Ireland’s track queen Orla Hendron added to her impressive haul of world championship medals on her latest foray at the World Masters in Manchester this month.
The much decorated Dubliner, a double masters world title winner in the past who won her first senior title in Sundrive Road at the national championships in August, won bronze in the Women’s 50-54 Points Race to cap another successful trip to British Cycling headquarters.
Hendron’s canny accumulation of points in an event she has won in the past reaped dividends as she finished an impressive third overall in a race that combined two age categories.
The Scott Orwell Wheelers CC star finished second at the fourth and final sprint to secure a place on the podium at the conclusion of a tough and rewarding week of racing on the 250m indoor track in Lancashire.
Hendron had begun the week with a personal best by over two seconds in the 2km Pursuit to finish fifth against a field that included a number of women stepping up from the previous age band.
Three riders in front of her broke the previous world record, suggesting a significant ramping up in quality and standard at world masters level.
That Hendron continues to find improvement is due in no small part to her enduring energy and commitment to the sport as well as key improvements in training she has made in association with her Track Coach Mark Kiely and her Strength and Conditioning expert Carole Kedney from Camden PT.
Hendron had targeted the Scratch race as her best opportunity for a third world championship title but the decision to make the event a somewhat paltry 20 laps – exactly half the length of the equivalent age group men’s event – reduced her chances.
Her trademark attacking style had little room for expression in a race of just 5km and she ultimately finished an agonising fourth. Hendron also recorded a personal best in the 500m on what was a very impressive outing to the world championships.
Hendron’s commitment to Irish cycling is far from restricted to her own racing activities and she continues to find time for a series of development camps for aspiring and developing youth racers through the year.
She is also evangelical about the development of women’s road and track racing and is looking forward to nurturing the growth of the latter discipline with the assistance of the Women’s commission in the coming year.
“I had a great week did a PB in the pursuit by just over two seconds which is pretty savage given that three of the women ahead of me broke the world record and another one came out of the woodwork so I’m very happy with that,” she said on her return to Dublin.
“I also PBd in the 500 (TT) and rode an aggressive scratch race to finish fourth. In the points race I rode a tactical race and finished third so I’m happy to come home with some bling in a very competitive group.
“My coach Mark Kiely and my strength and conditioning coach Carole Kedney from Camden PT were instrumental to my improvement and success.
“The women’s commission is hoping to promote more track next year and especially the Women’s Team Pursuit. There has been a good growth in the men’s event we would like to see the same in the women’s!”
Also in action in Manchester was Women’s Commission Chairperson Roisin Kennedy who raced in the 35-39 category Points and Scratch races.
Author: Declan Quigley