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Ryan Mullen European Champs Report

Mr Mullen senior sent us the following race report from the European Junior Champs in Offida Itlay:

Both the Time trial and the road race were held over circuits in and around Offida, a mountain top town in Italy. The heat was sweltering all week. With temperatures peeking at 43 degrees Celsius when Ryan was time trialling. The heat was a major factor in the races with many riders effected greatly by it.

The time trial was 25km in length with the first 5 miles being down a technical decent and a small climb. Ryan was 4th fastest to the bottom of the decent in a time of 8 minutes and 33 seconds, 8 seconds slower than the fastest time down the decent. The next intermediate time check was about 7 miles further down the road with a steady climb/false flat up to it.

When Ryan went through this he was the fastest of the day at that point, but by the end of the day he ended up being 10th fastest through this time check. The following 4 or so miles were up a monster of a climb, ridiculously steep to have a time trial up. The time trial may as well have been a hill climb! None the less, Ryan lost a bucket of time up this after having gone far too quickly in attempt to catch his minute and 2 minute man at the bottom of the climb.

Ryan Mullen Planet XAs soon as Ryan caught his minute man at the bottom of the climb, he shot straight back past him and rode away from him up the climb. After the main climb was over, there was a small decent for roughly 400m then it started going up hill again for another mile before finally reaching the finish. Ryan rolled over the line in 25th spot. However, he was the 5th first year junior on the day; which bodes well for next year.

Ryan is now looking forward to the world time trial championships which are being held in Denmark. The course is pan flat which suits a rider of Ryan's build. With a bit more training and a lesson in pacing, Ryan should be right up there inside the top 10 come September time in Denmark.
Ryan Mullen Planet XRyan also rode in the road race too. The race was 110 km long. It involved going over pretty much the same course used for the time trial except involving a 50mph technical decent down the other side of the climb. Riders had to complete 8 laps of this circuit. Straight from the off, the pace was frantic and with riders being very nervous, this led to lots of small spills with riders touching wheels and diving in to gaps that weren't there. Ryan found this road race course exceptionally difficult.

Straight away, riders were being shelled out the back in dribs and drabs. Ryan hung on for as long as he could up the main climb, but being against riders over a year older than him and 20 kilos lighter, he soon slipped off the back of the disintegrating peloton the 3rd time up the climb. Unable to catch back on to the back of the bunch, Ryan rode round on his own for a few painful laps joining smaller groups that were being shelled off the back of the bunch. On the start of his 6th lap, Ryan was told to pull out of the race by a commissaire. Great britain representative Matt Holmes pulled out of the race 2 laps before Ryan.

Out of the 140 riders that started the race, only 80 finished. The race was won by French-man Pierre Henri Lecuisinier.

Ryan Mullen Planet X
All a great learning experience for Ryan. It has made him aware of the exceptionally high standard of riders across Europe and it has given him an insight of what he needs to work on if he wants to be up there in future races.
As his team manager said to Ryan, "Horses for courses, and this course wasn't for this horse"
 
Like the TT in Denmark, the road race is relatively flat, which will again give Ryan a chance to show a true representation of his abilities.

Grab yourself a bike like Ryan's here

27 July 2011

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