Sean Kelly: Eddie Dunbar is Grand Tour contender of next generation

Posted on: June 2nd, 2019

Sean Kelly says Eddie Dunbar has shown in this third week of the Giro that he is a Grand Tour contender among the new generation of emerging professional cyclists.

Sean Kelly believes Eddie Dunbar has shown in the Giro d’Italia he will be among the next generation of pro cycling’s Grand Tour contenders.

The former world number one said the fact Dunbar had been in the breakaway yesterday and climbed with the favourites on Friday was especially impressive.

He believed the fact the 22-year-old was so strong in the final week of the race showed he was a man for the Grand Tours.

“It’s great to see him up in a breakaway at the end of a three-week tour because we know he hasn’t had a lot of staging racing in the last number of years,” Kelly said.

“He race in the States for a number of years and he didn’t get to ride a lot of stage races there.

“Last year he was with Aqua Blue Sport and they didn’t the kind of invitations they were expecting.

“So to be up there (in the breakaways) at the end of a three-week tour; that’s very promising for Dunbar.”

Sean Kelly continued of Eddie Dunbar: “Going forward, I think he will go away from this race and stamina-wise he’ll build a lot from here.

“And that’s something you have to wait and see with a new professional; when he goes into the longer races, how will he perform in the third week.

“You have to wait and see, but he has performed really well here. He’s been in the breakaway a number of times.

“(On Friday) as well, we saw he finished up with the overall contenders in the final. So he’s finishing strong.

“And I think for the future, there’s a possibility in the big tours for him. He needs a bit of improvement maybe in his time trialing.

“But that’s something he can work on and he’s in the right team for that; he’s in the perfect team for that.

“And it’s nice to see that he’s another one of the young guys coming through, like Hugh Carthy.

“It’s nice to see those guys breaking through and in a number of years we’ll be talking about them in the big three-week tours.”

For his part, Dunbar said yesterday’s stage was very hard; having ridden in the breakaway and been caught and distanced on the final climb.

“It was a really hard day, the pace was really fast all day and it took the break ages to get away,” he said of stage 20, the final road stage of the race.

“Then once we were able to get clear, we had a strong group and again, it was really fast. It was a super tough day.

“But I’m still feeling as ok as you can after three weeks and I’m really looking forward to rounding my first Grand Tour off with the TT and to get the last out of the legs.”