Experienced Irish team set for U23 Tour of Flanders Nations Cup

Posted on: April 9th, 2019
Dillon Corkery had a very impressive season last year as a first-year elite rider. He gained selection onto the Irish U23 team and is back again for the U23 Tour of Flanders this weekend (Photo: Toby Watson)

Having won the U23 Tour of Flanders in the past with Eddie Dunbar, Ireland heads into the same race this weekend with a strong team assembled.

The Team Wiggins duo of Michael O’Loughlin (22) and Ben Healy (18), Ireland’s only finishers at the recent U23 Gent Wevelgem, are named in the line-up.

Also in the team are team mates in France this year with CC Nogent-sur-Oise; Darragh O’Mahony (21) and Conn McDunphy (22).

Belgian-based Marc Heaney (21) also gets the nod as does Dillon Corkery (19) of BioRacer-DHL-FR Services, the only Irish-based man in the squad.

At the recent Gent-Wevelgem, where there were just 36 finishers, Healy took 11th. O’Loughlin was 31st, having been caught behind a crash.


Marc Heaney wins stage 5 Tour of Albania UCI 2.2

McDunphy and Heaney; two experienced internationals who will be back in the green of Ireland again in Belgium this weekend.


O’Mahony rode very well in the recent Tour de Normandie, going on the attack and holding the climbers’ jersey for a number of stages.

He ended that race 12th overall and runner-up in the climbers’ classification.

McDunphy is newer to the French scene and the fact he has been racing at a higher level should prove good preparation for this Saturday.

Marc Heaney of Asfra Racing is an experienced international and stage winner at last year’s Tour of Albania. He will look to impress this weekend.

Corkery had a breakthrough season at home last year, claiming several elite wins including the Irish criterium title.

The Tour of Flanders will be only his second U23 Nations Cup race, after riding the ZLM Tour last year.

Dunbar won the 2017 edition of Flanders and this time out the riders face 167.5km. 

There are plenty of cobbles and 15 short sharp bergs, including the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg. The first climb is reached some 53km into the race.

U23 Irish team Tour of Flanders 2019

Ben Healy, Darragh O’Mahony, Conn McDunphy, Dillon Corkery, Michael O’Loughlin, Marc Heaney.