35: Ronan McLaughlin: Irish Cyclist on the Top of the World

ByJoanne Murphy |

The former An Post Chain Reaction rider tackled the everresting Challenge in early July setting the 5th fastest time worldwide for the challenge on his first attempt, setting a new Irish record for the 8,848m of climbing required to achieve the title in the process, a feat that shot him back into the spotlight in the world of cycling.  There were murmurs after the first record that maybe there was more in the tank, that he could go faster and possibly set a new world record.  He quietly went about his business in the intervening weeks, reviewing his performance, his bike, the route and made some changes to seek out those marginal gains that would see him set a new Everesting World record in a time of 7:04:41, almost 23 minutes faster than Alberto Contador’s time of 7:27:20 which was set just three weeks earlier.   We chat about that World Record and about his life on two wheels from the early days of cycling after school to his time as a professional rider. He has raced with some of the best riders in the world on the professional scene represented club, county and country on his bike for numerous years.  
 Returning home after his professional career he has taken the domestic scene by storm with many podiums and race wins to his name including a double Shay Elliott win in 2018 and 2019, his plans for a three in a row scuppered by Covid 19. He has also won the Donegal Ultra 555 twice and has set his sights on winning this year’s race and breaking the course record in the process.  This is a great chat with an athlete who leaves no stone unturned in his race preparation and training, at all times seeking out the best performance from himself and his equipment with meticulous planning and number crunching, passionate, dedicated and committed are just some of the words we can use to describe the man from Donegal who now sits at the top of the World. 

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