Irish cyclist Ryan Mullen aiming for success at Glasgow 2018
Irish cyclist Ryan Mullen is hoping to use his impressive form as a springboard to success at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
Road and time trial specialist Mullen, born in Merseyside but representing Ireland, has bagged a number of titles since he emerged as a talent by winning at the Irish National Time Trial Championships in 2015, becoming the youngest ever rider to do so.
Kicking off a remarkable few weeks, in June, he toppled 2016 champion Nicolas Roche to win the same competition in a time of 40:47 and, just days later, took home the gold at the National Road Race Championships to complete the double for the second time in his career.
The recognised name on the senior circuit rounded off a strong performance in the time trial at this year’s European Road Championships by finishing third – a result he is looking to better next time around in Glasgow.
Although Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts came out on top in Denmark, Mullen believes the experience of battling with the best will serve him well.
The 23-year-old Cannondale-Drapac rider, who will join Trek-Segafredo next year, said: “It [the bronze] was definitely special for me. I’ve got U23s medals but it was my first elite one, and it was against some pretty good opposition.
“I was racing against guys that I grew up watching in the Tour de France, and I was like ‘I want to be them’ then, the next thing I know, I’m almost beating them for the European title.
“It was close – it was 4, 4.5 seconds off the win, so I was pretty sour about that for a little while but, at the end of the day, it was still a nice result and I’m definitely going to try and win next year.”
As part of a packed Cycling schedule, Europe’s elite Road cyclists will weave their way through the streets of Glasgow and into the Scottish countryside next year, as they go head-to-head for in a bid for European glory.
And Mullen, who was in Edinburgh for stage 1 of the Tour of Britain at the beginning of September, an event Ruwhere he finished in 10th spot, hopes a passionate crowd can spur him on.
He said: “It’s close to home. I grew up in the north west of England, so, even although I’m Irish, it’d be really special to ride in home grounds, almost.
“It’d be really cool to try and pull off a win there and I’m sure my family will come across.”