Mullen 11th at World Championships

Ryan Mullen has finished in 11th place in the Under 23 Time Trial on the first day of action at the World Road Championships in Richmond, Virginia. Eddie Dunbar was 38th in the same event while Ciara Doogan was 28th in the earlier Women's Junior Time Trial.

Last year's silver medallist Mullen started second last of the 50 riders by which time drizzle had begun to fall at the start line. At the first intermediate time check after 7.5km, Mullen had lost 25 seconds and, though he improved on the more open second half of the first lap, the damage was already done.

Mullen was 16th at the end of the first of two 15km laps, 11th at the final check with 7.5km to go and retained that position to the finish to finish 49.99s behind the race winner Mads Wurtz of Denmark.

Riding earlier in the starting order, Cork's Eddie Dunbar finished in a time of 39m45.51s, 2m34.55s behind Wurtz and good enough for 38th position

Dunbar is back in action on Friday when he rides the 162.2km Under-23 Road Race at 17.45, Irish time.

Earlier in today, Ciara Doogan got the Irish challenge under way in the Junior Women's Time Trial.

The Donegal teenager finished 28th on her first visit to the world road championships. Doogan's time of 23m04.49s was 2m46.02s behind the winner, Chloe Dygert of the United States.

Like Dunbar, Doogan will be back in action later in the week when she takes to the start line in Friday's 64.9km Junior Road Race at 3pm, Irish time.

The next Irish riders in action are Men's Juniors Simon Tuomey and Michael O'Loughlin whose start times in their 30km time trial are at 15.23 and 17.02, respectively, tomorrow afternoon.

Later in the day reigning elite national time trial champion Siobhán Horgan rides the 30km Women's Elite Time Trial. (Time to be confirmed.)

High Performance Coach Brian Nugent said:"It was a superb effort by Ryan but that's the nature of time trialling. Conditions can change through the day and he never gave up trying throughout. The first intermediate split cost him a lot of time and it was damage limitation after that. For Eddie, it was a good effort on a course that wasn't really suited to him. He rode well and it will be a useful experience for future championships and a great tune up for Friday's road race.Likewise Ciara did a really strong ride at her first world championships and will have gained a lot from the experience. She did a good job in finishing stronger than she started and she'll go forward with confidence to the road race.







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