Sport

Carrick-On-Suir's O' Loughlin set for two European Championships outings

It’s been quite a fortnight for Panduit Carrick Wheelers’ cyclist Patrick O’Loughlin who has been selected to compete for Ireland in two European Championships at Under 19 level.

First up will be the road race in Anadia, Portugal with sweltering conditions expected. Five days later, he will switch to the indoor velodrome for the European Junior Track Championships at the same venue.

The 18-year-old WIT student competed in the national junior road race in Kanturk, Co. Cork last week in an action-packed race. Being one of the pre-race favorites, he was marked closely and a number of riders broke away from the main field early in the race.

The most notable of the escapees was Tyrone rider Oisín Ferrity, but there was also a very strong rider from Scotland – Finn McHenry – who qualified to compete through a parent. Among the other four riders was Daragh McGee from Dungarvan. This group combined really well and built up a lead of almost two minutes.

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With 16km of racing remaining, the gap remained at over a minute and it looked like game over for those behind. However, a powerful surge by Mayo’s Niall McLoughlin and O’Loughlin saw them snap the elastic and they bridged the gap in an incredible 7km over hilly terrain. They then drove the remainder of the splintered breakaway group all the way to the finish.

An exciting sprint finish in Kanturk saw Ferrity take the gold ahead of McLoughlin and O’Loughlin who has now taken five national championship medals this season – one gold, two silver and two bronze which will give him confidence ahead of his biggest test yet.

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