099 – Ronan Dunne – Irish Junior DH National Champion
Irish Ripper, Junior DH National Champion and all round Speed Demon – Ronan Dunne
On episode #99 we are chatting to Irish Ripper and Irish Junior DH National Champion, Ronan Dunne. Surprisingly Ronan has only been riding mountain bikes for around four years but has already made a name for himself in both the downhill scene and enduro scene here in Ireland (he did try cross country but quickly found out that wasn’t for him!). After chatting with Ronan it doesn’t surprise me XC is not his thing because Ronan only seems to want to go fast and fast he does well. In the opening round of the Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series (IDMS) in Carrick, Ronan had the 2nd fastest time behind Greg Callaghan, so its not hard to see where his passions lie.
Ronan has also made his way to race in the UCI this season to gain experience in the international scene but things have not really went his way. Overall he has been a little disappointed in his performance but he is still only 16 years of age and understands that this is a massive opportunity to gain knowledge and experience on this larger stage. This has been Ronan’s first time racing overseas and even though his race results were not what he was looking for, he has come away still loving the race scene and full of encouragement for future events. Ronan has a very mature perspective about his racing career (I keep forgetting he is only 16) and what the future may hold for him. For now Ronan is happy to hit the gym, race his bike, go fast and enjoy himself as much as possible.
We chat about racing, podiums, sponsorship, downhill versus enduro and his 45 foot gap jump in his back garden!
Enjoy the show!
- How Ronan fell into mountain biking from a trials bike background
- How he believes this helped him get fast on the mountain bike
- What his first race was like and how many times he crashed
- How racing got him hooked on mountain biking
- Why Ronan loves the local mountain bike community
- How his parents have played a large part in his racing
- How Ronan got sponsored by Teambiking.ie
- How he came to be a Vitus Bikes Factory Rider
- How his race season has been going in 2019
- How Ronan has got on at the UCI meetings
- Why Ronan prefers Downhill to Enduro and why he quit an XC race half way through
- Why and how Ronan build a 45 foot gap jump in his back yard
- How to get in contact and keep up to date
What would you do as a parent, if you looked out your kitchen window and seen your 16 year old son building a 45 foot gap jump in the back garden? Well Ronan’s parents were not that worried because they had seen their son do stuff like this before (maybe not on this scale) but they didn’t realise until they seen footage of him hitting it that it was one jump and not a set of jumps. It is by far the biggest gap jump in Ireland and Ronan loves the fact that it is in his back yard. Ronan even has plans to build a few smaller jumps and when I say small I mean, 20 – 25 foot that’s all! He wants to make a thing of it, invite friends round and have evening sessions on his trick jumps (as he calls them). Sure what else would a 16 year old teenager be doing with his spare time.
Ronan and a bunch of his mates are just back from a couple of weeks in Morzine and what a blast of a time they had. Morzine could easily be the capital for mountain biking in Europe, the scene there seems to be growing each year. There are more trails, facilities and stores popping up making this a bucket list destination for most mountain bikers. Ronan raced in the Les Gets leg of the UCI Championship Tour while he was there and even though his race did not go to plan he had a blast and truly enjoyed the experience. If you take into consideration that Ronan has never raced oversees before and this is the first time he has ridden these trails, never mind racing them, I think he is doing just fine. I truly believe that when Ronan returns next session for the same race meetings and having a years experience below his belt, he will see a massive improvement in his results. Ronan has the speed, skill, motivation and determination to make all this happen and I am sure he will.
Tune in and find out what it is like to race juniors, be the Irish Junior DH National Champion and have a 45 foot gap jump in your backyard.
And stick around until the end of the show to here a short message from Andy and his MTB 4 FUN NI Facebook group about how to get stated in mountain biking.
To Connect with Ronan:
Facebook: Ronan Dunne Racing
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Thanks so much to Ronan for coming on the show and sharing his awesome story so far. There’s lots more to come from this young man!
And thank you once again for tuning in and for your support.
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!