Callaghan, Burns and Sheridan Big Winners in Monthly Awards
The April winners in the Aqua Blue Sport Cycling Ireland Monthly Awards are Genevieve Sheridan (Volunteer of the Month for April), Greg Callaghan (Male Rider of the Month for April) and Eileen Burns (Female Rider of the Month for April). The winners were nominated by Cycling Ireland members, with a selection panel using the nominations and rationale to decide on the final winners.
MALE RIDER AWARD:
The winner of the Male Rider of the Month for April is Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team). The 26-year-old is Ireland’s top mountain biker and is a dominant force on the world stage in the Enduro World Series (EWS). The Dubliner stormed into fifth place in Colombia in April, competing in Round 2 of the EWS.
While the result was good, Callaghan described the race as a complete washout, and was delighted to come away with fifth after overcoming a series of mishaps on the day!
“To get fifth was unreal! It wasn’t a great race – it was a washout and lashed out for the day. But it was the same for everyone, and we all had to deal with it!”
In the race Callaghan was challenged with a series of events, making the finishing position all the sweeter – “The conditions threw up all sorts! It was very hard on the stage. At one point I caught me derailleur and had to ride it chainless for a bit. Then I rode off centre and had to get back to the pits – which meant running 5/6km back! And I’m not a runner! After that Stage 6 was the most physical, and my legs were gone from that run back!”
In Enduro racing the competition takes the form of a series of timed downhill stages, with time allotted to riders to get back up to the next stage. The finishing position is based on the quickest overall time scored from the downhill sections. Enduro is one of the most popular forms of cycling in Ireland, being an exciting mix of downhill racing and a more sociable spin back up to the top of the hills.
“So much happens in an Enduro race that you don’t hear about,” the Red Bull sponsored rider explained, “they are always eventful. I’m looking forward to a few more rounds in the EWS. The next one is on the Austria/Slovenia border, with some stages in Austria and some in Slovenia. One of the stages is an underground one in a cave!”
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
FEMALE RIDER AWARD:
The Female Rider of the Month for March is Eileen Burns (Ballymena CC). Time Trial specialist Burns made her debut at the Commonwealth Games in April, competing on both the road and track, in the Individual Pursuit, Time Trial and Road Race.
Burns is a relative newcomer to the sport of cycling, but in a short few years the 29-year-old has created a stir in the timed events, winning the coveted National Title in the Time Trial at the Irish National Championships last year.
At the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast Burns finished 11th in the Elite Women’s Time Trial, with a mere 13 seconds between her and a top ten place.
“I’m really shocked to get this award,” a surprised and modest Burns said, “my fellow female team mates at the Commonwealth Games did so well also. I am chuffed to be voted female rider of the month, it adds to my motivation for the season ahead.”
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
The April Volunteer of the Month Award is Genevieve Sheridan (Scott Orwell Wheelers).
Genevieve ‘Jen’ Sheridan will no doubt be a popular winner of the monthly award for April, with involvement in almost all aspects of the sport. The Orwell Wheelers volunteer initially got involved in the sport of cycling through her children, and over the past number of years has become one of Irish cycling’s most committed volunteers, chairing the track commission, as well as being heavily involved in the youth cycling scene.
The April accolade goes to Sheridan based on her busy April schedule, when the Track Commission hosted the National Junior Track Championships, and she also managed teams who competed in the Youth Tour of Scotland and Rás na nÓg.
“April was a ridiculously busy month,” admitted Sheridan, “it was a really busy month, but a fantastic one.” With June promising to be another jam- packed month, Sheridan is enjoying a couple of weeks of downtime before putting her head down again.
“June is going to be mad again, with the Orwell stage race, the Hammond Time Trial and the National Omnium Championships, so that’s every weekend busy.
“I’m overwhelmed to get the award, it’s really cool, and thanks to everyone.”
WATCH VIDEO HERE
The nominations for the May awards are now open – so CLICK THIS LINK to vote on who you believe deserves these awards based on their achievements in May.
MALE RIDER OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL: Greg Callaghan
FEMALE RIDER OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL: Eileen Burns
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL: Genevieve Sheridan
What are the Monthly Awards?
Since 2008 Cycling Ireland has been running annual awards, recognising achievements across a range of categories. These are voted on by members of Cycling Ireland out of a list of nominations submitted by the various Cycling Ireland Commissions, and the awards are announced at the Cycling Ireland Annual Awards Night in November.
In 2018 Cycling Ireland introduced new monthly awards to recognise the achievements and commitment of Irish cyclists. The winners in the three new categories, female cyclist of the month, male cyclist of the month and volunteer of the month, will form the shortlist for the Annual Awards next November.
Cycling Ireland is the National Governing Body for Cycling in Ireland
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