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Dunne Still on the Market After World Championships

By Monica Buck

The Irish rider and his former teammates from Aqua Blue Sport went through a lot in the last couple of weeks. After the team had unexpectedly folded and decided not to attend the Tour of Britain, there was not much the riders could do to prove themselves to potential employers. Conor Dunne and Larry Warbasse made a little ’NoGo’ tour of their own, which they discussed in one of our previous interviews. But while the American signed a contract soon after, Dunne is still waiting for the right offer.

He’d already been selected to appear at the UCI World Road Championships at that point, so he got the opportunity to end the season on his own terms. The course, however, wasn’t best suited to his abilities. The early breakaway he did with teammate Ryan Mullen was probably the best he could hope for.

Conor Dunne arrives after the first stage of the Tour De Wallonie cycling race, Saturday 28 July 2018. © Profimedia, AFP

“I’ve kept training the whole month, I love riding my bike so I never stopped. It’s just been super stressful and quite emotional as well,” Dunne told Cyclingnews after abandoning the race with two laps to go. “I still haven’t found a team, so the whole time I was thinking maybe this is my last race. It might be my last. It’s been a tough month, and I just wanted to do this and go out fighting for myself and to not fade away after August and have it end like that. It was nice to come here and finish it off.”

“It was always going to be a tough course, and me and Ryan are not climbers. We’re two of the bigger riders in the bunch. As the race gets on, it feels longer and longer, but after the last month, it feels nice to go out on my own terms. I knew that it would be a hard parcours for me so it was nice to be in the break, show myself and go out on my own terms. I was feeling good until I got dropped and then the lights went out pretty quickly.”

Dunne during the Tour De Wallonie cycling race, July 2018.  © Profimedia, AFP

The 26-year-old hopes to race on at least Pro Continental level next season. However, a lot of riders are in the same position as him. So the market is tough, and it’s not certain he’ll get to race in 2019 at all.

“I’m still the national champion, I don’t want to go out with the national jersey. Hopefully, someone can see that,” Dunne told the Cyclingnews.

Would you want the guy on your team?