“Criticising younger riders then not helping them is a joke”

Posted on: January 12th, 2017


National cyclocross champion Beth McCluskey had a strong case to be included on an Irish selection for the upcoming World Championships in Luxembourg but no Irish team is being sent (Photos: Toby Watson)


By Brian Canty

One of those riders aggrieved to miss selection for the upcoming World cyclocross championships in Luxembourg has spoken about her dissatisfaction at the governing body’s stance on sending an Irish team.

Yesterday, Cycling Ireland released a lengthy statement outlining their reasons for the non-selection of riders and to the reigning national champion Beth McCluskey it’s been hard to accept.

“I’m more annoyed about Roger (Aiken, elite champion), JB Murphy (junior champion) and their coaches not going than myself,” said McCluskey.

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“The decision not to send riders was made in September,” she said, adding people she knows have told her the call was made back then.

“I think there are serious questions here like why make that decision in September when the World Championships are five months away?

“Why not sit down with riders openly and transparently and say the level they’re at isn’t up to the level of those riders currently competing at world level?

“Why not say to riders; ‘we need to do this, this and this and we will help you get there’. Is that not the job of Cycling Ireland?

“Development is a joke and to criticise the riders and coaches by saying the level isn’t there, yet offer no help to improve; it is a joke.

“I’m just disheartened that Cycling Ireland can’t see the potential for cyclocross riders to be world-class in Ireland.

“It’s a 10-year plan and if that starts with three or four riders going to the worlds in 2017 for a small investment of roughly €2,000 and we win a medal in 2027 that is money well spent. It is not about me or Roger, it’s about the future.”