Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ireland’s Ronan Dunne wins downhill UCI World Cup in Poland

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Downhill MTB rider Ronan Dunne has taken a big step forward in his career, with victory in round two of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on Sunday a huge marker for the future.

Still just 22, the Enniskerry rider beat the world’s best in the event held in Bielsko-Biata, Poland.

Dunne (Mondraker Factory Racing) qualified third-quickest and then stepped things up for the final, going faster than the five-time world champion Loic Bruni, who had been leading the event.

He hurtled down the technical course to record a time of 2 minutes 55.766, beating Frenchman Bruni (Specialized Gravity) by 0.064 seconds.

“I don’t normally look at the times, but this time I did. I saw the time Bruni scored and I thought, ‘okay, let’s get to it, we’re not bluffing’. I was ready to fight someone.”

Dunne said that he threw caution to the wind, believing the outcome would either be a win or a bad injury.

“I had myself with the mindset that I’d go for a helicopter trip or coming down in first. We didn’t take the helicopter trip, we took the win.”

Dunne won the Red Bull Hardline in Tasmania, Australia, in February. He was previously second in the Snow Shoe round of the World Cup last September, one place behind the Irish winner Oisin O’Callaghan.

O’Callaghan (YT Mob) was also in action on Sunday, finishing tenth.

Elsewhere Conor Murphy (U19 Academy Région Sud – Giant) stormed to victory in the 1.1-ranked Eroica Juniores race in Montalcino, Italy, the junior equivalent of the prestigious Strade Bianche.

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