Dean Harvey eyeing top 10 in Dublin Cyclo-cross World Cup but everything needs to go to plan

Harvey will have less international racing than many of the 31 riders in the under-23 race

Irish national cyclocross champion Dean Harvey faces a challenge on Sunday in terms of his grid position, but believes that if everything works out that a high finish in the Dublin Cyclo-cross World Cup could be possible.

Harvey will have less international racing than many of the 31 riders in the under-23 race. As a result, he will start from the third row of the grid. That will leave a lot of ground for he and fellow Irish riders Jamie Meehan, Travis Harkness and Tadhg Killeen to make up.

Still, speaking to The Irish Times after the practice session on Saturday, he said that the race laps are to his liking and he is keeping fingers crossed.

“The course is only slightly different to last year. The conditions are the biggest difference, it’s not quite as muddy,” he said of the Sport Ireland Campus course. “The bits that are muddy are really hard physically, and then the sand pit is a bit longer as well. I’d say it is probably tougher than last year, but maybe a bit less technical. It’ll be a good race anyway.”

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Harvey said he normally prefers technical courses but that starting from far back in the group changes things.

“I think for a World Cup maybe it suits to be more physical, because then it gives me more of a chance to move up and actually race. If a course is too technical, then with the gridding and stuff you can be held up. There are positives and negatives.”

Last year was the first running of a World Cup round in Ireland. There was no under 23 event, meaning that the-then 19 year old was at a disadvantage in going up against much older riders. He finished 26th then. Having an under 23 race this time around should make a difference.

“It’s a big change, because it makes it more possible to get a result rather than just trying to not get lapped,” he said. “So there is a bit more motivation for it, for sure.

“I think I think if everything were to go perfectly, I think I could certainly be around the top 10. But it’s rare that everything goes perfect. So I just have to try and get it as good as I can.”

Apart from the four Irish entrants in that race, Cycling Ireland will field 13 other riders in the various events at the World Cup. Caoimhe May, Darcy Harkness, Roisin Lally and Doirean Kileen will be part of the under 23 contingent lining out in the Elite women’s road race.

The six Team Ireland riders in the junior men’s race are Joseph Mullen, David Gaffney, Conor Murphy, Cameron Henry, Michael Collins and Cal Tutty.

Greta Lawless, Aliyah Rafferty and Aine Doherty are the CI selection for the junior women’s race.

Sunday’s programme sees the junior men and junior women of at 9 and 10am respectively. The under 23 men’s event is at 11.30.

Things will then build towards a crescendo when the Dutchwoman Ceylin Alvarado (Fenix Deceuninck) seeks to defend her World Cup lead in the elite and under 23 women’s race at 13.10, and when Eli Izerbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) aims to do the same in the Elite men’s race 90 minutes later.

Both Alvarado and Izerbyt were best in round four of the UCI World Cup in Troyes last Sunday.

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

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