Archie Ryan departs for Australia prior to pro debut in Tour Down Under

Young Wicklow rider plans to fine tune his early season form and acclimatise to the Australian heat

Gifted young Irish climber Archie Ryan heads to Australia on Saturday as he prepares to make his professional debut in mid-January.

The Wicklow rider has travelled early in advance of the Santos Tour Down Under, which runs from January 16th to 21st. Like many of the participants, he will likely ride the preceding event on January 13th, the Down Under Classic criterium in Adelaide.

He will compete in those races as part of the EF Education-Easypost squad, with which he signed a two-year contract.

“I am super, super excited about the race, it should be fun,” said Ryan ahead of his departure.

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Arriving a fortnight before the start of competition means he will be able to fine tune his early season form as well as acclimatise to the Australian heat. The Santos Tour Down Under is six stages in length with the final two featuring uphill finishes at Old Willunga Hill and Mount Lofty.

Ryan made his name as a strong climber during an injury-affected but successful amateur career. He missed chunks of time due to a knee problem but also hit the heights, with his performances including a stage win plus fourth overall in the Tour de l’Avenir, a race regarded as the unofficial under-23 Tour de France.

He also won the season-ending Coppa Citta di San Daniele in October, two days after narrowly missing out on victory in the under-23 Tour of Lombardy. He appeared poised for victory in the latter event but was controversially impeded in the finish sprint by the Belgian rider William Junior Lecerf (Soudal-QuickStep Devo Team).

Other successes include stage wins in the 2022 Tour of Slovakia and Ronde de l’Isard.

Ryan joins another talented Irish under-23 rider, Darren Rafferty, as new additions to the EF Education-EasyPost squad. A third Irishman, Ben Healy, is already part of the team.

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