Ireland team to be named this week

O’Loughlin going well

By Shane Stokes

The Irish team for the World cycling Championships in Madrid later this month will be announced at a reception to be held in Dublin this Tuesday, September 13. Cycling Ireland yesterday announced that the financial and business advisers Grant Thornton would once again back the country’s World's campaign, helping to field teams in the elite men’s, elite women’s and espoir (under 23) categories.

"As well as announcing the cyclists who've been picked been picked for the team, we are also using this opportunity to thank Grant Thornton for its continued support," said CI’s general manager Tamara O’Driscoll yesterday. "Without the funding received from Grant Thornton and The Irish Sports Council, we could not afford to give our riders the professional support that is required to perform on a world class stage".

Although there has been no official confirmation of those on the team, it is understood that Navigators Insurance professional and current Irish road race champion David O’Loughlin will be one of three riders competing in the Elite road race on September 25th. He will also do the time trial.

The Mayo rider has shown good form of late, winning the Mengoni Grand Prix in New York on August 27th and then placing a solid 15th in the Barclay’s Global Investors GP, formerly known as the San Francisco GP, last Sunday.

O’Loughlin returned from San Francisco this week and will now go to Portugal for an eight day training camp, accompanied by coach Padraig Marrey. "I am looking forward to the World's this year," he told Cyclingnews this week. "I want to do a good ride in the TT as it didn't go well last year. The road race should be fun with three Irish riders there."

Meanwhile, women’s road race champion Siobhan Dervan appears to have sealed her participation in the elite women’s road race after finishing a good seventh in the race at Wielsbeke in Belgium last Sunday. She was 55 seconds behind the winner Veronique Belleter (Vlaanderen Capri Sonne-T Interim). Fellow Irishwomen Julie O’Hagan and Louise Moriarty were 23rd and 36th respectively.

Dervan’s performance is understood to have met Cycling Ireland’s criteria for selection for the World Championships. She is planning to build form for Madrid by continuing to compete in Belgium.

Some of the Espoir riders hoping to go to Madrid and ride the under 23 race will also be based at the Sean Kelly Cycling Academy.

Paidi O'Brien, Andrew McQuaid, Michael Concannon and Eoin Concannon will ride an international 2-day, 3-stage race called the Tryptique des Barrages in Tarcienne this weekend. On the 17th of September they will compete in the International GP Joseph Bruyere in Hotton.

Meanwhile, fellow espoirs Philip Deignan and Tim Cassidy are building their own form in France. Deignan is currently riding the Tour de L’Avenir, while Cassidy is preparing in the South of France with his club VC La Pomme Marseille.

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