Ryan Reilly counting himself in for U23 Nations Cup Irish team
Ryan Reilly in action during stage 4 of the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan at the weekend where he finished 10th overall. He also helped the Ireland U23 team win the team prize classification (Photo: Brendan Slattery)
By Brian Canty
Ryan Reilly has moved closer to the top 10 in Cycling Ireland’s most recent rider rankings and the AC Bisontine man reckons he has made “a real step-up” this season.
Studying for a physiotherapy degree in Belfast demands much of his time. But Reilly seems to be mixing it with his cycling commitments just fine.
And last weekend he was part of the Irish U23 team who won the team prize classification at Kerry Group Rás Mumhan.
On a personal level he rode very well given his busy schedule. He was 23rd on stage one in the same time as stage winner Tom Mazzone (Isle of Man CC).
He followed that with 10th on stage two at 10 seconds, 18th on stage three at 27 seconds and 37th on stage four, again on the same time.
That was good enough for 10th overall at just 46 seconds, leaving him 4th in the U23 classification.
“I got a solid eight to ten weeks training with no sickness or injury over December and January,” he said.
“But my dissertation was due at the start of March and then I had two exams before a placement I’m currently on,” he said of his build-up to last weekend.
The plan for Reilly is to head out to France at the end of June when he completes his exams.
In the meantime it’s all about enjoying himself on the bike without much pressure, though he has already won this year when he claimed the Carn Classic last month.
“The pressure and stress for final year is bad enough without demanding performances week in week out on the bike as well,” he said.
“I feel I’m absolutely good enough to be on the (Ireland) U23 team and be competitive at Nations Cup level so we’ll see.
“Once I get out to France I’d like win an elite national race or place top five in a DN2 round. But, like I said, I’ll have a look at where I’m at fitness-wise when I finish up at uni and see where to go from there.”