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Conn McDunphy during his days racing in Europe with Irish team EvoPro Racing and now he is set to step back up to Continental level next season (Photo: Jens Morel)

Conn McDunphy has completed a successful season back on the home scene this year – winning the National Road Series and the Hill Climb National Championships – after his hopes EvoPro Racing would continue were not realised.

However, after competing in the colours of his club team, Lucan CRC, this year, the 26-year-old former Irish elite TT champion, is now set for a return to the UCI Continental ranks with a new contract for 2024.

McDunphy will join fellow Irish rider Cian Keogh at US-based Team Skyline. The team competed in a full schedule of UCI-ranked events in Europe and North America this year, including International Tour of Rhodes (2.2) in Greece, Tour de Beauce (2.2) in Canada and a large number of one-day, mostly 1.2, races in Spain, Norway and Italy.

The team, which is mostly made up of American and Canadian riders, also got an invite to the Maryland Cycling Classic (1.Pro) last month. Keogh, who joined the team this year, is also set to stay with the American outfit in 2024.

McDunphy goes to the team after continuing to gain international experience this year, despite coming back to Ireland to race at amateur level. He raced with US team SoCal Cycling for a period, winning the San Luis Road Race in San Diego, California, before going on to ride the Redlands Bicycle Classic, finishing 4th on the opening stage.

He also rode Tour of the Gila (2.2) in the US in late April, taking two top 10 placings on stages and finishing 12th overall. While that proved ideal preparation for Rás Tailteann in May, McDunphy crashed in that race – which he was one of the favourites for – and lost some time, eventually finishing 17th overall.

He also won nine races on the home scene, including the Shay Elliott Memorial in May, as well as the Bobby Power Memorial, Meath GP, Drumm Cup, Stephen Roche GP, Sliabh Luachra GP, two rounds of the Mondello Series and the National Hill Climb Championships.

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