Michelle McKinney took her first Win in the Women’s Intermediate League in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary on Sunday (July 8th) . Read her Rider Race Report Below:
“Despite some showers on the journey from Galway, conditions for the North Tipperary Wheelers GP were dry, bright and warm. There was a good turn out of ~25 women, fostered no doubt by the race being part of the Women’s Intermediate League.
It was a short race at just shy of 40km, and with no climbing to break up the group I was intrigued to see what tactics that would be at play.
It went as many of us predicted in our pre-race banter – while several attempts were made to breakaway, on a flat course with such strong women they just couldn’t stick.
There was little to be gained by driving the front on such a short course, and as such the average pace for the day was a relatively modest ~35 km/hr.
As we came into the last 10km all breakaway attempts ceased, with everybody looking to conserve their watts and get into a good position for the inevitable sprint. Riders were relying on their computers to mark the distance, and not everybody realized or noticed the red triangular flag overhead that marked 1km to go.
At this point the pace at the front ramped up dramatically, and my singular focus was not to lose the wheels I had been diligently marking. As the group splintered in front of me, I quickly counted 6 riders ahead and realized in a flash that if I didn’t give up I would place in the prizes.
I kept pushing and it was only as I crossed the line and glanced to my right did I realize that I had made it to the front of the group and had achieved either 1st or 2nd, along with National medal holder Nessa Rochford.
I didn’t dare hope for 1st, and when the commissaire showed me the tiniest sliver of difference between our wheels on his laptop screen it really seemed too surreal to be true.
To say I was elated was an understatement – I may have damaged by cleats with the jigs and reels that were going on roadside.
This race has really whet my appetite for the upcoming Tour of Omagh, and it was really great to be able to meet, chat – and most importantly race – with the other ladies who will be riding as part of the Cycling Ireland Women’s Commission team.
Roll on 27th July!
- Michelle McKinney Galway Bay CC
- Nessa Rochford De Ronde van Cork
- Caoimhe O’Brien Lakeside Wheelers
- Breda Horan Orwell Wheelers
- Claire Ni Reachtagain NTW CC
- Sinead Molloy Tullamore CC
- Niamh O’Dwyer TC Racing
(Photo By Sean Rowe)
Caoimhe May (Orwell Wheelers) remains on top of the Intermediate League standings .