Team Ineos star Eddie Dunbar is the latest rider to sign up for this year’s Cycling Ireland National Road Championships in Derry. The 22-year-old Corkman completed his maiden Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, recently and is in France this week riding the La Route d’Occitaine after which he will return to Ireland next week for Ireland’s biggest road cycling event.
Dunbar was second over the line in the Men’s Elite Road Race in Omagh in 2015, winning the Under 23 title in the process, and the Banteer native is eager to go one better this time round, though he expects strong opposition from the locally-based riders.
“I’m really looking forward to the National Road Race Championships,” said Dunbar. “It’s an event I always want to do well in and, after finishing second in 2015 in Omagh when I won the U23 title, it will be great to return to Ulster roads.
“It’s always a great event with riders from all over the country making the trip and I’m looking forward to meeting up with friends – it should be a great scrap out on the roads of Derry. I’ll ride the time trial as well and I wish the Foyle CC team the very best for this important promotion.”
Dunbar’s exploits and all of those in the men’s and women’s elite road races will be covered in a TV highlights programme to be aired on Eurosport. The one-hour and half-hour highlights shows are scheduled to be broadcast around Eurosport’s coverage of the Tour de France with the first broadcast planned to follow the first stage of the French tour on July 6th.
Reigning champions Eve McCrystal and Conor Dunne have already confirmed their intention to defend their titles in the Foyle Cycling Club and Derry City and Strabane District Council promotion. Other full-time professional riders are set to do battle with the best locally-based talent on laps of the 21km road race course which takes the riders through the heart of the city.