CORK cycling is on the rise, particularly in the Duhallow heartland, with two exciting young athletes selected for the Irish team at the Austria Youth Tour.
Leeside’s Eddie Dunbar continues to impress coaches and teammates with committed performances on the professional circuits of Europe and two more cyclists from north Cork are following his lead.
Ben Murphy, from Sliabh Luachra CC, and David Shine, O’Leary Stone, Kanturk Cycling Club, are members of an Ireland U16 team on duty from August 20.
Murphy from Knocknagree becomes the first Sliabh Luachra cyclist to represent his country, having taken up the sport in 2015.
“I can’t wait for it, just thrilled to get on an Irish team and it was my ambition to get selected one day.
“Trials took place at a training camp in Kerry, they went really well and I was hoping to get called up and participate abroad for the first time,” he said.
He trains three or four nights a week at the Rathmore based club, taking in more than 150 miles per week across Duhallow and East Kerry. Unsurprisingly he lists Eddie Dunbar as one of his favourites on the international circuit.
The same applies to David Shine who also enjoys the fortunes of French rider Julian Alaphilippe.
“Julian had surpassed all expectations in the Tour de France, hanging on to the lead the race until two days from Paris where ice and mudslides stopped the race.
“When I got a call to say that I had made the team for Austria, I was really happy having previously participated in UK parks,” said Shine.
The Banteer teenager is no stranger to national honours, a national road champion at U13 and National Time Trial victor at U14.
The Cork pair are part of a six-member Irish team selected for Austria joined by a backroom trio of Mikey and Declan McKenna from Monaghan and Kanturk’s Danny Curtin.
Before any of the team considers the Austrian valleys and riverbanks to gruelling climbs over alpine passes, it’s off to Mullingar this weekend for the national championships.
“That will occupy our minds, tough competition on great talent participating in the various disciplines entailing road race, time trial and criterium, its the best preparation before putting on the green jersey,” said Shine.