World Cup leaders Eli Izerbyt of Belgium and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado of the Netherlands are among a line-up of more than 181 riders confirmed for the Dublin round of the World Cup on Sunday.
Izerbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) took over the lead in the elite men’s World Cup in Troyes, France last Sunday, winning the event with a superb performance. He punctured on the opening lap, overtook multiple riders and then caught and dropped previous World Cup leader Lars van der Haar to win alone.
Also travelling to compete on the Sport Ireland campus are strong competitors such as European champion Michael Vanthourenhout, his Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal team-mate Ryan Kamp, Laurens Sweeck (Creland-Corendon) and round one winner Thibau Nys (Baloise Trek Lions), son of the legendary cyclocross champion Sven Nys.
Eight Irish riders will also be part of the 30-rider line-up, including past national champions Chris Dawson and Darnell Moore, Kevin McCambridge and Richard Barry. Moore and Barry won the latest rounds of the Ulster and Munster national series on Sunday, while McCambridge finished second to current national champion Dean Harvey in the Leinster race.
Alvarado heads the elite and under 23 women’s field in Dublin on Sunday, fresh from a dominant win in the elite women’s event in Troyes on Sunday.
The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider has won her past four races and will be the favourite, with Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions), Inge van der Heijden (Crelan-Corendon) and Zoe Backstedt (Canyon-Sram Racing) the other standouts in a 46-rider field.
The six Irish competitors include national champion Maria Larkin. The national team selection comprises four under 23 riders, namely Caoimhe May, Darcy Harkness, Roisin Lally and Doirean Kileen.
Harvey will be one of four Team Ireland competitors in the under 23 men’s event. He is joined by Jamie Meehan, Travis Harkness and Tadhg Killeen, with the strong international field including series leader Tibor Del Grosso (Netherlands), Rémi Lelandais (France) and European champion Jente Michels (Belgium). These hold the top three places overall in the World Cup series, with nine out of the top 10 confirmed for Dublin.
Nine out of the current top 10 are also confirmed for the junior men’s event, including the wearer of the leader’s jersey Stefano Viezzi (Italy). The six Irish entrants are all part of the national team, with Joseph Mullen, David Gaffney, Conor Murphy, Cameron Henry, Michael Collins and Cal Tutty flying the flag.
Three Irish riders will don green for the junior women’s race. Aliyah Rafferty, Aine Doherty and Greta Lawless will measure themselves against the series leader Cat Ferguson (Great Britain), regarded as one of the most exciting young prospects in international cycling, and others.
Racing begins at 9am on Sunday with the junior men’s race. The other categories then follow, with the elite men last off at 14.40.
A strong turnout of spectators is expected for what is the biggest international event of the Irish cycling calendar. Tickets can be purchased at www.ucicyclocrossworldcup.com.
There are also a number of Cycling Ireland national races being run off on Saturday, starting at noon. Attendance at those is free, with many of the big international stars to test out the course between 2 and 4pm.
Cyclocross world cup round 5, Dublin, Sunday:
9: Junior men
10: Junior women
11.30: Under 23 men
13.10: Elite women
14.40: Elite men
12-12:40: Cycling Ireland – under 14 and under 16 men and women U14 & U16
13:05-13:45: Cycling Ireland – senior men -40, -50 and -60 and senior women
14:00-16:00: Official training UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup