Saturday 20 January 2018

Mullen can stamp authority with An Post team - Kelly

Ryan Mullen
Ryan Mullen
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Irish cycling legend Sean Kelly is adamant that Ryan Mullen's decision to ride with the An Post-Chain Reaction team this year will lead to greater things further down the line for the young sensation.

Mullen (20), who won the National Road Race Championships last year as well as the U-23 National Time Trial Championships, had been watched by other teams in the aftermath of his meteoric rise.

Speaking at the team launch of An Post-Chain Reaction in Belgium yesterday, Kelly who is the director of the team, admitted that Mullen (below) had rejected other offers to further his road racing experience.

"There were a lot of offers there where he could have went and made many more times money but he wants to invest in his career and that's what you've got to do when you're coming from more track," Kelly said.

"The straight fact of it is that, with our team, he can do the races, he can ride the final (part of the race) and that's the way you get the experience.

"If you go to a big team, you earn a lot more money initially and you end up riding on the front. If you do that for 120kms then your race is over. That's only 70pc of the race and you don't get into the final.

"Hopefully he will learn with us and he is prepared to learn and that's important. Last year, he learned quite a lot.

"He's got the power and it's now about learning how to ride the tactics of the race and how to gain the experience," he added.

The team will compete in the Volta Limburg Classic in Holland on Saturday and with several of the riders returning from injury as well as Mullen from his track commitments, Kelly is excited about the season ahead.

"The Irish guys who we have, we're hoping that they will improve and that's always been our objective.

"We hope that we can get a bit more out of them every year and that they can move on to a higher level."

Irish Independent

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