McDunphy ready to compete at the top with EvoPro team
Lucan Cycling Road Club member Conn McDunphy is relishing the prospect of competing in top races around Europe with EvoPro. Photo by Morizet Photography

McDunphy ready to compete at the top with EvoPro team

CONN McDunphy is poised to take a much-anticipated step-up to top-level cycling under the wing of his new team, EvoPro Racing in 2022.

An Irish professional cycling team, EvoPro will be fielding riders in a number of the most prestigious races in Europe and McDunphy is relishing the opportunity to complete against the very best in the sport.

“I joined EvoPro in July last year” said McDunphy, who previously raced with CC Nogent-sur-Oise in France. “They’re the only Irish pro team and we’re going to start racing in Belgium at the start of March.

“We have a service course and team house in Belgium, in between Gent and Bruges. That’s where our base is, where we meet before we go to races.

“We’re going to have so many big races, riding twice, three times a week. These are the races at the top of the sport and that’s where I need to be to progress.

“France was good to develop, and so the next step is to try and get results in the top races to try and get on to a better team. Evo will enable us to do that.

“I asked Sam Bennett for advice there last year in the Europeans and he was like ‘just get stuck into any pro racing that you can, because if you’re not winning in your early years at Under 23, they’re not going to look at you for World Tour teams.’

“So that’s what I’m doing. Just get stuck in and see where I go” said the Lucan Cycling Road Club member and former Coláiste Cois Life, Lucan student.

McDunphy only returned home to Ireland last week after spending several months in Spain training and he is looking forward to linking up with his new team ahead of the 2022 season.

“I’ve been in Spain for three months just really training” he said.

“The season ended for me the last weekend of October and I came out here to Girona and have stayed here pretty much since.

“It’s just class for training. You don’t have to worry about the weather and we’ve just got a nice training group here. I haven’t had as good a winter’s training ever.

“I started working with a new coach in October, James Spragg. He’s a really knowledgeable guy.

“And now I’m going home to an Irish team. I know lots of the guys, the manager, Morgan Fox is a good friend of mine, so it’s almost like racing with family. Having that is very important” he stressed.

While he is not burdening himself with many targets over the coming year, McDunphy is hoping to build on a great season on home soil that saw him finish third in the National Road Race Championships behind Daire Feely and winner Ryan Mullen last October.

“They’re all going to be new races for me [on the continent] so it’s hard to know how I’ll fare, but after being third in the National Road Race Championships last year, that’s one I really want to win” said the 2020 National Time Trial champion.

“After that, I’m just going to play it by ear and see where we go.

“I do have some targets in the back of my head. We’ve got some nice races in France and one or two races I did quite well in with Evo towards the end of the year.

“But in pro racing, a lot can depend on what riders turn up and how the race goes” he stressed.

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