Tuesday 20 February 2018

McCann cycling dynasty lives on

Gareth Naughton

SOME athletes find their sport but others, like David McCann, pictured above, are destined for the sport to find them.

The Belfast man grew up in a house where cycling inevitably became a way of life as brothers Cormac and Chris took to their bikes in the 1980s.

But David (39) was initially unimpressed with the sport, according to father Cormac McCann Snr.

"When he was younger, he thought cycling was a bit silly, but then Cormac took part in the Seoul Olympics. David would have been 15 and that's when he started to get involved," said Mr McCann, himself a veteran cyclist.

Cormac won bronze for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1986. David would emulate that 24 years later by winning bronze in the team pursuit event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

This is David's third time representing Ireland at the Olympics, having previously taken part in the Atlanta and Sydney Games. He earned his first place in Atlanta by blowing away the competition at the Shay Elliot Memorial Race.

He had been cycling across America at the time, and came back home when Ireland was given a wild card entry to the Olympics.

It changed his life. He had been working as a software engineer at the time and told his employers he was going to resign to go professional.

"They said to him to take a sabbatical -- he never went back," said his father.

After a gap of 12 years, he returned to Olympic racing at the London event and has already beaten fellow Irish men Nicholas Roche and Dan Martin in the road race on Saturday.

However, it is in his preferred event -- the men's individual time trial -- where he is aiming to do well. Mr McCann said the flat course may not play to David's strengths but he is still looking for a top 10 finish.

He may be hungrier than most too, having already said that this will be his last year of racing. His father admits that he's not sure if David will follow through with his retirement plans but the family are hopeful he will achieve his London 2012 goal.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News