Nessa Rochford- De Ronde Van Cork:
Hours before any riders arrived the head man Micheál Corkery rallied his troops to ensure every last detail had been thought of and nothing would be left to chance.
The Marshals, motor cyclists, commissaries and all of the volunteers and the local community were absolutely fantastic and it contributed to a very well organised event.
The route was by no means for the faint hearted, it was a tough 16 km circuit with over 250m of climbing on each lap.
The descents were narrow and required full concentration. Nine ladies signed on for the race, which was disappointing as we had hoped for higher numbers, as a minimum of 10 were needed for a separate ladies race, the ladies race was then assigned to the Men’s A4 race.
The race took off hard and saw some racers were dropped in the first 5km, after the first climb a small crash took place; thankfully no one was hurt badly.
It was at this point that the break happened , I just about got around the crash and dug deep to try and get in the break but unfortunately this never happened but I was lucky that I fell into a bunch of around 6 A4 riders .
At this stage there were riders all over the road, I knew Sinnead Oakes was ahead of me, but I wasn’t sure if there were any other female cyclist ahead.
On the 2nd lap I got word from supporters that she was the only the only female cyclist ahead of me.
I was constantly expecting a big group to come from behind, but fortunately for me this never happened. On the last lap we caught up to a few riders and Sinnead was among them, she had rode very hard all day and it certainly was a team win for us taking first and second place.
Niamh Stevens (TCR Racing) finished really strong in third place and not long after Lisa Stapelbroek (Kenmare CC) and Kate Earlie (St. Tiernan CC) arrived over the finished line.
They were shortly followed by Orla Desmond (TC Racing) who placed as first Junior and hot on her pedals was Sally who played a stormer for her 2nd race of her career.
The race course was certainly testing and there were very little places for hiding, it definitely was a true Classic.
The Women’s Commission ladies Munster league is in its first year and has been made possible with the help of the Munster clubs, race organisers and the Sponsor ‘O’ Sullivan Cycles’.
I hope more ladies will get involved and help to develop this league for the future.
The final round of the Munster league will be held in Blarney at the Donal Crowley Memorial Race on the 30th of July” .