Daire Feeley wins the Mullingar Grand Prix

Posted in: ROAD RACING
By Cycling Ireland
Jul 9, 2024 - 10:55:50 AM


Feeley Wins His Third Mullingar GP to Claim Round 5 of Road National Series

Lakeside Wheelers hosted the fifth round of the 2024 Road National Series. The Mullingar GP saw riders tackle a 34 km circuit around north Co. Westmeath.

The A1/A2/Junior riders faced a tough 136km. The A3/Junior riders had to complete 102km, while the Women and the A4 riders had 68km.

A busy schedule of racing, beginning with a new addition, an Under 16 race for boys and girls, provided plenty of action. Once again, the Mullingar GP attracted large entries, with over 200 riders entered across all races throughout the day.

In the A1/A2/Junior race Daire Feeley, riding for All Human Velo Revolution, and Odhran Doogan, riding for Giant Store Assen cycling team NWVG, made a break early on. Despite the changeable weather the pair extended their lead to well over one minute as they entered the fourth and final lap.

The pressure mounted as group of riders started to bridge the gap as the race made its away from Crookedwood to Castlepollard for the last time. Feeley and Doogan reacted well, despite the gap reducing down to less than 30 seconds at one point, they edged ahead once again.

The pair worked tirelessly throughout, an unfortunate puncture for Dooley meant the victory was Feeley’s for the taking. Team Skyline rider Cian Keogh finished in third place.

Feeley claimed valuable points in the series. He now sits four points ahead of George Pedan, Team PB Performance, and 19 point ahead Liam Crowley, UCD Cycling Club, in the overall standings. Feeley’s victory today, marks his third year in a row winning the Mullingar GP.

Speaking to Cycling Ireland afterwards Feeley said:

“This is always a difficult race because of the circuit. It’s either up or down or you have a wind blowing in your face so you’re never really off the pedals. A lap in myself and Odhran got away. I was surprised we got away, and we established a gap of about a minute.

“I knew at that point when we got a minute it would either be a group coming across to us or we would stay away. I remember saying to him it’s going to be a long, long day out front. We kept our heads down and managed to hold on to the finish thankfully.

“Odhran, in fairness to him, he would have given me a good run for my money coming into the finish but he actually had a front wheel puncture so that took the edge off him coming to the line.”

Feeley admitted his focus going into today wasn’t on getting the series leader jersey having had a slightly disappointing round in Navan.

“I didn’t even look at where I was in the overall standings, thankfully George didn’t have a good day today which put me back in the lead. If you told me I would be in the leader’s jersey coming home from here today, and winning the race, I would have said you’re mad in the head but I’m happy out now anyway so. It’s a big bonus to have.”

The main contenders in the Junior Men’s category were not in action today, leaving the top of the series leaderboard unchanged. Matthew Walls, riding for Lucan Cycling Club, gained his first points of the series today and is now in fifth place overall.

In the Women’s race victory went to Aoife O’Brien for Belco Van Eyck. Longcourt Hotel – Newcastle West Wheelers rider Annelise Murphy. Abi Conway completed the podium for Westport Covey.

Murphy has extended her lead at the top of the series leaderboard, she is 44 ahead of Mary Corless, Challenge Cycling Club, in second place. Abi Conway, Westport Covey Cycling Club, is in third.

Today’s race may not have gone exactly as Murphy would have liked but she was still happy with the day. She said:

“Great race today out here in Mullingar, well done to the organisers for putting on such a good race – really safe, really well marshalled. There was a great women’s field as well, lots of strong riders today which is really good to see.

“I obviously don’t want things to come down to a sprint so I was trying to attack a lot to get away but it’s quite a flat course so it’s pretty difficult to get away so it ended up coming down to a sprint at the end. Aoife had the better of me in the sprint so she won overall but I’m happy enough to be second and I think leading by a good bit now in the series.”

Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, Murphy is undecided on the final leg and has plans to turn her attention to the track.

“I’m going to try and focus on track, try and get out on Sundrive over the next few weeks and decide what I want to do for the rest of the season. So far, it’s been brilliant, I’ve only missed one leg of the Road National Series. I’ve been really enjoying it; the racing has been great.”

Picking up fourth place today and also extending her lead in the Junior Women category was Kate Murphy for Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club. Murphy is well clear of her nearest rivals in the series. She is on 87 points, Rhiannon Dolan is on 30 points for TC racing, and Aliyah Rafferty is on 19 for Tofauti Everyone Active.

Rory Condon won the A3 / Junior for O’Leary Stone Kanturk. Greg Swinand was second for Team Dan Morrissey - Primor by Pissei and Upperchurch Drombane Cycling’s David Russel completed the podium.

In the A4 race, victory went to Ross Byrne for Laois Cycling Club, in second place was Cian O’Connor for Blarney Cycling Club and Terence McCarten for St. Tierans Cycling Club was third.

The series will conclude with Round 6 on Sunday 28th of July with the Alan Towell Memorial, hosted by Banbridge Cycling Club.

For full results - click here