Cycling Ireland has confirmed the team of four riders who will represent Ireland at the UCI Road World Championships which takes place in Imola from 25th – 27th September. Dan Martin, Nicolas Roche, Ben Healy and Ryan Mullen will make up the four-man team for the Men’s Elite Road Race.
Martin and Roche are both currently competing at the Tour de France. Roche suffered a crash on stage 10 but has gone on to feature in multiple breakaways and has taken two top 10 stage finishes. Martin meanwhile went into the race recovering from a fractured bone in his lower back, an injury sustained in a crash during the Critérium du Dauphiné. Despite this injury, Martin has also been in attacking mode finishing in 11th on the 13th stage after making it into a day-long break.
Trek-Segafredo rider Ryan Mullen is currently competing in the Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg with Ben Healy taking part in the Ronde de l’Isard this week where he took 2nd on the opening stage.
Originally set for Switzerland, the location for the the 2020 UCI Road World Championships was changed at short notice due to the global coronavirus pandemic with Imola, Italy confirmed as the new venue. The men’s road race will be contested over an arduous 258.2 kilometres featuring 9 loops and 5,000m of climbing.
Mullen and Roche will also race the elite men’s time trial which takes place on Friday, September 25th. The largely flat 31.7-kilometre route starts and finishes at the Imola autodrome and passes through the town of Borgo at the halfway mark. Unlike the road race, the time trial course has just 200m of elevation gain. Mullen is a 4-time National Champion in the time trial and bronze medallist at the 2017 European Championships while Roche has 2 TT National titles to his name.
Cycling Ireland Technical Director & Head Coach Brian Nugent said: “While 2020 has been a difficult year, it is great to see the UCI World Championships go ahead after a late relocation to Imola, Italy. Even though this year’s event only caters to senior elite riders, our U23 and junior talent continue their development and will get back to this competition in the future.”
“Irish cycling is on a high with burgeoning numbers at a participation level and inspiring performances by Irish riders at the Tour de France in recent weeks. We’re looking to bring that momentum into the World Championships with a course that suits our climbers and a really good TT course which our specialists will enjoy. We’re going into this one with confidence and are relishing the opportunity to pull of the Irish kit after such an uncertain period.”
IRELAND SQUAD (UCI Road World Championships, Imola, September 25th– 27th)
Elite Men road race: Dan Martin, Nicolas Roche, Ben Healy, Ryan Mullen.
Elite Men Time Trial: Nicolas Roche, Ryan Mullen.