Cycling - National Championships Results

Time Trial

Conn McDunphy will wear the coveted national champion’s jersey after taking gold at the Senior Men’s Time Trial National Championships by just two seconds.

Irish cycling stalwart Eve McCrystal, of Strata 3/VeloRevolution Racing Team, took gold in the Senior Women’s event with a dominant 21 second lead over Kelly Murphy, with Eileen Burns of Ballymena Road Club finishing with 30’29’’.

But the story of the day was the continued 2020 trend of young riders beating their more established and experienced opponents. McDunphy’s victory could well be seen in the future as the handing of the Irish cycling elite mantel from the older generation to future stars.

Sunweb’s Nicholas Roche, a former National TT Champion, was favourite to take the title but he suffered bad luck shortly before the start with a mechanical forcing him to change his rear disc wheel to a less than aero training wheel just minutes before the start.

McDunphy who races in France with CC Nogent/Oise blasted home in a time of 26’29’’, Roche came home with 26’31’’ and Lindsay Watson of Powerhouse Sport securing the bronze with 26’51’’.

Ben Healy, of Trinity Racing, has been showing great form since the season restarted and it was no different in his race for the gold in the Men’s U23 category.

In fact Healy set the day’s fastest time out of all categories on the Knockaderry, Co Limerick course with a blistering 25’55” time, which bettered his closest rival Kevin McCambridge of Wiggle Weldtite Pro Cycling, who finished with 26’23’’, U23 bronze went to Mitchell McLaughlin of Zappi Racing team who recorded a time of 27’29’’.

Speaking following the medal ceremony Conn McDunphy said: “I’m in shock to be honest, to be one of Ireland’s best ever cyclists is never an easy feat. Nico has won so many things so I am just so happy with the ride.

“I felt I was on a good day. I wasn’t sure what to expect initially when I came home from France and was on quarantine for 14 days. I haven’t raced in 20 days but when I was warming up on the road I felt good and I got five kilometres in and, I know this sounds cheesy, but I just smiled because I knew I was a good day.

“On the way back it was really hard and I suffered a lot but I managed to get it all out.”

McDunphy said he has spent much time training on his time trial set up in recent weeks and it paid off.

He added: “I think changing to my new coach Tommy Evans has been one of the best, decisions I made. My training compared to lots of other people is actually really easy but it works. Doing simple things right.

“I had the power on the screen but I was just looking at speed. On the way back I knew I needed to keep the power over 450 watts in the last kilometre as it was up hill. It worked as I did my best ever power.

“I am riding the Road race on Saturday and then back out to France to ride the last two races there then the season is over.”

For Eve McCrystal her victory was a realisation of a long-term goal to be National Champion.

She said: “I think I am still in shock. I wanted this for years, to get it eventually I am happy now.

“I controlled the first half very well, and I just had to give it everything I had, I felt really good today.

“I had no feedback with splits, but it was great to have Kelly Murphy here this year and Eileen Burns to race against, they are really class competitors. I knew it was going to be close, just going on previous races, and I think that just spurs you on during the day as you know you could lose or win by just a second.

“I will just try and relax ahead of the road race as much as I can. I am really looking forward to it, and I feel a lot less pressure going into it after getting the medal. My goal for the Nationals was to try and medal at the TT and the road race would be something extra. I enjoy a road race so I am looking forward to it.”

Ben Healy also spoke of his delight with victory in the Under 23 category and the fastest split overall.

He said: “It is a pretty good feeling especially with the limited calendar this year. I’m delighted with the fastest time of the day. I am looking forward to Saturday’s road race and I am here to win hopefully.”

For full results please visit the Cycling Ireland website.

Cycling Ireland National Time Trial Championships, Knockaderry, Co Limerick

Senior Men

  1. Con McDunphy (CC Nogent/Oise) 26’29’’.
  2. Nicholas Roche (Team Sunweb) 26’31’’.
  3. Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport) 26’51’’.
  4. Marcus Christie (PerformanceSBR) 26’56’’.
  5. Rory Townsend (Canyon DHB p/b Soreen) 27’07
  6. Bryan McCrystal (Bellurgan Wheelers) 27’15’’.
  7. Sean Mullen (Unattached/Leinster) 27’16’’.
  8. Paul Kennedy (Spellman-Dublin Port) 27’16’’.
  9. Shane O’Connell (Blarney Cycling Club) 27’43’’.
  10. Conor Kissane (Killarney Cycling Club) 29’35’’.

U23 Men

  1. Ben Healy (Trinity Racing) 25’50.
  2. Kevin McCambridge (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) 26’23’’.
  3. Mitchell McLaughlin (Zappi Racing Team) 27’29’’.

Senior Women

  1. Eve McCrystal (Strata3/VeloRevolution Racing Team) 29’01’’.
  2. Kelly Murphy (Storey Racing) 29’22’’.
  3. Eileen Burns (Ballymena Road Club) 30’49’’.
  4. Mia Griffin (ILLI Bikes Cycling Team) 30’47’’.
  5. Hilary Hughes (Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club) 31’10’’.

Masters Women

  1. Jane Wilkinson (Bann Wheelers CC) 34’03’’.
  2. Ciara Havern (Newry Wheelers CC) 34’17’’.
  3. Emily Anne Doyle (Naas Cycling Club ) 36’43’’.

Junior Men

  1. Darren Rafferty (Island Wheelers) 28’22’’
  2. Matthew Devins (Team Fundacion Lintxu) 29’12’’.
  3. Tom Moriarty (O’Leary Stone Kanturk) 29’51’’.

Junior Women

  1. Caoimhe May (Quanta Scott Orwell Wheelers CC) 33’10’’.
  2. Eva Brennan (Deeside Wheelers) 34’04’’.
  3. Lucy O’Donnell (Velo Performance) 34’15’’.

Tandem

  1. Damien Vereker and Marcin Mizgajski (Comeragh CC/Rossbury Racing) 27’14.
  2. Leo Hynes and Stephen Teeling Lynch (Tuam Cycling Club/Club Rothaiochta Na Sionainne) 30’04’’.
  3. Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne (Black Line) 33’51’’.

Paracycling C1-C5 Solo

  1. Ronan Grimes (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) 17’37’’
  2. Richael Timothy (Castlerea Cycling Club) 18’32’’.
  3. Scott Drummond (Cork County CC) 18’45’’.

Paracycling H1-H5

  1. Gary o’Reilly ( Laois CC) 19’66’’.
  2. Declan Slevin (Rosemount Cycling Club) 20’34’’.
  3. Mary Millar (Velo Café Magasin) 21’55).

Men's Road Race

Ben Healy claims National Championship Title

Ben Healy stormed to a dominant victory at the Senior Men’s National Championships in Limerick today.

Healy, took charge of the race from almost the first pedal stroke breaking loose from a pack of the country’s best riders to lead from the front for the duration of the 155km course.

Fresh from his Under 23 victory in Thursday’s Time Trial, Healy rode a faultless race in blazing sunshine, over the rolling terrain of the Knockaderry, Co Limerick course.

He set off in a two man break on the first lap, with Darnell Moore, setting a blistering pace over the course and establishing an ever-increasing lead over the pursuing peloton.

The difficult chase saw multiple pursuing groups form and then break apart as the early pace demolished many riders’ early efforts.

As the finish neared Healy put further pressure on the climb to Knockaderry, dropping his breakaway companion.

It was then time for Nicholas Roche (Team Sunweb) to attempt a last gasp effort to bridge across, roaring through the start finish straight on the penultimate lap.

His efforts came to little and the in-form Healy, at just 20-years-old, showed sublime composure and secured the victory, raising his hands in triumph as Roche finished second at 2’35’ and Darragh O’Mahony of Swift Carbon taking the bronze.

The Under 23 title also saw Healy crowned as champion finishing almost 5 minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

Ben Healy said: “I went away on the first lap and I was really just banking on them sitting up, it never really did but I held a minute for most of the race and it wasn’t until the last laps that I was able to pull out a bit more.

“I was riding very hard, there were personal best numbers for me today. It has been a fantastic few days, I came here wanting to do well and I have achieved everything I could have hoped for.

“This is what every rider wants. Everyone wants to wear the Irish Champion jersey for the year and to get the elite one as an Under 23 is very special.”

Nicholas Roche said that he was disappointed but congratulated Ben Healy on his victory.

He said: “Once again mixed feelings at the finish, I am happy for Ben. He really did a perfect race, he rode smart – he knew the bunch would mark me down and went for most of the day.

“He rode extremely well and maintained his gap, he is going to be a future star of Irish cycling. I had a more touch and go race in the back and managed to get away and get the second place again.”

Nicholas also paid tribute to the Irish home riders for their racing and sent his gratitude to the local people who welcomed the race.

“A lot of the fans here appreciate me coming over and making the effort regardless of what result I get and it was quite nice. It is great for me to come here and for the organisers and show my support for Irish cycling.”

Earlier, in the Junior Men’s Race Ronan O’Connor of Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club took a solo victory.

He said: “Early on I thought I’d get in a break and be up the road for a bit and then a big break came across to me. We worked well together and we had a good gap. Then with five kilometres to go I did a big attack and gapped on the hill and stayed away.

“My first victory this year, I was in France for a few weeks during August and got good experience over there. This is a dream come true, I didn’t expect to win.”

Cycling Ireland Road National Championships, Knockaderry, Co Limerick

Senior Men

  1. Ben Healy (Trinity Racing) 3:37:17
  2. Nicholas Roche (Team Sunweb) 3:39:52
  3. Darragh O’Mahony (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) 3:40:52
  4. Darnell Moore (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK) 3:41:52
  5. Daire Feeley (STRATA3/VeloRevolution Racing Team) 3:41:55

U23 Men

  1. Ben Healy (Trinity Racing) 3:37:17
  2. Kevin McCambridge (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) 3:42:09
  3. Ben Walsh (Evo Pro) 3:45:44

Junior Men

  1. Ronan O’Connor (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) 2:37:42
  2. Eoghan Cooke (Ounavarra Cycling Club) 2:38:42.
  3. Rowan Montgomery (Ballymoney Cycling Club) 2:38:42.

Women's Road Race

Lara Gillespie Claims Senior Women's National Title in Sprint Finish

Strong winds and hard racing made for an exciting and intense Senior Women’s National Championship as Lara Gillespie sprinted to victory.

The UCD Cycling Club rider came first in a masse sprint victory which filled the finish straight at Knockaderry on the last day of the Newcastlewest CC promoted event.

Lara, 19, was followed on the line by Thursday’s Time Trial National Champion Eve McCrystal (Strata 3-VeloRevolution) and Ellen McDermott (Team Boompods).

The day began in cold but sunny conditions, as the thirty strong field raced downhill to the first turn. Very quickly a break formed with McCrystal attacking in a small group.

But as the 20-kilometre lap continued the breeze turned from light to gale nullifying multiple escapes from gaining traction.

There were multiple attempts to break free but on the heavy terrain they were constantly brought back to the peloton.

There was little chance that the strong women’s field would settle and as they closed in on the finish, after 80 kilometres of racing, they were more attempts to break the standoff. But the last kilometre saw tense tactics come into play as high pace saw riders begin to mark each other for the sprint.

Gillespie kicked hard on the uphill sprint and took the victory a bike length ahead of McCrystal.

Lara Gillespie, speaking just minutes after her victory, paid tribute to the strength of the other riders.

She said: “It was intense from the beginning of the race, there was a group off the front. We were coming up the hill and with about 500 metres to go it just felt like it was going on for ages, it was a really good race.

“So many strong women out today, I am just really surprised that I won. I am so proud, I worked so hard all year. I was so disappointed after the TT - I was really motivated.

“The last kilometre was very tactical. Everyone was watching each other, I thought I was in a rubbish position and there were nearly a few crashes, I just got a gap on the outside and I went for it. It felt way longer than I thought but luckily it went well.”

Eve McCrystal gave her read of the race: “I attacked on the first lap, it was very difficult from the start, to get away.

“From beginning the wind wasn’t as bad, but as the day progressed it got stronger and a few attacks went up the road and stuck for a while. But nothing was sticking long enough, I think the long open road and the fact that when they went away we always had them in sight also contributed.

“By the last lap we just knew it would come down to a sprint to the line, I am delighted for Lara, she had an amazing kick on her and I just did my best to hold on and get second.

“I’m delighted I got podium but I was just so close to winning. I’m happy, I had a great weekend, I can’t complain and I am delighted for Lara, she deserves it and she’ll wear the jersey well.”

In the Junior event, ten women took to the line, and it was joy unbridled for Ennis rider Ella Doherty who screamed with surprised delight as she took the victory in a sprint.

Ella (Greenmount CA) beat Caoimhe O’Brien (Weston Expert Homes/Torelli/Assure) and Ellia Tutty (Dungarvan CC) who took bronze.

She said: “We were coming up the hill at the end and we were together. I am not a sprinter but I just put the head down, I just told myself “I can do this”.

“I’m so, so delighted, thanks to my coaches, they were just so supportive for the whole year. I really can’t believe it.”

Cycling Ireland Road National Championships, Knockaderry, Co Limerick

Senior Women

  1. Lara Gillespie (UCD Cycling Club) 2:14:28
  2. Eve McCrystal (STRATA3/VeloRevolution Racing Team) 2:14:28
  3. Ellen Mc Dermott (Team Boompods) 2:14:30
  4. Mia Griffin (ILLI-Bikes Cycling Team) 2:14:31
  5. Nikki Taggart (Arcane Cycling Team) 2:14:32

Masters Women

  1. Eve McCrystal (STRATA3/VeloRevolution Racing Team) 2:14:28
  2. Grace Young (STRATA3/VeloRevolution Racing Team) 2:14:32
  3. Sharon Bird (Ballymena Road Club) 2:14:37

Junior Women

  1. Ella Doherty (Greenmount CA) 1:53:41
  2. Caoimhe O’Brien (Weston Homes-Torelli-Assure) 1:53:41
  3. Elia Tutty (Dungarvan CC) 1:53:44
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