Fintan Ryan on winning Crit Champs: I knew positioning would be key

Posted on: July 12th, 2019
Fintan Ryan on his way to his first elite title on the road at the National Criterium Championships in Tynagh, Co Galway, last night (All photos by Fintan Ryan)

Fintan Ryan has said because his track form was very good of late he decided to try and use it to win the National Criterium Championships last night.

The Kingspan Track Team man arrived at the championships in Tynagh, Co Galway, determined that he or one the Wicklow-based riders he trains with would take the gold.

And so it came to pass; Ryan stepped up on the last lap of the very right Pallas karting track to unleash his gallop to win.

While he had taken a great stage win at the Tour of Ulster earlier this year, and with it the pink race leader’s jersey, he said last night’s win was bigger.

Indeed, he believed it was his best victory on the road since he became national junior road racing champion.

He claimed last night’s gold ahead of Luke Smith (BioRacer-DHL-FRS) and Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles).

Ryan keeps an eye on eventual bronze medal winner Darnell Moore (left) and last year’s crit champion Dillon Corkery, who claimed team gold last night (Photo: Toby Watson)
Luke Smith on his way to silver last night
Darnell Moore won bronze to add to his Ulster crit title (Photo: Toby Watson)

On the track he’s been elite kilo champion, has won the Irish madison title, the scratch race crown, the madison title.

However, despite having so many Irish titles, he said winning last night really pleased him.

“The race was active from the start,” he said of a very fast event run off on an unusually tight court.

“There lots of strong Bioracer-DHL lads making the racing as well as the likes of Darnell Moore, Angus Fyffe, Lindsay Watsons, Richie Maes and a few more.

“With the circuit being like a miniature Mondello, the lads from our Wicklow chaingang and I were all well prepped to take a good result.

“Between three of them – Luke Kearney, Cian Keogh and David Conroy – they’ve won the last four Mondellos. So I knew one of us would be on the podium.

“But I’m delighted that I’ll have the bragging rights on the coffee spins now,” he said, adding he minded himself carefully in the early stages last night.

Ryan got ahead in the final corners and won it well in the end (Photo: Toby Watson)
Conor Hennebry leads from Corkery, Ryan and Lindsay Watson (Photo: Toby Watson)

“I just wanted to stay out of trouble for most of it but I still had few close calls,” he explained.

“I made a few attacks and followed a few moves but the circuit didn’t favour a breakaway.

“I knew positioning would be key in the last four bends and I felt strong all race. So I kept my powder dry to put myself in the best place possible coming into the last bend.

“After that it was just about getting a big sprint out and making sure I didn’t lie down as I’m not used to right turns,” he added of being more used to the velodrome.

“In the end I was delighted to take it. I’ve been feeling good on the track lately and thought I might have a chance.

“But I really was very happy to take the win ahead of some seriously talented riders in the race.”