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2018 Cycling Ireland National Championships Results
By Heather Boyle, CI Communications Officer
1 Jul 2018,

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Conor Dunne - Photo courtesy of Caroline Kerley

Dunne Wins the Elite Men’s Road Racing National Title

Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) has won the Elite Road Race title at the Cycling Ireland National Championships in Sligo. The 170km course was tackled by over 120 of Ireland’s best riders, with ten laps of a tough circuit taking its toll. Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) won the silver medal ahead of Mark Downey (Team Wiggins) who won bronze.

The young Team Caldwell Cycles racer also picked up the U23 title, with Downey and defending champion Michael O’Loughlin (Team Wiggins) rounding off the podium.

Earlier today Lara Gillespie (Scott Orwell Wheelers) was crowned Junior Women’s Champion in a two-rider sprint for gold. Castlebar Cycling Club’s Maeve Gallagher won the silver medal, with Gabriella Homer (Cycle Team Onform) winning bronze.

In the elite men’s race a strong group was established in the early laps, including many of the top professional riders. On the seventh lap a select group of four pushed ahead establishing a significant lead over the next group on the road including Dunne, Moore, Jamie Blanchfield (Team Viner Carepack Pactimo) and Robert Jon McCarthy (JLT Condor).

With two laps to go Dunne and Moore drove on increasing the gap. The Aqua Blue Sport racer made his intention clear in the last lap, digging deep to establish a solo lead on the final lap, crossing the line a minute clear of Moore to win his first National Title.

“I’m super, super proud,” said an emotional Dunne after the race. “I can’t really believe it, it’s been an up and down year. This last month I was just fighting for form and getting better and better each week, so I kind of knew I had a good chance of pulling it off today. My legs felt good today, and I just had to be tactically aware.”

Last year Dunne came close to pulling off the win and was happy to finally top the podium after a tough season – “I had a lot of good people around me telling me not to give up, and to keep on working. This year I feel a bit stronger again. I was never going to let it slip again this year, I’m just chuffed.”

Speaking after his elite silver medal ride and National U23 title Moore said – “it was a hard day out, I was up the road really in every move today, I kept on making the moves – I won the U23 jersey today, so I’m happy with that.”

Lara Gillespie
Speaking after winning her Junior Road Racing National Title Gillespie described a hard race – “it was hard! I pushed hard on the hill every time, it was fast – we weren’t just going around – we pushed it.”

The junior race saw a select group of three make a move on the climb early on, with the pace whittling down to Gallagher and the first-year junior who worked together keeping the pace high.

Gillespie said “We were just alternating at the front, and then it came to the last hill and she (Gallagher) attacked, I got back on and she attacked again I got back on – we came to the line. Then we played cat and mouse, and I managed to just catch her, but it was tight!”


Elite Men

Gold Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport)
Silver Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles)
Bronze Mark Downey (Mark Downey)

U23 Men

Gold Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles)
Silver Mark Downey (Team Wiggins)
Bronze Michael O’Loughlin (Team Wiggins)

Elite Men’s Team

Gold Team Viner Caremark Pactimo

Junior Women

Gold Lara Gillespie (Scott Orwell Wheelers)
Silver Maeve Gallagher (Castlebar Cycling Club)
Bronze Gabriella Homer (Cycle Team Onform)


Saturday 30th June

McCrystal Storms Home to Win the Elite Women’s Road Racing National Title

It was Eve McCrystal’s moment to shine at the Cycling Ireland Road National Championships in Sligo today, when the Garda Cycling Club powerhouse seized her first National Title in the Elite Women’s Road Racing event. Lydia Gurley (Aerocoach) was narrowly beaten into silver, and Alice Sharpe (Torelli-Brother) took the bronze medal.

In the Junior Men’s Road Race Adam Ward (Powerhouse Sport) reigned supreme, winning the title in a two-man sprint for gold. Ben Healy (Zappi RT) added a silver medal to the National Time Trial Title he won last Thursday. Aaron Doherty (NRPT) won bronze, sprinting from a three-man group.

The elite women’s race was an exciting and active 102km race, which included a significant climb which tested the bunch. Orla Hendron (Scott Orwell Wheelers) set the tone of the day, attacking from the gun in a move that was eventually pulled back.

On the second lap VC Ériu rider Imogen Cotter attacked, with her teammate Hilary Hughes bridging the gap to her. The talent transfer duo held a lead of 25 seconds going into the climb but were pulled back before the end of the lap.

At the halfway mark, National Champion in the Elite Women’s Time Trial, Kelly Murphy (Chapter 2) piled on the pressure at the climb, resulting in a depleted lined out bunch, and the ultimate selection of the five riders who would battle out for the medals.

This breakaway group included McCrystal, Gurley, Sharpe and Katherine Smyth (Ballymena Road Club), with the strength of the group pushing the distance out to over three minutes over the chasing group which included defending champion Lydia Boylan.

On the final climb Murphy once again lifted the pace, distancing Smyth in the closing kilometres, and leaving the select four to battle it out for gold. With 200m to go the pace switched up a gear, and McCrystal made her way from fourth to first, just pipping Gurley on the line.

“I have been waiting for this for so long, and I will wear my jersey with pride,” said and emotional McCrystal after the race. “It’s amazing – it’s a long time coming. I just can’t believe it.”

“It was really hard – the climb, I just had to dig in on the third lap. I had to really hang in and do what I could do. At the end I had to see if I could go over the top with them and play to my strengths and go for the sprint.”

In the Junior Men’s race a select group of five was established early, including National Time Trial Champion from Thursday, Ben Healy, along with two Powerhouse Sport riders – Adam Ward and Cathir Doyle, and two NRPT riders – Aaron Doherty and Conor Gallagher.

Ward attacked early in the race with Gallagher, holding a lead for several laps before Doyle, Doherty and Healy jumped across with three laps to go. “I tried to ride it hard from the beginning – I tried to get away as early as I could,” explained the Powerhouse Sport National Champion.

“Myself and Conor Gallagher spent about 2 or 3 laps off the front ourselves, and then we were joined by a group of three. And we worked together with three laps to go.”

On the penultimate lap Healy attacked, bringing Ward with him on the climb, and the duo worked together to establish a lead – “Two laps to go up the climb Ben hit it hard at the front and managed to take me with him. Then me and him took turns smashing it at the front for a lap.”

Ward, who has just returned from a training block in Majorca, came out of the final corner first, and switched on the power in the uphill sprint for the line, securing gold. “I managed to hold onto Ben going up the climb again then the last corner I managed to come in first and hold him off for the sprint – so it turned out alright!”


Elite Women

Gold Eve McCrystal (Garda Cycling Club)
Silver Lydia Gurley (Aerocoach)
Bronze Alice Sharpe (Torelli-Brother)

Masters Women

Gold Eve McCrystal (Garda Cycling Club)
Silver Sinead Oakes (De Ronde Van Cork CC)
Bronze Nessa Rochford (De Ronde Van Cork CC)

Elite Women’s Team

Gold Ballymena Road Club

Junior Men

Gold Adam Ward (Powerhouse Sport)
Silver Ben Healy (Zappi RT)
Bronze Aaron Doherty (NRPT)

Junior Men’s Team



Women's Full Results

1 McCrystal Eve Garda Cycling Club 2:46:27
2 Gurley Lydia Aerocoach 2:46:27
3 Sharpe Alice Torelli-Brother 2:46:27
4 Murphy Kelly Chapter 2 2:46:27
5 Smyth Katharine Ballymena Road Club 2:47:06
6 Boylan Lydia Team WNT 2:51:06
7 Donegan Aine Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club 2:51:06
8 Geoghegan Michelle Autoglas Wettern Cycling Team 2:51:09
9 Burns Eileen Ballymena Road Club 2:51:09
10 Cotter Imogen VC Ériu 2:51:09
11 Hughes Hilary VC Ériu 2:54:03
12 McDermott Ellen Boompods EDCO NRG 2:55:08
13 Oakes Sinnead De Ronde Van Cork CC 2:58:00
14 Rochford Nessa De Ronde Van Cork CC 2:58:00
15 Desmond Emma Arcane Cycling Team 2:59:00
16 Campbell Laura Ballymena Road Club 2:59:00
17 Bates Jennifer Team Gerard-DHL 2:59:00
18 Claffey Maura UCD Cycling Club 2:59:00
19 Horan Breda Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club 2:59:00
20 Stephens Niamh TC Racing 2:59:00
21 Neenan Jennifer Sundrive Track Team 2:59:00
22 Griffin Mia VC Ériu DNF
23 Walsh Orla VC Ériu DNF
24 Hendron Orla Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club DNF
25 Guihen Fiona Black Rose Racing DNF
26 Creamer Lauren Brotherton Cycles DNF
27 Stapelbroek Lisa Kenmare Cycling Club DNF
28 Banfield Laura McNally Swords CC DNF
29 LAMONT Lisa mellowVELO Bicycle Cartel DNF
30 Ní Reachtagáin Claire North Tipperary Wheelers DNF
31 O'Dwyer Niamh TC Racing DNF
32 Fox Arron Un-Attached Leinster DNF
33 McHugh Sally Un-Attached Leinster DNF
34 Considine Valerie Usher Irish Road Club DNF
35 Daly Mary Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club DNF
36 Regan Joanne Ballymena Road Club DNS

Women's Team Prize
Smyth Katharine Ballymena RC
Burns Eileen Ballymena RC
Campbell Laura Ballymena RC

McCrystal Eve Garda CC
Oakes Sinnead De Ronde Van Cork CC
Rochford Nessa De Ronde Van Cork CC

Junior Men's Full Results

1 Ward Adam Powerhouse Sport 2:52:18:06
2 Healy Ben Zappi RT 2:52:22
3 Doherty Aaron NRPT 2:53:01
4 Gallagher Conor NRPT 2:53:01
5 Doyle Cathir Powerhouse Sport 2:53:01
6 Donley Shay NRPT 2:53:01
7 Curley Liam NRPT 3:03:14
8 Hanley Liam Lucan Cycling Road Club 3:03:14
9 Coleman Conor Panduit Carrick Wheelers 3:03:16
10 McGlynn Michael Omagh Wheelers Cycling Club 3:03:16
11 Hanrahan Ben Bandon Cycling Club 3:03:16
12 Hodges Neil O'Leary Stone Kanturk 3:03:16
13 O'Sullivan Ciaran Comeragh CC 3:03:19
14 Farrell Conor T Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar CC 3:03:19
15 Frawley Cillian Greenmount CA 3:03:19
16 Maloney Declan The Sports Room Racing 3:03:34
17 Murphy Fergal Killarney Cycling Club 3:09:19
18 Rogan Padraig Phoenix CC 3:09:19
19 Nolan Sean Navan Road Club 3:14:41
20 Mac Donald Danny Burren Cycling Club 3:14:58
21 Kenny Jason Comeragh CC 3:15:23
22 Smith Mark The Sports Room Racing 3:15:23
23 Doherty Oisín Donegal Bay Cycling Club 3:15:23
24 Walsh Tomas Comeragh CC 3:15:23
25 Doyle Leo DB Cycling Club 3:15:23
26 Kenny Rhys Comeragh CC 3:15:23
27 McGee Eoghan NRPT 3:15:23
28 Halvey Conor NRPT 3:15:23
29 Sparrow Alex Bandon Cycling Club 3:15:23
30 Cusack Ross Greenmount CA 3:15:23
31 O'Sullivan David The Sports Room Racing 3:44:23
32 Dillon Aaron Comeragh CC 3:44:23
33 Flannagan Breandán Powerhouse Sport DNF
34 May Cian Lucan Cycling Road Club DNF
35 Marron Daithi Lucan Cycling Road Club DNF
36 Benndorf Edwin Lucan Cycling Road Club DNF
37 Wade Aaron Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar CC DNF
38 Whelan Darragh Panduit Carrick Wheelers DNF
39 Harley Rowan Ballinasloe Cycling Club DNF
40 Cahoon Ciaran Clann Eireann CC DNF
41 McMorrow James Drogheda Wheelers DNF
42 Graham Daniel mellowVELO Bicycle Cartel DNF
43 Doogan Patrick J. Team Caldwell Cycles DNF
44 Traynor Dylan AAA Cycling DNS

Junior Team Prize
Doherty Aaron NRPT
Gallagher Conor NRPT
Donley Shay NRPT

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