Feature photo courtesy of @joolzedymond, others BP Media

Monaghan National TT Champs in 2011 representing his Belgian Amateur team VL Technics as a 19-year-old

News just received, Conor Dunne is hanging the wheels up after a decade of top-level racing. The ex Irish Champ 2018 and the continental pro will not appear anymore in the peloton in 2020 he told social media. Met Conor for the first time in 2011 and was introduced by Peter Hawkins. I was asked if I could give Conor a lift to Monaghan from Peters home in Belfast for the 2011 TT Nationals and was glad to be any help to the then-unknown rider to me. We had problems at the sign on as handlebars to long and needed adjustments, next in the early stages of the TT Conor was sent the wrong way by a garda, I was following in the car and done the same thing… we lost about 30 seconds and it was chasing till the line and 4 seconds away from bronze in the end. He got these medals in the years to come!! This massive lad in heart and length became a well know rider in the pro peloton and famous for his early adventures going “Up the road” in televised races such as the Tour of Britain, became a pro with Sean Kelly (his father in law) and ends his career as a pro with the Israel Academy UCI Continental team in 2019. In behalf of the Belgian Project and his followers, we wish Conor and his wife Stacey, not forgetting wee Jesse a successful future

Conor announced today the news on his social media outlets ” I’ve been pretty quiet on my plans for next year, enjoying some time with my family and taking a break from everything. Next year I’ll be hanging up the race wheels for good. Racing bikes was an adventure I’ll never forget, that I shared with so many incredible people. It’s hard to say goodbye to something that has motivated/driven me for so long but now felt like the right time to put my energy into a new challenge and I’m so excited about what comes next. I’m proud of what I managed within the sport, most of the time I got an absolute kicking but every now and then I managed to win the odd race with myself and I feel I always gave all I had in the process. However, it wasn’t the races or results that I’ll look back on (not that I have many results to look back on .. but its the people, places, experiences that will stay with me. Most important of all, however, without cycling, I’d have never bumped into the most amazing girl I’ve ever met in my life and for this, I’ll be eternally grateful above all else. I’d like to say a massive massive thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, your support meant everything to me ?? Yours in porridge, Conor x

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in 2015 with Sean Downey