Team Ireland | UCI Cycling World Championships 2023 | Results


2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow, Scotland 4/8/2023
Women’s Elite Team Pursuit Qualifying Lara Gillespie, Emily Kay, Kelly Murphy and Alice Sharpe of Ireland
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/SWpix/Charlie Forgham-Bailey


August 4th Results & Report

In the Track World Championships, Ireland’s women’s team pursuit squad finished 9th in the qualifying round, narrowly missing out on progression to the next round. The team maintain a positive trajectory for Paris 2024 qualification with the top 10 ranked nations qualifying a spot for the Olympics.

Member of the Team Pursuit squad, Alice Sharpe explains how they have gained some crucial qualification points for Paris 2024 as she switches focus to the Madison event next week:

“We’ve got some vital qualification points there and put a bit of a gap or a buffer in between the teams that have been around us for those final qualification points. I’m excited for the Madison, that’s Monday so I have a few days to recover from the team pursuit and I’m riding that with Lara so excited to do that.”

Sharpe will also represent Ireland in the elite women’s road race which takes place on August 13th.

In the evening session, Emily Kay picked up a 12th place finish in the women’s scratch race after battling hard throughout. Among the top ten riders with four laps to go, Kay finished strong to take 12th.


August 5th Results & Report

The Road World Championships kicked off on Saturday as Seth Dunwoody and Liam O’Brien took on the junior men’s road race while Lucy Benezet Minns and Aine Doherty raced in the junior women’s road race.

Seth Dunwoody during the junior men’s road race (Image: SWPix)

Nine laps of the 14km circuit awaited the junior men as they took on a total of 127km around the Glasgow City Centre, which features several short and sharp climbs – the last of which – Montrose Street – was the most severe at almost 11% gradient for over 200m with slopes rising to over 14% in places.

O’Brien unfortunately suffered a crash towards the end of the opening lap before the Montrose Street climb, and after a bike change, he continued for almost two more laps.

However, O’Brien stepped off the bike before the end of the third lap after battling well throughout the race.

Dunwoody was amongst the main group for the opening two laps and remained in the top forty riders of the race until the final three laps but suffered cramp in the final 40km.

But the Armagh native persevered and came in to take a 69th place in his first Road World Championships at junior level.

Seth Dunwoody said:

“(My) first World Championships was a shock to the system to say the least. A longer race, 127km, longer than usual. Hell of a lot of corners to deal with but stayed upright for majority of the race. I had to get the elbows out on the first lap which was chaos. I think me and Liam started virtually at the back, so we had 155 riders in front of us to try make our way through.”

“Then early on in the race there was a split just in the group and I was just on the wrong side of it which was unfortunate but I kept plugging away around the course and ended forming a nice chase group of four up one of the steep climbs but the legs started to tighten up and cramp with about 40km to go so it was never going to look good after that.”

“I kept fighting, fighting my way around. The Irish crowds definitely pushed me around that until the very end, which was nice, but it was a surreal experience to say the least.”

Benezet Minns and Doherty delivered encouraging performances in the junior women’s road race on Saturday morning.

Benezet Minns showed strong determination to stay with an elite main bunch for the opening three laps as the top riders set a blistering pace throughout. She lost contact with that main group but battled well to earn a 32nd place finish.

Doherty suffered a crash in the opening 20km as well as a mechanical issue later in the race, but spurred on by a vocal Irish contingent roadside, finished in 50th place.

Aine Doherty during the junior women’s road race (Image: SWPix)

Both riders put in encouraging performances in a tough circuit which featured a series of technical corners within Glasgow City Centre.

Lucy Benezet Minns said:

“It was good, it was fun. Probably not the ride that I know I’m capable of doing but it was good fun, and the Irish crowds were really good on the streets, which was great.”

“It was full gas from the start which was a bit annoying for me. I got stuck behind a crash, so I was basically chasing for a lot of the first lap which was really frustrating. The crowds were really great.”


August 6th Results & Report

In a mixed day for Ireland at the UCI Cycling World Championships, the Elite Men’s Road Race saw six Irish riders battle hard in a brutal route around Scotland.

In a tough scratch race, three riders pulled away and gained a lap early on in the race. One rider got dropped which meant the bronze medal was all to ride for. There was a crash with less than 2km to go which saw the race

In the Elite Men’s Road Race, six Irish riders took on a brutal 272km course – beginning in Edinburgh before taking in ten 14km laps around a technical Glasgow City Centre circuit.

An Ireland team of Ben Healy, Sam Bennett, Ryan Mullen, Rory Townsend, Dillon Corkery and Cormac McGeough took to the start line on Sunday morning.

A brutal race saw just 51 of the 194 starters cross the line as the six riders representing Ireland did not finish.

Townsend established himself in the day’s early breakaway, spending roughly 150km at the front of the race alongside eight other riders before the main group of favourites made their catch and contested the win over the final 80km.

As the race meandered across the Scottish countryside towards Glasgow, a protest blocked the peloton’s road and the race was neutralised for almost one hour before a restart close to the bottom of the day’s big climb.

Following the climb, riders descended into Glasgow to join the circuit for just under the final 150km.

After the opening lap of the circuit, McGeough had lost contact with the peloton while Bennett suffered a mechanical issue and a bike change which also took him out of the running.

Mullen and Corkery also lost contact in the early laps and bowed out of the race.

Meanwhile, with Townsend sitting in a breakaway that would ultimately be caught by the main group of contenders inside the final 80km, Healy initially rode well alongside the big favourites.

But on the fourth lap, he missed a split and was unable to get back in touch with the main group as he chased with others behind.

At the end of the following lap, Townsend suffered a puncture that saw him lose his place in the breakaway and following the rear of the fast approaching main group, suffered a dropped chain while on the steep Montrose Street climb.

He passed the finish line into lap six +2:26 behind the breakaway of the day following the two issues, which took their toll as he failed to finish the following lap.

Speaking about the road race today, Cycling Ireland High Performance Director, Iain Dyer said:

“Naturally we’re disappointed with the outcome today. Nobody signs up for a day like that, but that’s the way it is. The team had a bit of bad luck, which changed our prospects during the race. I think looking at the result, you can see it’s just a tough day out for everyone.”

 “Rory getting into the break was exactly what was planned, and he turned in perhaps our best performance of the race. We had the back end of the race planned for Ben, but it unfortunately wasn’t his day on a tough finishing circuit.”

“We had some misfortune with punctures and Sam suffering a mechanical issue and a bike change. Ryan also punctured early in the race and Rory’s day in the break came to an end on the circuit due to a puncture.”

“After today we need to dust ourselves down and look forward to more opportunities in the week ahead.”

Rory Townsend said:

“(It was) Not as long of a day as I would have liked I guess. I’m happy to be out there, representing the jersey is pretty special. It’s pretty close to a home championships for the Irish team and there were a lot of shouts out there (from supporters) which was nice. It’s a shame that I punctured late on and that kind of put paid to our day.”

“I had a mechanical in the break and that put me out the back of the bunch. It looked like I could get back into the bunch again in a chase group of five and then turned onto the steep climb (Montrose Street) and dropped my chain. It was pretty much the worst place to drop a chain and it took me a while to get going again.”

August 7th Results & Report

Lara Gillespie and Alice Sharpe competing in the Madison (Image: SWpix)

In the Track World Championships, Lara Gillespie and Alice Sharpe combined for the 30km Madison race.

In a tough field, Ireland earned a point in an early sprint to sit in eighth but as the favourites upped the pace, much of the field were lapped as Ireland dropped to eleventh place.

The duo weren’t phased however and kept a high pace in the following laps to pick up another point in a sprint before a chaotic finale.

Sharpe suffered a crash with an Australian rider but was quick to her feet and continued before another crash with nine laps to go saw Gillespie crash after a Dutch rider fell into her path, seeing the race neutralised.

Gillespie too was able to get back on her bike and continue as the Irish pair finished the race in 12th place.

Reflecting on the race, Alice Sharpe said:

“Lara’s crash was really unlucky there, she got smashed down onto so there was nowhere (to go) and then I just got caught by a resting rider, whether to go left or right and I picked the wrong way and then I crashed.” 

“But on the whole, it was quite a positive race. Worlds is always a level up from the Nations Cups so whilst we did lose a lap, I think we can be pleased with our performance as a whole and there’s something to work on moving forwards.”  

“Last year at worlds we were just totally outclassed and yeah it was quite demoralising, but I think we’ve taken a big step forward here so it’s something positive to work on for the next lot of Nations Cups and hopefully to take into the Olympics because that was still a good performance and we’ll still have good points there for qualification.” 

Speaking about the level and intensity of the Madison, Sharpe added:

“That is the way the Madison is, you have to be super aggressive and the race was just getting more and more physical. As well as dodging bodies and there’s so much to look at, you have to be assertive and throw your weight around a bit and make sure you’re not getting pushed out of the way and hold your position.” 

August 9th Results & Report

Darren Rafferty finished 5th in the U23 Men’s Time Trial (Image: SWPix)

Darren Rafferty and Lara Gillespie starred in a strong day for Ireland as the UCI Cycling World Championships continued on Wednesday, August 9th.

In the Road World Championships, Rafferty picked up fifth place in the U23 Men’s Time Trial and came within a handful of seconds from a podium place while Lara Gillespie closed Ireland’s Track World Championships with a top ten finish in the Women’s Omnium.

Rafferty and Harvey both impressed in the U23 Men’s Time Trial in Stirling on Wednesday afternoon, with Rafferty finishing just seconds from a podium finish in 5th place.

Taking place over a fast 36.2km course around Stirling, riders took on a final 800m that featured a tough climb with a cobbled section until the finish line at the gates to the scenic Stirling Castle.

Harvey was among the day’s earlier starters and got the day off to a strong start as he finished 4th provisionally at the time of finishing, with his time of 45:08.13 setting an early benchmark for much of the field.

Harvey’s final two intermediate splits saw him gain some time on those around him in the standings and he placed 19th in the final standings after an excellent ride.

Taking to the start shortly after Harvey finished, Rafferty set a consistent pace throughout and was provisionally in fifth place at the first checkpoint after just under 13km.

With every intermediate checkpoint he solidified his place among the top contenders. A late surge in the final kilometres saw Rafferty fight his way onto a provisional podium.

And after a frantic rush to take his place on the podium hot seat, Rafferty sat alongside eventual winner Lorenzo Milesi before two late finishers saw him finish in 5th place in the official results.

An impressive time of 43:56.37 saw him finish just 5.22 seconds away from a bronze medal and just +56.01 from gold amongst the world’s best.

Darren Rafferty reflected on a good performance:

“I think I got everything right on the day. It’s a great course and it was nice to test myself against the best. I had a good day; everything went to plan, and I just didn’t have enough legs for the medal. Nothing went wrong and I have to be happy with where I finished.”

“It was a super hard course; it was great to have my family over and the atmosphere was unbelievable. The climb at the end was a bit of a brutal one but I’m glad it’s over now and onto the road race on Saturday.”

“(I was on the hot seat) For a couple of minutes, but I knew it wasn’t going to last long in third spot! It’s always nice to get up there for a few minutes. I have a nice easy day tomorrow to meet up with the rest of the team (U23 men’s road race team) and hopefully I’ll have some good legs on the circuit in Glasgow.”

Both Rafferty and Harvey will be part of the Ireland team riding in the U23 Men’s Road Race on Saturday, August 12th, that also includes Odhran Doogan, Aaron Wade and Jamie Meehan.

Lara Gillespie during the Women’s Omnium (Image: SWPix)

Lara Gillespie finished 9th in the Omnium after four events – the scratch, tempo, elimination and points races. The rider from Enniskerry has been on great form in recent weeks, winning the Omnium and Points race at the U23 European Track Championships last month.

In the opening scratch race Gillespie finished in 14th place in the bunch sprint, earning herself 14 points in a high paced race.

A strong finish for Gillespie in the tempo race saw her pick up a point on the finish line to place ahead of her competitors who didn’t manage to get a lap gain or any intermediate points.

A strong finish for Gillespie in the tempo race winning the final sprint gaining a point and earning herself a 7th place finish moving her up to 8th place overall in the Omnium rankings after two events.

An exciting and high paced elimination race which saw some of the race favourites eliminated early on in the race, Gillespie spent much of the race out of the danger zone, but ultimately was eliminated in 9th place.

Gillespie came into the final points race in 10th place and was active at the front for much of a thrilling race as she battled well in intermediate sprints.

In a rollercoaster race that saw many of the favourites attempt to gain lap and earn 20 points, Gillespie was positioned well and defended her place well to seal a 9th place finish – Ireland’s best performance in the Women’s Omnium at World Championships level.

Speaking after the Omnium, Lara Gillespie said:

“I’m really tired but I’m really happy with that result, to be honest. There are so many hitters here and I said before coming in that I’d be happy with a top ten finish. I’m happy with how I raced. I just took each race as it came, and I knew I needed to improve on some places and I’m happy that I’m progressing each time.”

Looking ahead to the U23 Women’s Road Race on Saturday, Gillespie added:

“I did the circuit a few times during the week and I’m really looking forward to racing it with the girls. It’s my first senior World Championships on the road. I’m feeling good, I wasn’t feeling too good at the start of the week, but I feel like I’m riding into it and looking forward to that.”

August 10th Results & Report

Lucy Benezet Minns has finished 4th in the Junior Women’s Time Trial after a stellar performance in her first Road World Championships.

Lining out in Thursday’s Time Trial, Benezet Minns and Aine Doherty represented Ireland in a talented field of the world’s best.

A fast 13.4km route that featured a steep final climb to the gates of Stirling Castle, riders left it all on the road in their pursuit of the rainbow jersey.

Setting a blistering early pace, Benezet Minns passed the intermediate time check in fourth place with still a number of riders to follow.

And the first-year junior rider pushed hard on the final climb to hold on to that fourth place provisionally as some of the big favourites approached.

But Benezet Minns’ time proved a difficult one for many to best and as the final riders crossed the line, a strong performance was underlined by an impressive result.

Her time of 20:07.77 was +36.26 seconds from gold and just over seven seconds away from a place on the podium.

Benezet Minns reflected on a good performance:

“It was pretty good. I went out pretty hard, I was a bit worried I had over cooked myself! I think the course suited me with the kicker at the end as well. I thought I had gone out too hard but in hindsight I did pretty good job pacing, and I had nothing left but that’s the way you want to finish.”

Still with limited experience competing in top level time trials, Lucy has shown she’s more than capable of riding against the best in the world.

She added:

“I’ve only done one UCI Time Trial so far this year and that was on a course that didn’t suit me, and it was my first time ever riding that bike so, but yeah it’s really good and hopefully I can come back next year and to get a better result which would be great.”

Lucy Benezet Minns earns a 4th place finish in the Junior Women’s Time Trial (Image: SWPix)

Aine Doherty was also competing today in the Junior Women’s Individual Time Trial place spending some time in the hotseat as the provisional leader in the standings as she set an early benchmark.

Ultimately finishing in 33rd place, the result represents a promising performance in her first World Championships.

Aine Doherty said:

“It was a tough course, but I gave it everything today so I’m happy enough with my performance.”

Later in the afternoon, Kelly Murphy represented Ireland in a stacked Women’s Elite Time Trial field, taking on a 36.2km course featuring the ever-brutal climb to Stirling Castle.

Murphy put in a solid performance to finish 7th provisionally at her time of finishing and 30th in the final results.

Kelly Murphy said:

“Time Trials are always hard! You give as much as you’ve got and try and measure yourself right until the end, but this one was particularly unique in that in the end there was a kilometre with a lot of cobbles, crowds and very steep. It was a kilometre too long!”

“Definitely (happy), it’s the World Championships and there’s 90 of us on the start list. Even to come in at the halfway mark you’re doing a good job. You realise the world’s a really big place when you turn up to events like these. To come at least half-way is really good and I’m really happy.”

August 11th Results & Report

Adam Rafferty competing in the Men’s Junior Time Trial (Image by SWpix)

Ireland enjoyed another positive day at the UCI Cycling World Championships, which included more consistent performances in the time trial events at the Road World Championships.

Ryan Mullen and Adam Rafferty were the big performers as they took impressive results in the Elite Men and Junior Men time trials respectively.

Mullen picked up an impressive 19th place after taking to the start early in the day, spending much of the race on the provisional podium – only leaving the hot seat as the big favourites came in late in the afternoon.

A 47.8km course presented a stern test for many in Stirling and Mullen’s time of 58:21.57 saw him finish over three minutes down on Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel at the line.

Ryan Mullen said:

“It was long, hard and windy. I feel like I judged it quite well because I didn’t fade, and I was able to have enough left in the brain to consciously back off the last few kms before the climb to here (the finish). I just emptied myself across the line and I was caught (by the Ireland soigneur) before I hit the ground!”

Ben Healy also put in a strong performance to finish 26th, just under 12 seconds behind Mullen as the duo briefly enjoyed a stint on the provisional podium together.

After a brutal road race last Sunday, Healy was happy with his performance and encouraged by the pair’s rides on the world stage.

Ben Healy said:

“I’ve been suffering a little bit after the road race, so I came into the TT not knowing what to expect. I set out pretty steadily but I actually had some gas to give. I finished pretty strongly and did a good performance. Maybe not the best result on paper but I can be pleased with my performance. It’s good to see us (me and Ryan Mullen) doing well – seven seconds again like Nationals – it’s just good to see us both going well.”

Earlier in the day, the Junior Men’s Time Trial saw Adam Rafferty and Liam O’Brien put in stellar performances to finish among the leading contenders.

Rafferty powered around the 22.8km course in 29:27.88 just 58 seconds down on gold medal winner Oscar Chamberlain placing 8th overall. The National Champion put in a strong second half to finish 3rd provisionally and a top ten finish in 8th place in the overall standings.

O’Brien also had an impressive performance finishing in 11th place, completing the course in 29:47.10, a strong result for the Fermoy CC rider – who set the early benchmark – spending an extended time on the provisional podium.

Adam Rafferty said:

“The first 10km on the main road, I just got the head down and focused on being aero. I got pretty much bang on my pacing for the first 10km while I was just holding back that bit, because I knew it was the next intermediate that would make the difference so just started hurting after the first intermediate, just taking the pain and then taking a rest where I could.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever ridden that hard in a time trial in my life and in the villages, it was lovely hearing all the people out supporting. And yeah, then it was just a suffer-fest until I saw that 1km to go flag and the adrenaline really just hit, I could see the rider in front of me, I did end up catching them and it was great I was able to sit in the big ring because I was riding a 52-11.”

“I think it was about 500m to go when you turn the corner onto the cobbles and the crowd just hits you. The adrenaline is amazing, I’ve never felt anything like it.”

Liam O’Brien said:

“Yeah it was a good race, good to get on the hot seat for a while and spent a good bit of time on that. It was quite a crosswind on the way out, so it was just about pushing along there and trying to save a bit for that last climb, and it was a good ride. I could hear people shouting out my name along parts of the course, it was quite nice.”

August 12th Results & Report

It was a busy day at the Road World Championships as five riders represented Ireland in the U23 Men’s Road Race, taking in 168.4km from Loch Lomond before seven laps of the technical Glasgow circuit (14km per lap) already seen in last week’s racing.

A strong team, led by Darren Rafferty, took to the line, including Jamie Meehan, Odhran Doogan, Dean Harvey and Aaron Wade.

Yet another brutal road race, wet conditions meant that staying upright was vital for the top contenders in their pursuit of a rainbow jersey – with Rafferty among those names being noted as potential suitors.

All five riders remained in the bunch approaching the entry to the punchy circuit, but chaos soon ensued as several crashes dictated a tough race.

Rafferty would crash twice in a bruising ride that saw him amongst the front of the peloton for much of the afternoon. A minor crash around the entrance to the circuit saw him recover well, but a second fall saw Meehan work extremely hard in his service to help Rafferty chase his way back on to an elite main group.

But despite Rafferty’s determination to remain with the main group, the victors would ultimately come from the front of the race. An early breakaway comprised of most of the big-name nations held off the charge.

With numerous selections and iterations of that break – including some riders who made decisive attacks from the peloton – Axel Laurance broke clear inside the final 30km to take the victory.

Rafferty was instrumental in the chase as the main group came under 30 seconds from catching the breakaway, but with more nations running out of riders or with riders up the road, the urgency soon left the chase as Rafferty rolled in with a 25th place finish.

Harvey was enjoying a strong race before a mechanical led to a bike change that left him well behind the main group. He showed he was on a strong day as he formed a chase group that joined up with Doogan and ultimately Meehan after their jobs were done in support of Rafferty.

Wade was the only Irish rider not to finish the race, he came into the circuit in the main bunch but lost contact as the pace of the race came to a boiling point on the streets of Glasgow over the next two laps.

Rafferty admitted his disappointment after the race but acknowledged the support of his teammates and Irish fans roadside.

Darren Rafferty said:

“It was hard, I’m a bit disappointed to be honest. I thought the race was going to come back a bit more to the group of favourites but the intensity went out of it in the last few laps. I burnt quite a few matches after a crash coming in to the circuit and then another crash in the rain – so a lot of chasing.”

“I felt really good today and thought I could be on for a good result but in the end I got nothing out of it really. I have to say a huge thanks to the boys, it’s one of the first times we’ve all stuck together, in the lead-in to the circuit we did what we could for positioning.”

“I came into the circuit in the top twenty and then there was a crash in front and there wasn’t much I can do. It was just a wearing-down process. Not really the result I thought I was capable of but on to the next one. A nice atmosphere, great crowds, plenty of people out cheering from home.”

Darren Rafferty after his 25th place finish in the U23 Men’s Road Race (Image: SWPix)

Chris Dawson picked up a 59th place finish in the Men’s Elite Cross-country Olympic race, finishing +6:38 behind gold medal winner Tom Pidcock at Glentress Forest.

August 12th Results & Report
2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, Loch Lomond, Scotland 13/8/2023
Women’s Elite Road Race Alice Sharpe of Ireland / Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/SWpix/Alex Whitehead

The final day of competition at the UCI Cycling World Championships saw the Women’s Road Race take centre stage. Racing for Team Ireland was Alice Share, Megan Armitage and Lara Gillespie.

Lara Gillespie – 68th Megan Armitage – 79th Alice Sharpe – DNF

A battling performance from all riders as Gillespie & Armitage battle all the way to the finish, Sharpe didn’t finish but put in a solid ride in support of her teammates in the first half of the race. 

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