Formidable Irish U23 team revealed for Tour de l’Avenir showdown

Posted on: August 8th, 2018

Cycling Ireland Tour de l'Avenir

Cycling Ireland has selected a very strong Irish U23 team for the Tour de l’Avenir in France. Above, Michael O’Loughlin on the attack in the race 12 months ago.


Cycling Ireland reveals Tour de l’Avenir team


A very strong Irish team has been selected for the Tour de l’Avenir, known as the mini Tour de France for U23 riders.

Eddie Dunbar (Aqua Blue Sport) is selected as is the Team Wiggins trio of Michael O’Loughlin, Matt Teggart and Mark Downey.

Daire Feeley (Union Cycliste de Monaco) also makes the cut as does Darragh O’Mahony (Team CC Nogent-sur-Oise).

It’s a formidable selection for Ireland, composed of riders who can all go on the attack and take something from the race.

The Irish went close a number of times last year to a stage win. And this time around the selection is strong enough to target both stages and the overall.

They will really be up against it, of course, as the race is made up of the best riders in the world.

Egan Bernal, now already a top WorldTour rider with Team Sky, won the hardest stages and the overall last year.

But the Irish riders have all developed really well in recent years.  And they are at the stage, some in their final year, in the U23 category to really go for it in France.

Last year a crash forced out Ryan Reilly and Downey fell victim to illness and was forced out. However, Downey was 7th on the opening stage and scored a total of three top 10s before he abandoned.

O’Loughlin was hit with a crash and illness and was also forced out of the race 12 months ago.

But he put in a great breakaway ride on stage 6. He was caught on the finishing straight and had to settle for 7th.

O’Mahony put in a great breakaway effort on stage 4 last year. And Teggart held the climbers’ jersey for several stages.

Feeley also rode very well twelve months ago. Dunbar, the U23 Tour of Flanders winner last year, will be making his debut in the race.

The race takes place over nine stages from August 17th to 26th.

More to follow.


Cycling Ireland Tour de l'Avenir

Matt Teggart in the climbers’ jersey at the Tour de l’Avenir in 2017. The Irish team rode a fantastic race; won overall by a young Colombian called Egan Bernal.

Cycling Ireland Tour de l'Avenir

Illness and crashes hit the team as the race progressed last year. But Daire Feeley would survive.

Cycling Ireland Tour de l'Avenir

The Irish team that went up the road early and often in France last year.