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Dean Harvey put in a very strong performance in Dublin, where the U23 race was part of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup and attracted a first class field (Photo: Toby Watson)

National senior men’s cyclocross champion took the best result for the Irish today at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Dublin. The Trinity Racing rider, competing today with Team Ireland, put in a great ride to take 11th in the U23 men’s race.

He would have been into the top 10 but for an unfortunate sequence of events later in the race, which cost him dearly as he was doing battle for 8th place in the race. Conor Murphy (Team Ireland) and Aliyah Rafferty (Team Ireland) led the way for the national team in the junior races, taking top 20 placings.

It was a day when the new generation banked valuable experience, helped around the course on the Sport Ireland Campus in Abbottstown by a large appreciative crowd delighted to see the national team riders taking on their international rivals.

Harvey looked on course for the top 10 result he was aiming for until a slow puncture he suffered went unnoticed deep into the contest. When he changed bikes he did not realise the air was slowly leaking and it wasn’t until he got onto the same bike, after changing again, that the problem became apparent.

The set-back couldn’t have come at a worse time as Harvey was battling with the French trio of Martin Groslambert, Nathan Bommenel and last year’s junior world champion, Léo Bisiaux. In the end, all three went ahead of the Irishman on the last lap, with Harvey 11th, on the same time as Bisiaux and 10 seconds off Bommenel.

The race was won by Dutch 20-year-old Tibor Del Grosso (Alpecin-Deceuninck), who also claimed last weekend’s World Cup in Troyes. Today he was 13 seconds up on Emiel Verstrynge (Belgium), with European champion Jente Michels (Belgium) 3rd at 33 seconds.

For the Irish U23 women’s team, when their event was combined with the elite race, it denied them the opportunity of competing against their peers. Instead, they went up against some of the best pro athletes in the business.

Former world champion, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions), took her first World Cup win of the season – her 18th career win in the World Cup and the 50th senior victory of an incredible career.

Today she crossed the line, caked in mud after the heavens opened, some 38 seconds up on another former world champion, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck), with British champion Zoe Backstedt (Canyon-SRAM Racing) 3rd at 45 seconds.

Former Irish champion Maria Larkin, riding for her Donkey Label Racing team, was 37th. Then came a quartet of Team Ireland riders, finishing 40th to 43rd; Caoimhe May, Roisin Lally, Darcey Harkness and Doireann Killeen. Stephanie Roche (Scott Bright Motor Group) was 44th.

In the men’s junior race, Conor Murphy was best of a five-rider Irish team, taking 18th some 1:45 down on solo winner Stefano Viezzi (Italy). Joseph Mullen was 23rd at 2:46 with David Gaffney 29th at 4:04. Cal Tutty placed 36th at 6:41 while Cameron Henry was 37th at 6:53 and Michael Collins was 38th at 7:43.

In the women’s junior race, French rider Célia Gery took victory, ahead of Britain’s Cat Ferguson and Imogen Wolff, who were at 25 and 47 seconds respectively. Aliyah Rafferty took 20th for Team Ireland, at 4:06, while Greta Lawless was 21st at 4:12 and Aine Doherty was 26th at 6:51 – Lawless overcoming an early crash and Doherty suffering mechanical problems that forced he to a stop for a time.

Sun, Nov 26th: UCI Cyclocross World Cup, Dublin

Sport Ireland Campus, Abbottstown

Men’s U23 Race

1 DEL GROSSO Tibor Alpecin – Deceuninck 0:55:57
2 VERSTRYNGE Emiel Crelan – Corendon 0:13
3 MICHELS Jente Alpecin – Deceuninck 0:33
4 LELANDAIS Rémi Team CX TPM 1:24
5 LAURYSSEN Yorben Pauwels Sauces – Bingoal 1:33
6 HUYBS Ward Baloise Trek Lions 1:48
7 DOCKX Aaron Crelan – Corendon 2:03
8  GROSLAMBERT Martin Van Rysel CX Racing Team 2:55
9  BOMMENEL Nathan AS Bike Racing 3:02
10  BISIAUX Léo ,,
11  HARVEY Dean Team Ireland 3:12
12  LEQUET Corentin AS Bike Racing 3:52
19  MEEHAN Jamie Team Ireland 6:04
22 KILLEEN Tadhg Team Ireland –
DNF  HARKNESS Travis Team Ireland

Women Elite-U23

1 FIRE Lucinda Baloise Trek Lions 0:54:59
2 ALVARADO Ceylin del Carmen Alpecin – Deceuninck 0:38
3  BACKSTEDT Zoe Canyon//SRAM Racing 0:45
4 SCHREIBER Marie Team SD Worx 0:57
5 VAN DER HEIJDEN Inge Crelan – Corendon 1:10
37  LARKIN Maria Donkey Label Racing –
40 MAY Caoimhe Ireland –
41  LALLY Roisin Ireland –
42  HARKNESS Darcey Ireland –
43 KILLEEN Doreen Ireland –
44  ROCHE Stephanie Scott Bright Motor Group –

Junior Men

1 VIEZZI Stefano 0:41:39
2 VAN DEN BOER Arthur 0:08
3 THE SUN Keije,,
5 SPARFEL Aubin 0:18
18 MURPHY Conor 1:45
23 MULLEN Joseph 2:46
29 GAFFNEY David 4:04
36 TUTTY Cal 6:41
37 HENRY Cameron 6:53
38 COLLINS Michael 7:43

Junior Women

1 GERY Celia 0:39:11
2  FERGUSON Cat 0:25
3  WOLFF Imogen 0:47
4 MULLER Amandine 1:03
5 LOPEZ Life 1:04
20  RAFFERTY Aliyah Ireland 4:06
21  LAWLESS Greta Ireland 4:12
26  DOHERTY Aine Ireland 6:51

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