Moore and Lenehan Win Criterium National Championships

Posted in: ROAD RACING
By Cycling Ireland
May 11, 2024 - 8:43:55 PM


Darnell Moore and Marine Lenehan were crowned National Champions at the 2024 Criterium National Championships.

It was a perfect evening for racing as the sun shone down on Banbridge. The high-speed discipline took place around a testing and technical 1km circuit.

The evening got underway with the Women’s Race. Longcourt Hotel – NCW Wheelers rider Annalise Murphy set the pace from early on, winning both of the prime sprints. Team Dan Morrissey rider Marine Lenehan was never far from Murphy’s wheel.

Also in contention coming into the final laps were up and coming riders Aine Doherty of VC Glendale and Aliyah Raffety for Tofauti Everyone Active.

In a sprint for the line it was Lenehan who came out on top, with Murphy in second and Doherty completing the podium.

Speaking to Cycling Ireland after her victory, Lenehan said:

“Today was really fast and furious from the first lap. It was really full gas throughout all the race. It was a pace that I liked and enjoyed. Annalise Murphy made many attacks and we had to work hard to close her.

“For my I love sprinting, I attacked in the last corner and just went. So happy, I can’t really believe it yet.”

The pace was furious from the start in the Open Race. Despite attacks being made throughout the race, the top riders all remained in contention coming into the final stages.

An opening at the perfect moment, with two laps to go, gave Darnell Moore a chance to breakaway. The Team Caldwell Cycles rider maintained his lead into the final lap and as he rounded the final corner and approached the finish line it was clear victory was his.

John Buller, riding for the host club Banbridge Cycling Club, received a large cheer coming home in second place. Moynalty Cycling Club rider Luke Smith was third.

Delighted to return to the top of the podium, Moore said:

“The race started out fairly fast from the beginning, nothing really stuck early on. I got away in a small group, but nothing was sticking so decided just to sit for a while.

“It just worked out that two laps to go it just opened up for me. I won here before with a lap to go so I thought I might as well go for the two with two laps to go. Happy to win, it’s been a long time coming, I’ve had two third in the last few years so happy to take the win tonight.”


2024 Criterium National Championships Preview
7th May

The 2024 Criterium National Championships are set to provide an evening of thrilling racing as Banbridge Cycling Club play host this Friday.

The first senior Road National Championships event of the season, Ireland’s in-form riders come to Co. Down to fight for the coveted national champion’s jersey in the fast and furious racing discipline.

With Banbridge Cycling Club enjoying a stellar history of criterium racing over the past 30 years, the club once again return as National Championships hosts after hosting the championships in 2016. The Ulster Criterium Championships will also be incorporated into the event.

Raced over a technical 1km long circuit, fans will be treated to full throttle racing from the start as riders do battle for 50 minutes before a three-lap finale.

And with an exciting field in both the open and women’s races bringing together a host of top names, all eyes will be on Banbridge this Friday.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 Criterium National Championships:

Date and Location

The event takes place on Friday, May 10th.

Race HQ is located in Banbridge Town Centre – 78 Newry Street, BT32 3HA.

Race Schedule

Road Closure – 5 pm
Rider Practice on Course – 6:30-6:50 pm
Women’s Race – 7 pm
Open Race – 8 pm
Podium Presentations – 9 pm
Road Re-opening – 9:30 pm

Course Preview

A technical 1km lap will see riders take on five sharp corners. With the first 400 meters downhill, riders face a slight uphill section for roughly 100 meters before a reasonably flat final 400 meters to the line.

Lap Distance – 1km (approx)

Women’s Race – 50 minutes + 3 laps

Open Race – 50 minutes + 3 laps

Prime Sprints – Both races will feature 15 and 30 minute Prime Sprints.

Riders To Watch

John Buller

The 2023 Open National Champion, local rider Buller is targeting his third title in a row and is sure to be in the thick of the action. He’s part of a four-strong Banbridge Cycling Club team who will hope to use their experience and knowledge of the circuit to their advantage.

Lara Gillespie

Gillespie was part of the Women’s Team Pursuit unit that this year sealed their place in the 2024 Olympic Games, and after making a seamless return to road racing in Europe over recent weeks, the 2023 Road national champion is the rider to beat in the women’s race.

Dean Harvey

The Cyclo-cross national champion and regular U23 Irish national team rider on the road is sure to be right at home in Banbridge. A promising talent and great bike handler, Harvey has all the tools to be among the top contenders in the open race.

Annalise Murphy

The in-form rider in the women’s bunch in Ireland this season, the Olympian sailor turned cyclist has picked up wins in the opening two rounds of the Road National Series. A powerful rider that has excelled across multiple disciplines, Murphy will undoubtedly have a part to play in the winning of the women’s race.

Conn McDunphy

A consistent contender at the top level on road and track in Ireland over recent seasons, McDunphy stands out as one to watch on Friday in a race featuring several big names including Mark Downey, Mark Dowling, Daire Feeley, Darnell Moore and Liam Crowley among others.

Eve McCrystal

The Bellurgan Wheelers rider, returning after the Para-cycling World Cup with the Irish Para-cycling squad, is another contender not to be ignored on Friday. A veteran powerhouse with multiple world and Paralympic titles, when the racing gets tough, expect McCrystal to be at the front of affairs. Another top contender will be fellow Para-cycling National Team pilot Linda Kelly.

Junior Riders

Several junior riders will take to the line as they bid to fight for the top prize among senior riders. Aliyah Rafferty, Phillip O’Connor, Aine Doherty and Luca Holmes are among those to keep an eye on.