Eddie Dunbar has savoured his first month as a Team Sky rider after what he describes as a 'crazy few weeks'.

The Irishman was left in limbo following the closure of his old team Aqua Blue Sport at the end of August, but two weeks later he lined up on the start line of Coppa Agostini in Team Sky colours.
Dunbar went on to make a big impression across his first four races with the team in Italy, helping Gianni Moscon to two wins and racing to his own top-10 finish.
"It was a crazy few weeks really with everything that happened and all of a sudden I was lining up in Italy for one of the best teams in the world," he explained, ahead of flying out to China for Hammer Hong Kong and the Tour of Guangxi.
"It was a lot to take in in a short space of time. I was grateful for the opportunity because it was a nice way to join the team. It’s given me the opportunity to get to know some staff and riders and how the team works moving into next year. It all makes the whole transition easier before a busy season next year."
Dunbar had impressed at the Tour de l'Avenir in August, finishing eighth overall, and was able to use the Italian semi-Classics as preparation for the under 23 worlds road race.
"I came out of the Tour de l’Avenir with pretty good form and when I found out I wasn’t doing the Tour of Britain the next thing in my calendar was the worlds. I had good work done so I kept that up and luckily enough Sky came in and they were good enough to speed up the process and get everything sorted a lot quicker than I would have expected to get me racing and give me the best preparation possible for the worlds, which I am very grateful for. Not many teams would have done that.
"So going into the Italian races I had good work done, plus the motivation of being in a new team, and it was nice to take that opportunity with both hands and do what I was told, and do it well.
"The races went well. Gianni won two and the team got a top-10 in each race. It was a successful week and I learnt a lot. It was great to be part of such a good team with a great atmosphere - especially after the few weeks I’d had."
Eddie Dunbar

Eddie Dunbar

It’s given me the opportunity to get to know some staff and riders and how the team works moving into next year. It all makes the whole transition easier before a busy season next year.
Dunbar played a starring role in Moscon's impressive win at Giro della Toscana, setting a searing pace up the day's decisive climb, dropping everyone but Moscon, Romain Bardet and Domenico Pozzovivo. It was a brilliant showing from the Irishman and three days later he went close to grabbing some success of his own, with a solid eighth place at Memorial Marco Pantani.
Then it was time to fly to Innsbruck for the worlds. Dunbar put on a typically attacking show in the U23 road race but, as he tells TeamSky.com, that was more out of necessity than anything else.
"The third time up the key climb I realised I wasn’t the strongest but I didn’t give up. I realised there were other parts of the course where I could do something. In Italy I’d been going really well and climbing strongly - probably the best I had all year, so I just don’t know what was wrong in the race. I ate well, I drank well, the Irish guys kept me well positioned all day but it just wasn’t to be.
"The reason I attacked where I did is because I didn’t have the legs on the climb. I went into the race to win it - anything else was a failure to me. I thought attacking where I did gave me the best possible chance of winning the gold medal with the legs I had."
After his attack was reeled in Dunbar still hung in to finish a respectable 20th and now is preparing himself for his Hammer Series debut - which he predicts will be just as tough.
"I’ve seen clips of it - and it doesn’t look too pleasant!" he laughed. "It’s probably nicer watching it on a screen. It’s really spectator friendly but I can imagine it’s gonna hurt a fair bit! It’s something new, something I haven’t done before, so I’m looking forward to it. It’s a good opener for the Tour of Guangxi. We’ll give it a good go."
Moscon is set to lead the team at the Tour of Guangxi and Dunbar is looking forward to racing with the Italian again.
"Gianni showed in the worlds that he’s held his form well and he’s just won the Italian TT champs as well. It looks like it will be a nice race and there’s one mountaintop finish that should suit the team. If Gianni has the legs he has done over the past few weeks then it should be a good day for us.
"The opportunity I've been given to race with Gianni and the rest of the guys is just massive. It helps with the motivation when you go into a race with a strong team and you all know what you’re doing. I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure it will be a good few days.
"The whole experience with the team has been very enjoyable. The team is very professional and I learnt so much as a bike rider during those 10 days I spent in Italy. Being around the calibre of riders that were there and the staff who were there, it’s all extra motivation going into races to do your best. It was a great experience and it made me look forward to what’s to come."

Share this article