Round 6 of the Joe Daly’s National League brought us to Roscommon for the Donamon GP. This was a new edition to the national league and women’s racing scene. After sign on the race was shortened to 4 laps to accommodate the many races run on the 16 km circuit. The day was warm and sunny with heavy showers. 28 women set off on the rolling circuit. The pace was slow to begin with and immediately Roisin Kennedy of Arcane cycling team seized the opportunity and launched an attack. She was followed by Niamh Stephens of UCD and Deborah Madden of Sundrive TT. Quickly the trio started working together to build up a lead.
By lap 2 the trio had built up a gap of 1 min 20. Meanwhile back in the bunch after a left-hander onto the steepest ramp of the day the league leader Claire McIlwaine launched an attack causing a large split in the bunch. This second breakaway contained 8 riders and was a significant move. The breakaway started working together at a fierce pace and nearest rival Aideen Keenan had missed the split.
By the beginning of the 3rd lap the two breakaways joined up but the pace was not dropped for a second. The trio from the original breakaway payed for their earlier efforts and gradually were dropped from the winning move which now had 2 minutes over the remaining bunch.
A breakaway attempt by Claire McIlwaine in the final kilometres was unsuccessful and a sprint ensued. Fiona Guihen of Irish Centre for Cycling claimed the victory at the Donamon GP. Ciara Doogan of UCD and Michelle O’Halloran of Lakeside Wheelers rounded out the podium. Claire McIlwaine remains in the Joe Daly’s Leader jersey for another round. The points in the top 5 of the league are very close and competition is fierce. It’s not over yet…… Round 7 is the Eddie Tobin Memorial on the 3rd of July
- Fiona Guihen Irish Centre for Cycling
- Ciara Doogan UCD
- Michelle O’Halloran Lakeside Wheelers
- Orla Montague Dublin Wheelers
- Nicole Gorry Lakeside Wheelers
- Lydia Gurley Aerocoach
- Claire McIlwaine Phoenix CC
- Aideen Keenan Orwell Wheelers