Ryan Mullen finished in 11th place in the Under-23 Time Trial on the first day of action at the World Road Championships in Richmond, Virginia on Monday.

Eddie Dunbar was 38th in the same event, while Ciara Doogan was 28th in the earlier Women’s Junior Time Trial.

Last year’s silver medallist Mullen started second last of the 50 riders by which time drizzle had begun to fall at the start line.

At the first intermediate time check after 7.5km, he had lost 25 seconds and, though he improved on the more open second half of the first lap, the damage was already done.

"It was a superb effort by Ryan but that’s the nature of time trialling. Conditions can change through the day and he never gave up trying throughout" - Coach Brian Nugent

Mullen was 16th at the end of the first of two 15km laps, 11th at the final check with 7.5km to go and retained that position to the finish to finish 49.99s behind the race winner Mads Wurtz of Denmark.

Riding earlier in the starting order, Cork’s Eddie Dunbar finished in a time of 39m45.51s, 2m34.55s behind Wurtz and good enough for 38th position

High Performance Coach Brian Nugent said: “It was a superb effort by Ryan but that’s the nature of time trialling. Conditions can change through the day and he never gave up trying throughout. 

“The first intermediate split cost him a lot of time and it was damage limitation after that.

“For Eddie, it was a good effort on a course that wasn’t really suited to him. He rode well and it will be a useful experience for future championships and a great tune up for Friday’s road race.

“Likewise Ciara did a really strong ride at her first world championships and will have gained a lot from the experience. 

“She did a good job in finishing stronger than she started and she'll go forward with confidence to the road race."