Now a key influencer in Irish cycling, but who is David Muntaner?

Posted on: March 24th, 2017

Now a key influencer in Irish cycling, but who is David Muntaner?

Now a key influencer in Irish cycling, but who is David Muntaner?

David Muntaner has done a cracking job with Downey over the last 12 months, getting the 20-year old Banbridge man into serious shape when it matters.


By Brian Canty

David Muntaner was the darling of Spanish track cycling when he won a gold medal on the track at the 2014 UCI World Championships in Cali, Colombia.

But within 18 months he was retired from competing at the top level and searching for work.

Living on the Spanish island of Majorca where cycling is the sport of choice, Muntaner could have opted for an easy life guiding on the cycling-mad, sun-scorched haven.

Around 2012 to 2014 when he was training full-time, he came into regular contact with the crew at Cycling Ireland who were also based in Majorca.

Martyn Irvine and Caroline Ryan were mainstays on the track in Palma as they chased their own pieces of history.

And Muntaner would cross paths regularly with the Irish folk who had a base very close to his own.

Very early in the relationship there was mutual understanding and common interest.


Now a key influencer in Irish cycling, but who is David Muntaner?

Downey and English rounded off the final event at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Los Angeles with a gold medal win in the Madison.


And when Cycling Ireland needed a coach after Andy Sparks left for the US, David Muntaner, then just 31-years-old, was approached.

“I started to work for them almost two years ago now,” he recalled.

“I retired at the World Championships in 2015 and straight away I started to work with Cycling Ireland.

“I was training with them a long time ago when Martyn and Caroline were in Majorca with Andy (Sparks).

“He was training me and I was training every day with them and that’s how we met.

“I’m really happy here,” he continued. “I’ve been working hard with the guys for 18 months and the results are starting to come now.

“It takes time to build a programme and it looks now that we’re at the level we want to be at.”

David Muntaner and the rest of the Irish crew are now bound for Hong Kong to put the final touches to preparation for the World Championships, from April 12th to 16th.

Expectation is growing in and outside the camp, not least in part because of the performances by Mark Downey and Felix English in the points and madison races.

“I feel really proud and really happy for the way things are now,” the Spaniard said.

“It’s really nice to be with a small country and Ireland especially because I know them from a long time ago.

“And for me it’s really nice to help them and see the results starting to come.”


Now a key influencer in Irish cycling, but who is David Muntaner?

Muntaner’s training over the past two seasons has brought Downey and English on a huge amount. From making up numbers to being some of the strongest track riders in the world he has transformed how they ride.


The World Championships is an entirely different proposition, however, and Muntaner knows that better than most.

“The level will be up and people will be in better shape,” he said.

“Some people who were not here for the World Cups will be in Hong Kong but I expect our guys to be better as well.

“They will be able to fight. Mark has a good chance in the points race.

“It’s always crazy but everyone knows how good he is now. So they will look at him but for sure he has a chance of the medal.

“It doesn’t mean it’s going to work but for sure he has a chance and can medal.

“Then for Felix in the scratch race; I think he has a really good chance of a medal.

“Every race he did he was fourth so that shows he can be on the medals.

“Some day it will happen and hopefully it’ll be at the world championships.

“The same in the Madison event; they can be good, it’s always a crazy race.

“But if they get a good race and everything works how it should they can get a really good result.”


Now a key influencer in Irish cycling, but who is David Muntaner?

Downey in action for his French amateur team recently. The CC Etupes man will go to Hong Kong bursting with confidence.


A velodrome in Ireland would make life a lot easier for the Irish riders and Muntaner seems slighly amused at the lack of an Irish velodrome.

“Hopefully they get a velodrome soon because they are getting better,” he said.

“Martyn was a world champion in 2013 and we are getting lots of medals at the World Cups so I think they already should have a track.

“But how much they like track cycling and how they invest money… it is a bit funny that they don’t have a velodrome.

“Ireland is a nice place but the only thing is the weather sometimes it’s a bit difficult to train there.

“But if they had a track it could be like here. The (young Irish riders); when they come to Majorca, most of them don’t know how to ride the track.

“Even the not so young guys don’t know so a velodrome would make a big difference if they could ride the track when they’re young.”

He has lots of ambition for the future, but none more so than staying with Cycling Ireland.

“My ambition is to keep going with Ireland. We built a strong programme and we’re getting better and better and I don’t want to move from here.

“I’m very happy with Ireland I will stay there as long as they want me.”