(Cycling Ireland PR)
Silver for Lara Gillespie in European Youth Olympic Festival
25th July 2017 Wicklow’s Lara Gillespie has powered to silver in the 10km cycling Time Trial at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Gyor, Hungary today. Finishing in a time of 126.96.36.199. She was just three seconds off Switzerland’s gold medal winner, Ronja Blochlinger (15.17.60). Great Britain’s Elynor Backstedt rounded off the podium with Bronze in 15.23.72.
A strong crosswind on the course means Gillespie’s phenomenal ride was all the more impressive. The 16-year-old used the tailwind to her advantage off the start, before making her mark in the crosswind and cross-headwind in the latter part of the race, riding exceptionally steady in tricky conditions to finish second out of over 70 starters.
Speaking after the event Gillespie said “It was hard! It was easy at the start, but when I turned the corner the wind hit so I pushed on. In the last few kilometres I wobbled from side to side; I knew I was going well because I passed the Hungarian [one-minute-woman], but didn’t know I was going that well.
“My mother and sister were standing watching at the first roundabout and were cheering me on – they were surprised and happy to see me get the medal. This has been such a great experience – the team vibe is very good.”
Gillespie has been in top form in recent weeks, competing strongly in the Corkagh Park Ladies League in Dublin, a Women’s Commission run league that has played a crucial part in recruiting and developing some of our most talented riders.
Also competing today were Maeve Gallagher (24th) and Caoimhe O’Brien (49th). Cathir Doyle was the fastest of the boys over the 10km Time Trial, finishing 19th.
Next up for the Irish Team is the Road Race on Thursday 27th July.