Ireland’s Murphy strongly holds his own at frozen World Champs

Posted on: January 28th, 2017

JB Murphy battles a top international field a frozen course at the World Cyclocross Championships (Photo: Toby Watson)


Having endured an on-off saga in the build-up to the World Cyclocross Championships, JB Murphy put in a very strong ride in the junior race today in Luxembourg.

The Irish teenager would finish on the same lap as the winner; a very solid showing and one he can build on as he continues to progress through the ranks.

Murphy’s preparation for the Worlds was interrupted when Cycling Ireland initially decided no Irish team would be selected.

However, a later change of mind last week resulted in the Kildare man securing a place on the start line in Bieles.

And having been set to travel as a spectator to watch the events, he packed his bags and bike and took that place on the line that he rightly deserved after some really strong riding this year.

It was his second time in the green jersey this year, having ridden the Europeans in France in October.

This time around he and the rest of the field had to contend with freezing conditions and the day became a battle to even stay upright, never mind get into the thick of the racing action.


Murphy whipped around the frozen course and would finish on the same lap as the winner; not easy at this level.


And showing a very promising maturity and calmness beyond his years, when Murphy got caught behind a big crash on the first corner he settled himself and got going as quickly as he could.

While most of the Europeans in the field would have raced in such slippery conditions before, this was Murphy’s first time on rock solid icy mud.

And that first lap, which is always chaotic in ‘cross, saw him slip or crash no fewer than six times.

He had started 30th on the grid but the mishaps saw him fall behind that position, only for the gutsy junior champion to stick to his task and pick off many riders from the stronger cyclocross nation.

In the end he finished in 52nd place and on the same lap as winner and new junior world champion Thomas Pidcock.

It may not be a placing to set the record books alight, but considering his being informed just days before the event that he would be racing he put in a very good shift.

The fact he had never raced in icy conditions before coupled with most of the field having ridden international events all year – and indeed for a number of seasons – this was a result that justified his selection.

And with a worlds finish under his belt, the future looks green for him as he builds on today’s starting point and progresses up through the international ranks.


World Cyclocross Championships

Bieles, Luxembourg

Sat, Jan 28th: Junior Men’s Race

1 Thomas PIDCOCK GBR 41:24
2 Daniel TULETT GBR 42:02
3 Ben TURNER GBR 42:08
4 Loris ROUILLER SUI 42:16
5 Antoine BENOIST FRA 42:47
6 Jelle CAMPS BEL 43:01
7 Timo KIELICH BEL 43:19
9 Denzel STEPHENSON USA 43:31
10 Niklas MARKL GER 43:34
11 Ryan KAMP NED 43:34
12 Mauro SCHMID SUI 44:09
13 Erwann KERRAUD FRA 44:35
14 Yentl BEKAERT BEL 44:44
16 Jeremy MONTAUBAN FRA 44:54
17 Lane MAHER USA 45:05
19 Thymen ARENSMAN NED 45:27
20 Maxime BONSERGENT FRA 45:28
52 JB MURPHY IRL 41:25