Murphy (17) reflects on debut Worlds with pride and regret

Posted on: January 31st, 2017

Irish rider JB Murphy battles the biting conditions, the strong field and the brutal course in Bieles, Luxembourg, at the UCI World Cyclocross Championships (Picture: Toby Watson)


By Brian Canty

Ireland’s sole competitor at the UCI World Cyclocross Championships in Luxembourg at the weekend, JB Murphy has reflected on his experience with a mixture of pride and regret.

The 17-year old national junior champion from Newbridge was told he’d been granted an entry to race five days beforehand but he made the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

He’d started preparing for the road season three days after he blitzed the field to win the Irish ‘cross earlier this month.

But he hasn’t used that as an excuse for his performance at the Worlds on Saturday.

“I was very disappointed when I heard I wasn’t originally going but I kept it quite,” he said of the decision of Cycling Ireland’s off-road commission not to send a team to Luxembourg.

“I preferred not to get involved in the whole situation because I would have only made things worse.

“But I was amazed by all the other ‘cross riders who got involved and supported me.”

Murphy, who raced the Europeans in October, crashed on the first corner last weekend which meant any hope he had of a top result ended.

“Riders were everywhere,” he recalled of the big spill.

“I fell six times on the first lap because after I did my lap in the morning the conditions completely changed.


It was a strong performance by Murphy and he now looks forward to the road race season (Photo: Sean Rowe)


“It started to rain when I was warming up and it froze before the start so the pavement was solid ice and it was like going around on skates.

“The next few laps I settled down but the conditions were something I never experienced before.”

He rode around and finished a very respectable 52nd, a result he wishes was better but an experience to relish and hopefully build on.

“It was such a buzz. The atmosphere was incredible,” he said.

“I’ve never experienced anything like it and it was just amazing to think I was riding the World Championships.

“When people say the Irish are the best supporters in the world, they really are. There were over 100 Irish supporters at the race.

“At one of the drop-offs all the leprechauns were at the corner and to hear them chanting my name was something else. It’s given me even more motivation for next year.

“I know the level it’s at and I know what to expect. I learned a lot and I’m more motivated than ever for next season.”

Murphy will now turn his attention to the road season as a second-year junior with Murphy Surveyor’s, Kilcullen.