“I heard dad shout. I knew I’d be walking home if I didn’t win”

Posted on: March 12th, 2018

Dillon Corkery

Dillon Corkery had plenty of support in Limerick yesterday. He said some of that support was vocal and put the fear of God into him so he couldn’t mess things up (Photo by Sean Rowe, homepage by John Coleman)


Dillon Corkery on his dream start to the cycling season


One of the best junior cyclists in the country over the last couple of years, Dillon Corkery enjoyed something of a coming of age at the weekend.

Not only did he move out of the juniors and into the elite ranks; he won both races he rode.

The teenager put in an attack full of class in the A2 race at Rás Naomh Finian on Saturday.

He went off the front solo with 30km remaining and survived for a dominant victory. And just 24 hours later he was making a nuisance of himself again; this time in Limerick.

He would prove the strongest in Rás Luimní; this time racing against the A1s.

Corkery made what would prove to be the winning breakaway early in the main event.

And when it fractured, he went off the front again; this time with Conor Hennebry (Viner-Caremark-Pactimo) and Paul Kennedy (Newcastle West).

In the sprint to the line he was too quick for both; scalping some very good A1 riders for his second win in two days.

He told stickybottle that on Saturday he went clear in a breakaway after about 15km.

However, when the riders hit the final big drag on the course the gap looked to be coming down.

And so Corkery decided he’d attack; thus beginning a dream couple of days.

“I said I’d whack it and see how things went,” he said. “Luckily I had two team mates behind me to jump into any moves that tried to chase me,” he added of Jack Caldwell and Cian Dwyer.


Dillon Corkery

Dillon Corkery

Dillon Corkery

The breakaway in Rás Luimní, Dillon Corkery going toe-to-toe with Conor Hennebry in the sprint for victory, and winning on Saturday (Pics: SeanRowe & JohnColeman)


Corkery said he was delighted to win, especially for new team Gerard-DHL. Furthermore, rather than resting on his laurels he went to Limerick in aggressive form yesterday looking for more.

“It was a big day for me; coming out of Saturday’s race,” he said. “And I was hungry for more results.

“A big breakaway of guys went up the road once the flag dropped with some good riders like Hennebry, Kennedy and Paidi O Brien; my own team mate.

“The move stayed away for the whole race with the time gap bouncing up and down all day.

“Attacks started going in the last 10km and Hennebry, myself and Kennedy rode away. There was a lot of cat and mouse played in the last 2 to 3km.

“But it was good fun mixing it up with the bigger guys. Kennedy led out the sprint from far out. And I just stayed on the wheel until about 150m to go.

“I heard my dad shouting and I knew if I didn’t win I’d be walking home! I was lucky enough to get the hands up for the second time in two days.”

Corkery was quick to point to the role Paidi O’Brien played in his victory. He said he wouldn’t have won on Sunday without him.

O’Brien plays a road captain role with the new Gerard-DHL team; a new development squad for U23 riders.

Gerard-DHL is sponsored by Gerard cycles, a new bike manufacturer owned by former top flight Irish international John Gerard Sheehan. And the DHL parcels company has also come on board with its support.

Former international Tim Cassidy is involved, along with Liam Cullen and Derek Stenson; cyclist and father of U23 international Adam Stenson.

Corkery said he feels very at home in the set-up. And with two wins to his name already it looks like a good move.

While clearly in great form already, he began his season after a challenging winter campaign because of a crash.

“My winter training started in late September. Things were going well until I crashed badly out mountain biking with some friends,” he explained.

“I split my knee open to the bone,” he said, adding he and coach Tim Barry were then forced to consider now to approach training.

While a three-month break from training was initially suggested, after surgery, to allow the healing process take its course, such a long lay-off was not needed in the end.

“I didn’t think myself I’d need three months,” said Corkery. “And thankfully I was back on the bike a lot sooner.

“Tim was dishing out the good training again and that has led me to a good start to my season.

“My plans for the year are too make U23 Irish selections,” he said. “I’d also hope to ride a good Rás. And the racing I’m doing now will hopefully help me prepare for that.

“I’m generally looking to getting good results. With races like the Des Hanlon only around the corner; hopefully that could put me in the running for Nations Cup selections.”