||Last Updated: Jul 20, 2017 - 2:30:25 PM
RESULTS National Road Series – Round 5 – 2017 Grange Motors Mullingar GP
RESULTS Grange Motors Mullingar GP
By Heather Boyle, Cycling Ireland Communications Officer
Jul 18, 2017,
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18th July, 2017 CORK’S Sinnead Oakes on Sunday moved onto the Cycling Ireland National Road Series podium with a powerful win over league leader Eve McCrystal at the Mullingar GP.
Riding for De Ronde Van Cork, Oakes was winning the race for the third time, and becoming just the second rider to beat McCrystal in the series this year.
But it was not straightforward, the usual break never being allowed to go due to a determined bunch, and Oakes’s position being lost at the crucial final bend.
"I lost two bike lengths at the corner before the climb to the sprint," she said. "I had to put in a dig to get up with the front group. I left myself with a lot to do.
"I was absolutely petrified, I thought the line was going to come too soon. I knew I was gaining all the time, but for the first time I wanted the line to go away from me."
Luck was on her side as the line arrived when her bike was half a wheel up on McCrystal’s. Oakes was quick to thank team mate Nessa Rochford for her assistance during the race, and new coach Matteo Cigala, who has given her the kick she needed to finish the job.
"I started working with him in January and he's made such a difference," she said. "He identified early on that I'm a sprinter, which is news to me, and I've basically stuck religiously to what he planned. That includes a lot of sprint-focussed work."
Having finished fourth in round two, the Nenagh Classic, and second in round three, the Deenside Cup, Oakes’s win takes her tally to 80pts, moving her on to the podium.
Katharine Smyth, the winner over McCrystal at the Brian McNamara Memorial in round four, was absent on Sunday, but remains in second with 130 points, McCrystal on top with 190 - now unlikely to be caught by anyone but Smyth with two races left.
Oakes intends to be at both, the finale at the Friends First Laragh Classic offering double points.
She said: “Yesterday was probably one of the best races of the year. It was one of the hardest, loads of good aggressive riding. It was an out-and-out race.
“That’s why I ride the National Road Series; they are always the best women's races. I do them because of the quality of the field that it produces.”
In the Men’s National Road Series race, Aqua Blue Academy’s Mark O’Callaghan came home alone to beat Sean Moore and Dermot Trulock, UCD’s Eoin Morton finishing fourth.
He too is now on the overall podium, accumulating 89 points to move him up from 10th position. Mark Dowling still leads, with Matteo Cigala in second.
The penultimate round of the CYcling Ireland National Road Series will be hosted by the John Beggs Memorial Race in Bangor, County Down on August 12, with the double-points final event coming on Saturday, September 2 at the Friends First Laragh Classic in Wicklow.
13th July Press Release
CYCLING IRELAND’S Elite National Road Series travels to Multyfarnham in Mullingar for the third-last round this Sunday, as both leaders bid to overturn significant defeats in Round 4..
Having won three of the first four rounds, Paralympic Gold Medallist Eve McCrystal was beaten for the first time in the Brian McNamara GP, Team Madigan CC’s Katharine Smyth taking the race to reduce McCrystal’s lead to 25 points.
The men’s race told an identical story, second-placed Matteo Cigala beating Nenagh Classic winner Mark Dowling, to snip his lead to a skinnier 12 points.
With double points on offer in the finale at the Friends First Laragh Classic in Wicklow on September 2, it remains all to play for in the Elite National Road Series and what better venue to host this crucial round than the home of the 2014 Irish National Cycling Championships.
Run by Lakeside Wheelers, the 2017 Grange Motors Mullingar GP races on its familiar hilly 34km circuit, the Elite National Road Series Men’s race tackling four laps for 136km, and the Women’s racing two for 68km.
Last year Strata 3 Velo Revolution’s Dowling was beaten a tyre-width by UCD CC’s Ian Richardson, Dermot Turlock (Lucan CRC) taking a close third, while Sinnead Oakes (De Ronde Van Cork) beat subsequent National Road Series champion Claire McIlwaine, and Fiona Guihen, now riding for Black Rose Racing.
Oakes could be a real danger to the big two if turning up on Sunday; having finishing fourth in the Nenagh Classic and second in the Deenside Cup, she’s shown strong climbing form this term and comes into Mullingar with 60 points from just two races. Guihen is a threat too, bouncing back from illness to be third in the Brian McNamara.
The Grand Motors Mullingar GP starts and finishes in Multyfarnham, with sign on at the Community Centre from 8am and all races starting at 11am.
National Road Series Standings Overview
While the top two places in the Men’s and Women’s National Road Series tables appear decided, Cigala 32 points clear of third-placed Conn McDunphy and Smyth 55 points clear of injured Orla Walsh, the figures are much tighter below, with points down to 20th position making every effort count.
Dungarvan CC’s Niamh O’Donovan, last year’s champion Claire McIlwaine and Sinnead Oakes round out the women’s top six, all within 70 points of Smyth - 80 points going to the winner of the final race.
It’s first-round winner Darragh O’Mahony in fourth on the men’s circuit, Angus Fyffe, Craig Rea, round three winner Darnell Moore, Chris McGlinchey, Sean Lacey, and Mark Callaghan all accumulating 49 points or more - putting them within 58 points of second, and just 69 points off the top spot.