.5 km contest in Tartu, Estonia.
"We're really looking forward to Ryan's time trial tomorrow as he is one of the favourites," said An Post team manager Kurt Bogaerts.
“Hopefully he can put himself in a position to win as it is one of the races that we have targeted at the beginning of the season.”
Mullen’s class has been apparent for years, with victory in the junior Chrono des Nations and second in the junior European Championship TT in 2012 showing he had the ability against the clock to win big.
He followed those rides up with seventh in his first worlds under-23 time trial in 2013 plus a dominant victory in the under-23 Chrono des Nations; last season then saw him take that superb silver medal in the worlds plus gold in the Irish road race and under-23 time trial championships.
Mullen turns 21 on Friday and will be hoping for double reason to celebrate. First year senior Eddie Dunbar is also due to take part, after which the duo will team up with Daniel Stewart, Matthew Teggart and Sean McKenna in Sunday's championships road race, which covers 162km.
Dunbar’s ability has also been obvious for a long time and he has made a superb senior debut this season.
Other Irish competitors are also in action at the Europeans. Ciara Doogan got the campaign underway yesterday in the 14.4km Women's junior time trial, netting 29th. The junior men's time trial will take place this afternoon and there Michael O'Loughlin and Simon Tuomey will compete in the 18.4 kilometre contest.
In other news, Tour de France rider Nicolas Roche will meet fans today and tomorrow. Today's slot is with the Nicolas Roche Performance Magnet.ie Team at 2.30pm in the visitor centre in the Phoenix Park. Saturday's Meath Summer Classic will see him ride with fans over three distances.