Great chance for Irish champ Ryan Mullen to add another pro win

Posted on: February 19th, 2019

Ryan Mullen TT Volta Algarve

Ryan Mullen enjoyed a very strong start to last year, nailing his first TT of the 2018 season to take victory. In coming days he gets the chance to do the same, this time with racing already in his legs.

 

Ryan Mullen has been named in a very strong Trek-Segafredo line-up for the Volta ao Algarve which gets underway in Portugal tomorrow.

The Irish TT champion has already enjoyed a solid stint of racing in Australia, riding the Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour.

In both races his team was riding in support of Richie Porte. He won the Willunga Hill stage of the Tour Down Under and was 2nd overall.

Mullen rode strongly in support of his team leader but with no TTs in either event the possibility of a personal result was very limited.

However, while he will be on team duties again in Portugal for most of the race, there is a test for him to target. And it is one that can really suit him.

The 20.3km stage 3 TT on Friday is not exactly pan flat but it is very close. And the distance and terrain will be right up Ryan Mullen’s street.

He was very unlucky on the same stage last year, suffering a puncture shortly after the start. He ended the stage in 24th place, some 1:21 behind stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

This time last year Mullen had already won his first international race, powering to victory in the TT at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina.

And he is well capable of doing a top ride on Friday, including possibly winning the stage.

Mullen would fancy his chances of beating most of cycling’s top testers on his day, but he has an especially good chance in Portugal.

Only one of the top 10 riders on the stage last year – 3rd placed Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) – is back this year. Most of the others are riding UAE Tour instead this time around.

It means while the Irish rider would be highly fancied whatever the opposition, his hopes are even higher now.

Polish TT champion Maciej Bodnar (Bora-hansgrohe) will also rate his chances in the race against the clock.

The same can be said for Edvald Boasson Hagen; the Dimension Data rider having already won the TT in Vuelta Valencia two weeks ago.

 

 

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