Feature photo Jerry Rafferty Armagh, others from Nicolas Mabyle & DirectVelo with thanks to both

Foreword Dany: “I have been following Darren since under-age and always felt this lad is something special…His CX Junior Champs win in Enniscrone was a sign of supremacy beginning in 2020, and since then Darren has just begun a journey of wins and successes a lot of young lads dream about. Took up Time trialling last year too and started winning in this discipline on regular basis… breaking the Irish Junior 10 Mile record a few weeks ago…and last week after a 2-month recovery of serious injuries also a winning debut in France in a stage race with taking the overall GC…I reckon he has all the hallmarks to become a pro GC rider…bike skills due to his off-road exploits, his road racing and sprint, and he can climb too…An Irish version of Wout Van Aert would be not too far from the mark…good luck for the remainder of the summer and a safe one Darren…your hard work will pay off!! Below the story of his amazing last weeks in his own words..chapeau Monsieur”

I’ve had a busy 2 months since my crash at the Hilltown GP when I broke my wrist, 3 ribs and bruised my lung. Since then I’ve put full focus on my recovery and ensuring that everything I did was done as well as possible to get back on the bike quickly and ultimately get back racing again and over to France, although in the beginning, it was very slow and frustrating progress. After a month I was back on the bike and setting goals again. With a date picked for heading to France, I worked towards the Ernie Magwood TT as an opportunity to test myself before heading away and it went great for me breaking the junior 10TT record with a time of 18:48. A week later I was on the plane to Carcassonne. I have just finished my first race here at the Tour du Carmausin-ségala and I’m really pleased to have won the overall GC there in the 2day race. I’m now looking forward to a few more races in the coming weeks and trying to get a bit more acclimatised to 30degree heat.A huge thanks to Stephen Gallagher Dig Deep Coaching for getting me back to racing shape after 2 months without a RR ” Thanks, Darren

Team 31 Jollycycles u19 boys ?: DirectVelo #Comité Haute-Garonne de Cyclisme FFC #Mary Peters Trust #Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast