Eddie Dunbar was in Dublin recently for the launch of the 2016 An Post Rás and we caught up with him to discuss his aims for the season.

Dunbar made his professional debut last year with the UCI Continental team NFTO and he had some pretty impressive performances in his first senior year. Amongst those he impressed with his gutsy rides was none other than Eddy Merckx.

This year, the young rider from Cork has chosen to move Stateside where he will race for the Axeon team, managed by Merckx’s son Axel.

The team have been very successful since its inception in helping riders such as Taylor Phinney, Alex Dowsett and Joe Dombrowski amongst others get to World Tour level and this was a factor that helped Dunbar decide to move there.

“It was a big factor,” he confirms. “No other development team has had that impact in numbers moving to World Tour level. They know how to get riders in shape and they know how to get riders onto teams.”

“If you’re really that good, Axel Merckx contacts-wise, could probably get you into any World Tour team and it’s about showing that you are that good. I’m pretty confident that I can get to that level in the next two or three years.”

He recently attended a training camp with the team and the fact that he knows a number of his new team-mates has helped him settle in.

“We had a training camp in January in California and I met all the guys,” Dunbar says. “I knew some of them already from races. A few of them did the Junior Tour so I knew them from that.

“I also knew some from the Nations Cups. When you’re in a race with 30 countries, and only three of them speak English, you naturally start speaking to them. So, it wasn’t like I didn’t know any of them.”

Despite being at the launch of An Post Rás, Dunbar feels that the likelihood of him being at the race is slim.

“It’s always something I wanted to do, but last year I broke my collarbone so couldn’t do it so that was very disappointing,” he says. “This year, the Tour of California is on at the same time so obviously if I get picked for that, it’s going to take priority.”

“There’s still a possibility I might do it, but I can’t say for definite. It’s a nice route, I know the roads well and I think it’s a route that suits me.”

His race programme this year will see him start off in Portugal at the UCI 2.2 GP Liberty Seguros-Trofeu Alpendre in next month followed by the Volta Alentejo.

After that he confirms his race schedule as being: “U23 Ghent-Wevelgem, Flanders, Picardie then U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, that’ll be a good race for me and it’s possible I could get a result In that race. After that, it’s California and I’ll try and get a result in that if I’m picked.”



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