European Cycling Championships

Post date: Sep 25, 2016 7:47:47 PM

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 25th Sept. 2016)

The inaugural European Elite Road Race Championships were staged in the French town of Plumelec in Brittany, over the weekend of September 17th and 18th. These championships were initially intended to be held in Nice but were cancelled following the terrorist attack in the southern French resort in July.

The Irish elite men’s team consisted of Daniel Martin (Canondale Drapac), Conor Dunne (JLT Condor) and our own Damien Shaw (An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly Team). The other two Irish world tour riders, Nicolas Roche (Sky) and Martin’s teammate at Canondale Drapac, Ryan Mullen, did not participate due to family and team commitments.

The 232km race was staged over a rolling 14km circuit with a 4km (8%) hill which the riders had to negotiate on each of the 16 laps.

Several of the world’s top riders were on the start line for this prestigious event as its place on the calendar left it as a perfect warm-up for the upcoming World Championships in Doha, Qatar next month.

The race was won by current world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) after a large breakaway group was reeled in by the peloton. Mullingar and Lakeside Wheelers man, Shaw rode strongly throughout the race working for Dan Martin trying to ensure he stayed sheltered and hydrated for as long as possible. In the end, Martin was satisfied with a top 15 position and now goes on to participate in the Giro di Lombardia in Italy next weekend.

This race brought Damien’s season to a close and now he is in R+R mode before training for the 2017 season recommences in November.

Damien Shaw competing in the Irish kit at the 2016 European Cycling Championships in Brittany