Cycling Ireland has revealed that Megan Armitage, originally slated to be part of the 24-rider squad, has withdrawn from the European Championships. Her spot will be filled by Fiona Mangan, a promising rider who recently demonstrated her form with a commendable seventh-place finish on the first stage of the Tour de l'Ardeche on September 5th.
Armitage's decision to step back from the European Road Championships was influenced by her recent concussion. She suffered a head injury during the Tour de l'Ardeche when she crashed on stage two. Given her prior concussion history, Cycling Ireland has opted to prioritize her well-being.
“Cycling Ireland has respected Megan’s decision to withdraw from the European Road Championships following her recent concussion incurred prior to AG Tour de la Semois. Armitage had a concussion in July, being hit by a bus while training in France, and will consequently be prioritising her health.”
Megan Armitage withdraws from European Championships with Fiona Mangan to take her place https://t.co/hXfhs0iMbS
— Irish Times Sport (@IrishTimesSport) September 18, 2023
This year's European Championships are set to kick off on Wednesday (20 September) and run until Sunday, taking place in Drenthe, the Netherlands.
Armitage's withdrawal marks the third change in Team Ireland's lineup for the championships. Sam Bennett withdrew from the squad due to illness, which coincided with the Tour of Britain. Erin Creighton also won't be participating due to a crash during the Rás na mBan. Cycling Ireland has confirmed that the vacant slots left by Bennett and Creighton will remain unfilled.
In the elite women's road race on Saturday, Fiona Mangan will join forces with the 2022 national road race champion, Alice Sharpe.
The Irish squad will be well-represented in the junior and Under-23 time trials and road races, in addition to the elite time trials. Among the promising young riders to watch are Lucy Benezet Minns and Lara Gillespie.
Benezet Minns showcased her talent by securing a fantastic fourth place in the junior time trial at the world road championships in August. Although she unfortunately crashed out of the recent Rás na mBan, she's expected to make a strong recovery. Gillespie, on the other hand, clinched two gold medals at the European track championships in July.
Ireland Team – 2023 UEC European Road Championships, Drenthe, Netherlands
Junior Women Time Trial – September 20th
Lucy Benezet Minns
Junior Women Road Race – September 24th
Lucy Benezet Minns
Junior Men Time Trial – September 20th
Junior Men Road Race – September 23rd
U23 Men Time Trial – September 20th
U23 Men Road Race – September 22nd
U23 Women Road Race – September 22nd
Elite Men Time Trial – September 20th
Elite Men Road Race – September 24th
Elite Women Time Trial – September 20th
Elite Women Road Race – September 23rd
Fiona Mangan (Replacement for Megan Armitage)