US-based Fiona Meade took the Orwell Wheelers Stephen Roche GP in Ballinteer on Wednesday night in great style, after driving and chasing attacks.
With over 20 riders signed on for the women’s race, which had equal prizemoney thanks to generous sponsorship by Lisney Auctioneers, Meade was a marked women from the get go.
After proving her worth on the US crit scene in recent months, the pack left it up to Meade early on to set the pace and the back of the peleton saw casualties as early as the second lap.
The race, which took place around the closed road circuit, saw a number of attacks from Meade but she was heavily marked by the Sundrive team in particular.
UCD’s Niamh Stephens got a sizeable gap on the field taking the primes (sponsored by ‘The Cavern’ on Baggott Street), but she was brought back to reality after two laps on her own.
While much of the depleted bunch chose to sit in and let others including Orla Montague (Dublin Wheelers) and promising junior (Emily Birchall, Magnet.ie), Suzie Mitchell (Sundrive), Orla Hendron (Orwell) and Sarah Piner (DID) all working hard to get a margin on the bunch, noting stuck for longer than two laps.
Mitchell and Montague looked to have the winning break made but Meade brought them back before launching what was to be the winning move.
With just four laps remaining that Meade and Piner managed to establish a gap and hold the bunch off. The two worked well together and despite strong chasing it was down to a sprint finish between the two, with Meade attacking Piner out of the last bend and taking the win.
Shenna McKiverigan took the junior prize, with Emily Birchall second. The junior riders were at the front end of the action throughout the entire race and continue to impress all around them with their progress on the women’s racing scene.
Fiona Meade (Fearless Femme)
Sarah Piner (DID)
Suzie Mitchell (Sundrive)
Eimear Moran (Sundrive)
Sandra Telford (Orwell Wheelers)
Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers)
Niamh Stephens (UCD)