Q & A: Ryan Mullen (Cannondale Drapac)


Quick fire Q & A with one of the best time trialists in the world, Ryan Mullen of Cannondale Drapac who was 5th in the Worlds TT Championship

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Q & A: Ryan Mullen (Cannondale Drapac)

He rides for Ireland but grew up in North Wales smashing it around the circuit at Marsh Tracks and in 2014 was second in the Under 23 World Time Trial Championship. This year Ryan was 5th in the seniors World title race showing just how world class he is. We quizzed him about his season just gone and the one to come in 2017! Thank you Ryan!


1. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Ryan: The highlight of the 2016 World’s had to be seeing my name up on screen against Tony Martin’s on the virtual GPS comparison. Tony has always been someone I’ve looked up to and also a sort of inspiration so it was just down right odd to see my name next to his!

2. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016 with the team
Ryan: My favourite race this year had to be Paris Roubaix. But I can tell you it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike. It’s a crazy crazy race and so scary at times. But the atmosphere is incredible and I really hope I can make a return to it next year.

3. And what was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Ryan: I think the hardest race I had to do this year was the national TT Championships. More from a mental point of view. I’d crashed four or five days prior to it and required nine stitches in my left thigh from a deep gash. I went there with a lot of pressure to perform.

By the time race day came round, I had a nice infection brewing. After the TT which was so difficult, people asked me why I was so under par. Obviously I can’t go making excuses because then I just look a tit. And I didn’t want to detract from anyone else’s ride. By the time the road race came, I couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding!

4. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster in the time trial, what was that?
Ryan: The thing I’ve learned most about helping you go fast in a TT this year is how much a skinsuit can help. I’m not able to reel off numbers and figures but all I know is it can be the difference in winning and not actually medalling at all!


5. What is the best piece of TT equipment you have you are proud of most?
Ryan: In terms of equipment or kit, the thing I’m most proud of was the TT suit my team made up for me in my national colours after I won the 2015 national TT champs. That’s one piece of kit I won’t sell!

6. What is your warm up routine for a time trial – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Ryan: I’m a big fan of music on the turbo or rollers before an event. Helps block out all the shit around you. Has to be a bit of Eminem too!

7. What is your main role in road races for the team or do they mix things up?
Ryan: My role this year varied a lot throughout the races I did. A lot of the time, I had some freedom to roam to get in to moves if I could. Other times I was just looking after some of our team leaders and other times I was a battering ram chasing down moves and trying to split the peloton LOL

8. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Ryan: As I’m writing this now, I’ve already had four days back on the bike and oh have they been brutal! Think I’ve blown three times in four rides and had to stop for a Snickers! At the moment, I’m actually straight in to some “easy” intervals. Just enough to make me sharp enough to get round these champions league Revolution things I have to do. But once they’re out the way, I have a few months of base miles but as the winter goes on, it’ll get more and more interval based as the season approaches.


9. What are the goals for 2017?
Ryan: I haven’t had my race programme yet so I can’t name goals as such. But I want to target TTs again obviously. There’s a few early season races I know I can do well at such the 3 days of De Panne and also 3 days of West Flanders, which both have two relatively decent time trials in. Of course I want to be much more than a TT rider so I’ll just continue to learn and hopefully pick up some decent results as the year goes on.

10. Finally, your TT machine from Cannondale, what model TT bike is it, and what equipment does it have (group set/wheels/tubulars etc) and do you set it up in a windtunnel and if so, is that a lot of work and time?
Ryan: This year I rode a Cannondale Slice. I ran Shimano Dura Ace DI2 all year with Mavic wheels and tyres. Nothing too fancy or state of the art. I haven’t been in the wind tunnel for two years but I know what I’m supposed to look like on a bike and if I’m close to that, then it’s good enough!

Thanks to Ryan, enjoyed reading that!




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