Ryan Mullen secures double in Irish road race championships
Strong final lap from Lydia Boylan in women’s race yields her a third successive title
Ryan Mullen claimed the elite road race title in Wexford on Sunday after winning gold in the time trial on Thursday
Cannondale-Drapac cyclist Ryan Mullen winning the Elite Men Road Race at the National Cycling Road Race Championships in Wexford: “I didn’t see today coming at all.”
Ryan Mullen completed a rare double in the Irish Road Race Championships in Wexford on Sunday, adding the elite road race title to the time trial gold he took on Thursday evening.
The Cannondale-Drapac professional recently went close to selection for his first Tour de France and while he was ultimately passed over, highlighted his strong form with a dominant win.
He was involved in the action all day and after Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) made a solo move on the penultimate lap, Mullen bridged across to the chaser Chris McGlinchey (Chain Reaction Cycles) and, together, they caught Dunne on the final circuit. Mullen then attacked on the final climb and time trialled to the finish line.
“I didn’t see today coming at all. I was going to pull out of the race at one point as it was such negative racing,” he said, referring to the close marking by the domestic Irish riders.
“It is the same county riders every year who just make the race difficult for everybody. I just found it so hard to keep my temper . . so hard.
“After Conor went clear, I attacked and got up to Chris McGlinchey. Together we managed to catch Conor. There was a headwind at one point and I had a feeling we would catch him there. McGlinchey then attacked on the last climb but couldn’t keep his acceleration going. I went past him and got a gap.”
Despite a softening rear tyre, he beat McGlinchey by 23 seconds with Dunne 52 seconds back. Defending champion Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing Team) outsprinted Sean McKenna (An Post Chain Reaction) for fourth, 58 seconds behind, while Michael O’Loughlin (Team Wiggins) was sixth and won the under 23 classification.
Like Mullen, Roche bemoaned the close marking he experienced during the event. He was unable to defend his title, but is satisfied with his form heading towards the Tour de France.
In the women’s race, Lydia Boylan (Team WNT Pro Cycling) put in a strong attack on the final lap and soloed to victory. She was seven seconds ahead of a chasing group led in by Lauren Creamer (NCC Group-Kuota-Torel) and Ellen McDermot (EDCO Continental).
“I panicked a little on the last lap as the group was so big, but I managed to get a gap on the last lap. I always thought there’s nothing better than winning solo so I thought I’d go hell for leather on the climb, and see what happened. I could see they weren’t gaining, then 1km to go came, and 300m came.”
Boylan’s win was her third successive title and continues what has been a strong year for her. She will now ride some track events prior to chasing more road race success in the second half of the year.
On Saturday, John Hodge (Dungarvan CC), Greg Swinand (Aqua Blue Academy) and Sean McIlroy (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) won the masters 40, 50 and 60 events.