Cycling: Rafferty brothers take sixth in prestigious French events

Darren Rafferty builds on promising season with solid result while brother Adam shows well in junior men’s race

Darren Rafferty added another strong result to those he has gathered in his first season as an under-23 rider, finishing a fine sixth in the prestigious Chrono Des Nations event in Les Herbiers, France on Sunday.

The time trial was won by the Belgian rider Alec Segaert (Lotto Soudal), who was previously the runner-up to Norwegian Soren Waerenskjold (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) in the world under-23 championships. He turned the tables to beat Waerenskjold by 42 seconds on Sunday.

Hagens Berman Axeon rider Rafferty covered the distance in a time of one minute 47 seconds off that of Segaert.

His younger brother Adam Rafferty (Team 31 Jolly Cycles) showed his own promise by placing sixth in the junior men’s race, one minute 20 seconds behind the British winner Joshua Tarling (Flanderscolor-Galloo Team).


Irish national champion Ben Healy was 12th in the elite men’s contest, which was won by Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) ahead of world champion Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma).

Meanwhile, British competitors dominated the main event at the UCI-ranked Verge Cross Clonmel event on Sunday, with all three places on the podium being occupied by visiting riders in the elite men’s and elite women’s races.

Toby Barnes (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) beat compatriot Ben Chilton (Spectra Wiggle) by seven seconds at the end of the seven-lap elite men’s event, with Jenson Young (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) a further two seconds back in third.

Dean Harvey (Spellman-Dublin Port) was best of the Irish riders in fourth, two minutes two seconds behind Barnes, while former national cyclocross champion Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) was sixth.

The elite women’s race was dominated by Anna Kay (777), who finished almost two minutes clear of her fellow Britons Xan Crees (Spectra Wiggle) and Libby Bell (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport). Irish riders Roisin Lally and Hannah McClorey were fourth and fifth.

The junior men’s race went to the Briton Oli Akers (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) while Irish woman Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) was best of the junior women.

Verge Cross Clonmel was ranked C2 on the UCI’s international calendar, meaning that world ranking points were on offer to the best-placed riders.

Verge Cross Clonmel

Elite men: 1 Toby Barnes (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) 7 laps in 1.03.31, 2 B Chilton (Spectra Wiggle) 1.03.38, 3 J Young (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) 1.03.40, 4 D Harvey (Spellman-Dublin Port) 1.05.33, 5 J Coukham (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) 1.05.56, 6 D Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) 1.06.31, 7 S Wyllie (Spectra Wiggle) 1.07.44, 8 S Nolan (EvoPro Racing) 1.08.02.

Elite women: 1 Anna Kay (777) 5 laps in 48.36, 2 X Crees (Spectra Wiggle) 50.15, 3 L Bell (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) 50.26, 4 R Lally (unattached) 52.58, 5 H McClorey (unattached) 52.59, 6 K Coleman (Green Mountain CX Team) 53.01, 7 A Doherty (VC Glendale) 53.17, 8 J Grogan (BMB Racing Team) 53.18

Junior men: 1 Oli Akers (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) 43.52, 2 S Grindley (Garden Shed-Ribble-Verge Sport) 43.58, 3 L O’Brien (Fermoy CC) 44.09, 4 T Harkness (VC Glendale) 45.03, 5 C Neill (Carn Wheelers) 45.16

Junior women: 1 Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) 53.17, 2 Hannah Hayes (TC Racing) at 1 lap, 3 Katie Reilly (Orwell Wheelers) at 1 lap

Masters M50: 1 Des Woods (Newry Wheelers) 47.55, 2 J Wilson (Velocity Road Club) 48.03, 3 J Henry (Inspired Cycling) 48.54, 4 F Regan (Kilcullen CC/Murphy Geospacial) 49.04, 5 B Kay (Reifen Racing) 51.21

Masters M60: 1 David Lawless (Team Worc) 50.00, 2 J McCabe (Cuchulain CC) 51.17, 3 P Birchall (Verge Sport PI Cycles) 52.41, 4 M Corkery (De Ronde Van Cork CC) 53.16, 5 C McCann (Banbridge CC) 55.10

Under 16 girls: 1 Greta Lawless (Team WORC) 32.23, 2 F Robinson (Bray Wheelers) 33.59, 3 A Gannon (Breffni Wheelers) 34.11, 4 K Murphy (Sliabh Luachra CC) 34.15, 5 R Dolan (Cuchulainn CC) 34.58

Under 16 boys: 1 Conor Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) 28.34, 2 D Gaffney (Dungarvan CC) 29.14, 3 C Henry (Inspired Cycling) 29.37, 4 R Daly (Scott Bright Motor Group) 29.55, 5 J Woods (Carlow RCC) 30.23

Men’s support race: 1 Mark Shannon (Burren Cycling Club) 41.01, 2 D McCarthy (Verge Sport PI Cycles) 41.46, 3 J Dempsey (Verge Sport PI Cycles) 42.11, 4 B Condon (Blarney CC) 42.30, 5 D O; Flaherty (Carlow RCC) 42.51

Women’s support race: 1 Joanne Grogan (BMB Racing Team) 46.01, 2 K Coleman (Green Mountain CX Team) 46.23, 3 E Kent (Arcane Cycling Team) 49.56, 4 S O’Dwyer (Limerick CC) 50.04, 5 S Rock (Midleton CTC) at 1 lap

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling