Written by Ciara Ni Fhlathartaigh
The penultimate round of Scott Orwell Women’s Crit League saw the riders take to the roads of Manor Kilbride for a race around Blessington lakes. For the first time in five weeks the temperature rose above -20˚C, with the sun making a very welcome appearance and for once the peloton did not resemble a group of blue tinged cycling Smurfettes.
Director Doran was in her usual top form overseeing all activities until disaster struck when we realised the milk for the post-race tea was still residing in Doran’s fridge door. An escalation meeting was chaired by Yvonne and Orla H – with Captain Darragh Connolly on hand to co-ordinate and implement an emergency communications strategy. Several calls for urgent assistance ensued, until the very able Charlotte Stevens came to the rescue and managed to source several litres, which were duly transported to the start line. All breathed a sigh of relief as normal service resumed and the race could now proceed as planned. Many thanks to the above Emergency Response Team members for saving the day.
With the crisis averted, the group was divided into three with a large bunch of B riders taking to the road holding a two minute handicap. The A- (A Minus) group were next to take off and consisted of a sea of green and white with a dash of blue as Roisin from Arcane Cycling Team joined forces with a six strong Scott Orwell peloton. The A group were last out of the blocks and unleashed the the Holy Trinity of Kate, Catherine and Jennifer out onto the course – a trio to be feared by all accounts!
The A- group took off at a fast pace with Louise ‘just back from me holiers’ Keane (Scott Orwell) and Roisin Kennedy (Arcane CT/Scott Orwell adoptee) both doing impressive lead out efforts in an attempt to escape the inevitable Trinity catch for as long as possible. A white car joined the peloton for a brief spell splitting the bunch from the two leaders, but couldn’t hold the pace so dropped off and the A- group were once again reunited.
The very welcome Keenan resurrection made her presence known and swiftly put manners on the bunch organising an extended spell of up and overs in an effort to both catch the B group and escape the A trio. The catch was successful with B and A- merging at the end of the first lap. The A group were not far behind and after a strong effort caught the bunch on the bridge during the second lap.
Race news from the B group is a little scarce as it is difficult to see everything while out on the road – but there were reports of a Trojan effort displayed by Anne Marie Cook from Dublin Wheelers who temporarily lost the wheels of the group and managed to successfully battle her way back on to finish with the bunch.
The lead group stayed together for the remainder of the race with a good mix of B, A- and A riders. The pace slowed a little towards the end in anticipation of the incline at the finish line.
The race cumulated in a bunch sprint up the short hill with Kate Earlie (St. Tiernan’s) a clear first over the line – an extremely impressive achievement given her participation in the Kanturk Three Day stage race two days previously. Second was taken by strong up-and-coming B rider Sinead Molloy (Tullamore CC). Just behind in third was Catherine McAteer from Garda CC. Fourth, Fifth and Sixth were closely fought and went to Roisin Kennedy (Arcane CT), Jennifer Bates (Clondalkin CC) and Megan Davenport (Unattached) – a second strong B rider that stuck with the lead group after the catch.
Our youth riders were also on the road. Annie did well, after a tough weekend of racing in Kanturk where she had taken a fine fifth in the Girls GC in the Under-14 race, to finish the race just behind the remains of the B group. Caoimhe was taking a well deserved Break ahead of this weekend’s Youth One Day Stage Race run by Scott-Orwell in Corkagh Park. Caoimhe has also been travelling to England to take part in the XC MTB National Series. She reported back from round two on WomensCycling.ie.
1. Kate Earlie St. Tiernans
2. Sinead Molloy Tullamore CTC
3. Catherine McAteer Garda CC
4. Róisín Kennedy Arcane Cycling Team
5. Jennifer Bates Clondalkin CC
6. Megan Davenport Unattached
7. Monica Freiband Scott Orwell
8. Rosy Temple Scott Orwell
9. Louise Keane Scott Orwell
10. Ciara Ní Flathartaigh Scott Orwell
11. Julie Egan Naas CC
12. Aideen Keenan Scott Orwell
13. Agnieszka Samsel Clontarf CC
14. Gill Haverty Arcane Cycling Team
15. Sandra Howard Bray Wheelers
16. Noreen Mallon Arcane Cycling Team
17. Irene Yeriskin Sundrive
18. Muirna Walsh Scott Orwell
19. Anne-Marie Cooke Dublin Wheelers
20. Annie Roche Scott Orwell
21. Orla Hendron Scott Orwell
22. Suzan Fagan Clontarf CC
23. Hannah Tilley Scott Orwel.
As always huge thanks to all the organisers and contributors who supported what was a very pleasant way to spend a sunny evening. Thank you to Gen for this week’s impressive menu of carrot cake and beetroot, almond, raspberry chocolate brownies with chocolate avocado frosting – needless to say none were returned to the Doranmobile at the end. A big thanks to Brendan and John for the lovely sunny photos – a lot of them making their way from Facebook to Strava accounts this week!
An extra big thank you due to the 3 drivers and 10 marshals who came out to help keep us all safe during the race. There was a shortage initially, but the following people gave up their sunny evening to ensure the race went ahead – John Twomey, Charlotte Stephens and Eddie Lynch who drove the three lead cars. Rachel Campbell, Luke GJ, Angela Halpin, Ann Van Den Anker, Junior Van Den Anker Judy, Valerie Dunne, Lorna Reilly, Liz Roche, Una May, Darragh Connolly, Romano Morelli and Irene’s pal (sorry we don’t have a name!) who kept the cars at bay when needed and directed us around the course. A sincere thank you from all the racers, we are very appreciative of your support. Thanks also due to the duo of ambulance men whom thankfully we didn’t need to use and to Seamus and Josephine Mooney for kindly allowing us use the car park and the facilities of their pub as a base. Finally, a big thanks to Race Director Doran who is doing a superb job of co-ordinating and running the entire league – a lot of work going on in the background and the lovely ladies are very grateful!