McDunphy poised for big year of racing in France

By Stephen Leonard

CONN McDunphy is set to ignite, what he views as, a pivotal year for himself in the sport of cycling.

Still a member of Lucan Cycling Road Club, the former Coláiste Cois Life, Lucan student is set for another season of racing in France and his first out of the Under 23 ranks.

Conn McDunphy 3

Lucan Cycling Road Club member Conn McDunphy is preparing for a hugely important year of racing in France

McDunphy is preparing to link back up with his team CC Nogent-Sur-Oise just north-east of Paris ahead of what is sure to prove another jam-packed season, starting with a number of races around France before his first major event, the eight-day Tour or Normandy, a notoriously difficult contest given the heavy cross-winds in that region.

Looking forward to the challenge of the coming year, McDunphy told The Echo “This will be my first season out of the Under 23 category, so it’s a real sink or swim year for me, but I’m silently confident that I can make the step up.”

While he did miss out on the start to last season after being struck down with tonsillitis, the young competitor, who turns 23 next month, still managed to contest some 75 races last year.

All represented a huge step-up in level for the Lucan CRC rider, but he nevertheless held his own, finishing fourth in the 185km Paris-Connerré race and helping his CC Nogent-Sur-Oise team mate Vincent Pastot to victory.

It was a fine performance by McDunphy who had led the race with 7km to go before being caught up in a group of four in the closing stages and finishing just four seconds behind Pastot.

“Here [in Ireland] you find that 10-15 guys could win a race while over there about a 100 guys could win, so the level is so much higher” said McDunphy.

One of the most promising competitors among the current crop of top young Irish riders that is emerging right now, he was runner-up the National Under 23 Time Trial in both 2017 and 2018 and also won a stage of the 2018 Tour of Ulster in which he held the lead for two days.

That same year also saw him crowned National Track champion in the 4km Individual Pursuit before later moving to France to compete in the country’s top amateur division of cycling.

Indeed half of the programme there is made up of pro races with the remainder seeing competitors engage in Elite National competition.

McDunphy is also hoping to return home in June to compete in the much-anticipated Rás, perhaps as part of a National or Leinster squad, with the National Championships a week later also possibly on his agenda.

For now he will join back up with his team for three days next week before they all head to Spain for seven days of mountain training ahead of the start to the season.

No doubt 2020 will be a telling year for McDunphy’s whose family have kindled in him a love for the sport as he told The Echo “My grandad used to cycle back in the 40’s.

“My dad played rugby with the London Irish second or third team, but when he gave that up he started back cycling and he got me into it.”

Prev Donoghue delivers in Celtic Games
Next Woolley and co gear up for hectic start to season

  • Echo Sports 2020 January Team of The Month - Griffth College Templeogue
  • January 2020 Sports Star of the Month – Ellen Walshe
  • Inspiring The Future Ireland
  • Stephen Bradley and Jack Byrne look forward to 2020 season
  • The 2020 Echo Sports Awards Launch

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.