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National Road Championships 2019

posted 2 Jul 2019, 13:50 by Site Admin   [ updated 11 Jul 2019, 01:51 ]
( By Shay O'Toole )

Caoimhe O’Brien has taken the result of her career to date by riding out of her skin to claim
the bronze medal at the National Cycling Championships in Derry last Sunday.
The young Lakeside Wheelers member was up against the cream of the crop of Irish Junior
girls and an extremely difficult course yet she still managed to take a magnificent podium
place. The 2019 National Championships were promoted by Foyle Cycling Club and as is
always the case, every rider competing is in peak condition with the sole aim of getting an
Irish title. Caoimhe’s result is all the more special as she was up against girls who have a lot
more experience at this age category.
The winner and second placed riders basically swapped positions from last year which mean
they are both second year Juniors whilst Caoimhe is in her first year at this level. Giving a
year to your competitors at this age in bike racing is a major disadvantage so Caoimhe was
doing amazingly well to be in the hunt but to claim a medal makes her achievement much
more significant. In what was a very tough 45km race Caoimhe made sure she was in the mix
with all the favourites from the gun. The course incorporated some very steep climbs in and
around the city of Derry and on the day, there were also severe cross winds to contend with.
In the final kilometres two riders, eventual winner and 2018 runner-up, Maeve Gallagher
(Castlebar CC) and last year’s winner, Lara Gillespie (Orwell Wheelers) pulled clear of the
peloton but Caoimhe didn’t panic and rode aggressively to out sprint the chasers for a
fantastic third place. Following the race young O’Brien who already has several national
track titles and has ridden in the green of Ireland was delighted with her success saying she
“was over the moon” and wanted to thank her family and mentors for all their help.
Well done Caoimhe, once again you have done yourself, your family and lakeside Wheelers
very proud.
Lakeside Wheelers was also represented in the Junior boys event with Conor T. Farrell taking
to the start line. Unfortunately Conor who has showed some great form in recent weeks was
caught behind a crash in the early stages and he failed to regain contact with the decisive split
in the race due to the hilly terrain and windy conditions. This was very disappointing for
Farrell as he is a super climber and was relishing the challenge in Derry but he was left in a
very difficult position and indeed lucky not to crash himself. However, it is onwards and
upwards for Conor T. now as he has being selected to ride for the Leinster team in the Junior
Tour of Ireland which is an eight-day international race in July. Best of Luck in Clare Conor,
we will all be rooting for you. Former Lakeside Wheelers member Aaron Wade, now riding
with Vitus-Chill-NRPT enjoyed better luck and came home in a very credible fifth position.
It was an excellent ride by Aaron considering only 15 riders completed the race so, well done
to you also.