Bennett will lead the Irish team to the European Championship

Team Ireland has confirmed its riders for the upcoming European Cycling Championships, to be held in Munich from August 11-21.

The team of 15 will compete in road races, track races at the velodrome and, for the first time, BMX freestyle events.

Sam Bennett will lead the men’s team in the road race after the disappointment of missing out on his Bora-Hansgrohe team selection for the Tour de France. The 209.4 kilometer route will take runners from Murnau am Staffelsee to Munich, where they will finish with five loop laps in the city center.

Bennett will be joined by teammate and key leader, Ryan Mullen, as well as Irish champion, Rory Townsend, Eddie Dunbar and Matthew Taggart. Ben Healy, the 2022 National Time Trial Champion, will focus solely on the time trial. Ryan Mullen, previously fourth in the European Championships, will compete in both the road race and the time trial.

Alice Sharpe and Mia Griffin will represent Ireland in the women’s road race. Sharpe enters the race in good form after winning the Irish championship jersey at the end of June. Griffin, best known for her track racing pedigree, has also impressed on the road with a top 10 on the final stage of the Baloise Ladies Tour in recent weeks.

Kelly Murphy and Joanna Patterson will compete in the women’s 24 kilometer European Championship time trial. The pair finished first and second in the national time trial championships, with Murphy edging Patterson by just 1.12 seconds over the 32-kilometre course.

The track events will take place from August 11-16 and will see seven Irish athletes take to the boards. JB Murphy, Alice Share, Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Emily Kay and Lara Gillespie will focus on endurance events while Orla Walsh will focus on sprint disciplines.

JB Murphy picked up a stunning bronze medal in the Scratch race last year, adding to the bronze won by the women’s team pursuit team at the 2021 European Championships. Irish track runners will be aiming for more success in participating in a wide range of events throughout the week.

In an exciting development for the sport, Ireland will be represented at the BMX Freestyle Park for the first time at a European Championship. Ryan Henderson discovered BMX after breaking his neck in a motocross accident at the age of 16. The East Belfast athlete has had a remarkable run since then and hopes to continue that progression at the European Championships and eventually become Ireland’s first freestyle representative at the Olympics.

Ireland squad for the European Championships

Men’s Road Race: Sam Bennett, Ryan Mullen, Eddie Dunbar, Rory Townsend, Matthew Taggart.

Men’s Time Trial: Ben Healy, Ryan Mullen.

Women’s Road Race: Alice Sharpe, Mia Griffin.

Women’s time trial: Kelly Murphy, Joanna Patterson.

Men’s Track:JB Murphy. Women’s Track: Alice Sharpe, Mia Griffin, Kelly Murphy, Emily Kay, Lara Gillespie, Orla Walsh.

BMX Freestyle Park: Ryan Henderson.

About Frances R. Smith

Check Also

Lara Gillespie named in Ireland squad for European Championships

Enniskerry’s Lara Gillespie has been included in a 15-rider squad that will represent Ireland at …