In the week where he received the Annerville Award for Tipperary cyclist of the year, Carrick-on-Suir’s Michael O’Loughlin received further good news from Germany when he learned that he has been selected for a prestigious development squad for top young riders in Europe.
The Canyon Young Heroes team is run by the Canyon bike company of Koblenz. Team mentors are five time Tour de France green jersey winner Erik Zabel and Paris Roubaix winner and former Italian champion Andrea Tafi.
Hundreds of teenagers from all over Europe applied to be part of the team before Christmas, submitting a CV and photographs of themselves in action.
Just about to turn 15 years, O’Loughlin is the first cyclist from Ireland to be so honoured. He will receive a full set of equipment for the year, including a bike, will get to partake in training camps and also race with the team for a block of international races later in the year.
His first assignment with the squad will come later this month when he will fly to Tuscany for a training camp and a get-to-know-you session on the country estate owned by Tafi.
Exciting times lay ahead for the young man from Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers.