Lydia Boylan has retained her National Champion title in the 2016 National Women’s Road Race.
A 95km course from Kilcullen saw a bunch of 45 riders take to the start line on a wet morning in Kildare.
The wet conditions led to an early crash, within the first 5k of the race, which saw a number of riders out of the event.
By the time the riders had completed one circuit of the Kilcullen loop, the bunch had split somewhat, with around 30 left in the main field.
One of the pre-race favourites Eve McCrystal needed service early on in the second lap but reinstalled herself in the bunch quickly.
The bunch was down to 29 riders heading onto the circuit for the second time, before it split further on the back end of the course where two climbs on the narrow roads sorted the bunch out. Brewel Hill saw the bunch split with just 14 riders making the cut.
Heading into the last circuit the 14 riders held together until Brewel Hill, when three were dropped and the lead bunch had over 1m over the main chasing bunch.
With 15km to go, the lead bunch was Boylan, McCrystal, Meade, Burns, Geoghegan, Turvy, Gurley, Smyth, Young, Creamer and Keenan.
McCrystal and Boylan both drove the tempo in the closing stages, with attacks from both riders, but it was down to a bunch sprint as the group held on for the final few kms.
A fast final 1km saw the riders take a sharp left with the final 250m being an uphill sprint with three riders Boylan, McCrystal and Meade leading the field up the climb.
There was little to separate the three on the line, but Boylan retained her title from McCrystal, who has finished fourth in this race for the past two years, with former National Champion Fiona Meade taking the last podium spot.