Eddie Dunbar on the Giro: “I felt strong; it’s nice to get going”

Posted on: May 11th, 2019
Eddie Dunbar before his TT ride in Bologna. The Irish rider is in his first Grand Tour aged 22 years and is delighted to be underway with Team Ineos.

Eddie Dunbar has said he was delighted to get underway at the Giro, adding the atmosphere on yesterday’s TT climb had pushed him on.

The 22-year-old Irishman is part of a mainly youthful Giro Team Ineos squad and comes into the race after a great Tour de Yorkshire last weekend.

He attacked the final stage and ended the race 3rd overall and 3rd on that final day into Leeds.

Yesterday he enjoyed a very solid start to the Giro, placing 42nd in the 8km TT that featured the 2.1km climb up to Madonna di San Luca.

He was 1:14 down on stage winner and now race leader Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma.

But for Dunbar the stepping into the big time was more significant that his result; a Grand Tour rider in his first full season at WorldTour level.

Afterwards he said he was happy with his condition and was hopeful that he and the team would grow into the race, getting stronger as it progressed.

“It was pretty difficult but the adrenalin was running high,” Eddie Dunbar said straight after his ride in the 8km TT, much of it uphill.

“It felt easier going up the climb with the crowds there; certainly that first kilometre, but the second kilometre was pretty long.

“But it’s nice to be started. We’ve been here for a few days now so it’s nice to get going.”

He also said while he was down overall – though did a very solid ride in what is one of the biggest races of the year – he believed he was in good shape.

“I felt strong, obviously I was a bit off the pace,” he explained, characteristically judging himself off the best riders on the day.

“But it’s a three week race and I think we’ve come in with the idea of getting stronger throughout.

“The first few stages are relatively easy compared to the last few Giros, I think. And I think you’ll see riders getting stronger throughout.”

He also sounded very enthused about getting to ride the Giro with Team Ineos, especially with many young riders on the team.

“It’s incredible. We’re all relatively new to this kind of racing. And it’s great to be around such a young atmosphere.

“We all grew up racing against each other as well,” he added; a reference to racing against many of his team mates on the U23 and development pro scenes.

In 2016 Dunbar rode with US Continental team Axeon Hagens Berman alongside current Team Ineos team mate Tao Geoghegan Hart, who was best of the team in 7th yesterday.

In 2017 Dunbar remained on with that squad as another of his current team mates Jhonatan Narváez came into the team.

He also raced against Sivakov Pavel and Iván Ramiro Sosa; both one year younger than Dunbar.

The Irishman competed against them as he raced for Ireland and trade teams coming up through the ranks.

Dunbar pointed out while the team was a young one; he also had some older riders for advice.

They include Christian Knees, the 39-year-old German who has been a pro for 15 years.

Also among the older riders in the Team Ineos Giro line-up is Sebastián Henao; riding his fifth Giro aged 25 years.

And the final ‘veteran’ in the team is Salvatore Puccio; riding his fifth Giro and his 11th Grand Tour aged 29 years.