Irish racer Ryan Mullen has admitted he was “just as surprised as everyone else” by his recent surge in good form.
Mullen has blazed a trail in recent weeks, winning the Irish Road Racing Championships ahead of an impressive field last month, shortly after taking gold in the U23 time trial.
Reflecting on a remarkable couple of weeks, Mullen told RTÉ Sport that he had not anticipated the level of success.
“I was in a camp out here [at a training camp in Mallorca] for 10 days right before I went, so I hadn’t really done much specific work for either event,” Mullen said.
“I went into the TT with aspirations of taking of the gold, but the road race, I was pretty shocked.”
Mullen said that he had been fortunate that he had been part of a break that formed in the road race, which big-name riders were unable to catch.
“We got really lucky on the day: a break formed, and I had two team-mates with me, and we worked really well as a team.
“It’s just as much a victory for them as it is for me. We all worked really well together, they did their work to help me win.”
Dan Martin, Sam Bennett and Matt Bremier, who had won the national championships four years in a row were among the high-profile stars who trailed home after the young An Post Sean Kelly rider.
Mullen admitted it had been a dream to join the team.
“To have the guidance of Sean Kelly, and the manager, Kurt Bogaerts, who’s a tactician himself; the team itself couldn’t be better,” he said.
Back in training ahead of the European U23 track championships later this month, Mullen said the team was in good form and looking forward to the Euros.
Before that, though, he will be competing against some of the world’s finest riders this weekend at UCI track cycling grand prix this weekend at the Eamonn Ceannt Velodrome in Dublin.
Among those confirmed are Germany’s omnium and scratch national champion Maximillian Beyer, and riders from Brazil and Venezuela.