Getting experience in world-level races is hard to come by for our Irish young cyclists, and when the chance comes you grab it with both hands and the six athletes who have been lucky to be chosen to represent their country and federation just did. The step from local youth racing to Olympic European standard racing is enormous and for this first-timers very daunting, but the experiences gained is worth his weight in gold!! Yes we can not compete for medals yet and nobody expects that from the first time out, but they give their souls and body to it, and that is all we want from this young Olympics…Rome was not built in one day and with successes, it is the same! And when one of them (Darren) managed to mix with the top of Europe and getting an 8th behind his name then we should be very proud of him not forgetting his team around him, he is the best in Ireland in his age class, and have seen him competing in A1-A2 races with special permission due to preparing for yesterday’s race (and top 5’s as a result) I had no doubt he has reached such heights already.

His coach Stephen Gallagher (ex-pro and ras winner) has this to say about Darren’s effort
PROUD coach moment ?
Darren Rafferty has an outstanding performance representing Team Ireland at the Youth Olympics in Baku. Darren finished a very impressive 8th after an extremely fast race on a challenging course in hot conditions. Darren went solo on the last climb, leaving the bunch and trying to bridge to the leading group. Having caught two riders tailed from the break Darren powered his way to a massive 8th place against the best youth riders in the world ?. 
Very proud of his dedication and hard work over the past 6 months. Well done from all the Dig Deep team
Been looked after by skilful volunteers

But there was not Darren only in Baku, and the others also give everything they got in their legs, the TT was a very windy and hot affair and remember they come from Ireland and we call 20 degrees Celcius a, maybe not an excuse but still a factor when not use to such condition. They bravely pushed as hard they could and can be proud of themselves big time. Bad results don’t exist in my vocabulary when you have done your best, and after all, you have been competing with some of the best in Europe!!

TT results Irish Team

The road race yesterday was again in very hot conditions and here the results of our warriors

Darren Rafferty has finished 8th in the Boy’s Road Race. The Island Wheelers Cycling Club rider was 6th in the sprint for bronze after a dominant display in the 75km race on a tough course! Adam Gilsenan 61st and Mark McGarry 82nd

Aoife O’Brien was the top finisher for #TeamIreland in 47th just ahead of Erin Creighton in 48th, Caoimhe May finished in 72nd place. Aoife was also the Flagbearer for #TeamIreland at the opening ceremony

This is a photo to explain the determination of these girlsfull gazz
CX-MTB-ROAD Erin Creighton (Mc Convey Cycle Team) takes it in her stride
And to close a shot from behind the scenes..discipline at all times will bring glory
All photos courtesy of #Team Ireland with thanks