He’s only just turned 16 years old, but Ronan Dunne is fast making a name for himself as one of Ireland’s leading Downhill racers and is set to make his UCI World Cup debut in Maribor, Slovenia this weekend.
Lighting things up at the opening round of the Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series in Carrick, Ronan clocked the unofficial fastest time of day during seeding to eventually finish second to none other than Greg Callaghan.
A spectator at Sunday’s Gravity Enduro in Ballinastoe, we caught up with Team biking.ie’s Ronan Dunne before he packed his bags to head to Maribor…
“You’re pretty much shitting your pants at the top of the run and that’s what I love about Downhill!”
Listen to his full interview
(Interview available to download by clicking arrow)
…Showing a blisteringly fast pace at Carrick’s iDMS
“I was really happy with how I rode. I didn’t think I’d do that well in my category and the overall. It was cool to get Greg Callaghan on the seeding too. The track was perfect and I felt good on it. I like a techy track but the balls out, no brakes aspect to Carrick was a lot of fun and suited me too. I felt my race run was quicker than my seeding, but I guess with the track getting blown out after 200 riders were down it, then it was always going to be tough to better that initial time. In hindsight there were a few bigger lines with bigger hucks I’d like to have hit to save time on, but I can’t complain with how I rode – it was consistent and safe.”
…That ‘shit your pants’ feeling when dropping into a Downhill race run
“I love enduro and downhill but there’s something about downhill that just clicks for me. It’s fun to race different stages in enduro, but with downhill it’s that all-out, one run to be the fastest. The adrenaline you get is unlike no other. You’re pretty much shitting your pants at the top of the run and that’s what I love about it. You can never ride that fast unless it’s a race run.”
…I’ve been waiting a while to have a go at World Cup
“I can’t wait, I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that I’m racing a World Cup this weekend. I just hope to qualify and then see how it goes. I’m not setting too many expectations going there, the main thing is to gain experience and see what it’s all about. I haven’t really raced abroad before – just one British Downhill and that was a mud fest, so it’s all new. I’m the youngest in my category and have never raced a course as long as Maribor will be, while also going up against a lot of riders who have. It will be tough, but I’m up for it.”
…Why having a 45ft gap jump in his back garden is good for confidence
“My biggest double jump is about a 45 foot gap. I think it’s the biggest jump in Ireland. I had a smaller gap jump but when my parents had a digger in doing work we went and just built something massive. I cleaned it three times then cased it on the fourth go and ended over the bars, but we’ve got it dialled now. I want to build a jump line during the summer with something bigger too.”
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