Roche, Martin and Deignan named to Irish squad for Elite road race world championships, one more place to be filled
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Roche, Martin and Deignan named to Irish squad for Elite road race world championships, one more place to be filled

by Shane Stokes at 5:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Dillion and Spath will ride women’s road race; junior slots also named

Nicolas RocheTour de France stage winner and Liège-Bastogne-Liège victor Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) is still getting over the effects of the head injury which took him out of the Vuelta a España but he and his cousin Nicolas Roche (Saxo Tinkoff, pictured), who is second overall in the Spanish race, have both been confirmed for the Irish team for the world road race championships later this month.

As expected, the duo will be joined by the climber Philip Deignan, who has returned to his top form this year. The UnitedHealthcare rider won the Tour of the Gila, took top ten finishes in the Tour of California, USA Pro Challenge and the Tour of Utah, and has now inked a deal to move to Team Sky for 2014.

Thanks to the points total gathered by its riders this year, the small country has four places in the worlds. The final place will be filled shortly, with the contenders for that slot being given a little more time by Cycling Ireland to make an impression.

The federation has not confirmed the names of those being considered for that final place on the team, but has said that four riders are in the shakeup.

Connor McConvey (Synergy Baku) and Matt Brammeier (Champion System) are presumed to be in the running, with Sam Bennett, Ronan McLaughlin (both An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly) and Philip Lavery (Cofidis stagiare) possibly also being considered.

Martin has not competed since withdrawing from the Vuelta a España last weekend. He is on the provisional start list for the Tour of Britain, but told VeloNation yesterday that his participation was yet to be confirmed. It is understood that he is still recovering from the concussion he suffered on stage seven.

Providing he can get good training in and ride the Tour of Britain to give him a little extra sharpness after his layoff, he will be one of the watched riders in the race. So too Roche, who is in his best ever form.

Ireland will have two slots in the elite women’s road race. Current national title holder Mel Spath plus former champion Olivia Dillion have been given the nod, and are working towards being in top shape for the event.

Spath has been racing with Team Tibco this season and is looking forward to her worlds debut. Dillion has also been racing with a US-based team, NOW and Novartis for MS. Both will compete as part of the Ireland team in the Rás na mBan, an international stage race to be held next week in Co. Clare, Ireland, and featuring a number of overseas teams.

Five other riders will also take part in the worlds. Junior Tour of Ireland winner Eddie Dunbar, Dylan Foley and Mark Downey will compete in the junior road race, while Downey will also do the time trial. Matthew Doyle has been named as a reserve and will step in if any of the three can’t take part.

The remaining two places will be filled by riders in the Under 23 time trial. One of those slots has been confirmed for double European track championship bronze medallist Ryan Mullen. The second place will be determined after this weekend’s Port Talbot time trial in Britain, where Conor Dunne and Marcus Christie will scrap it out.


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