Lakeside Wheelers’ Aoife O’Brien Storms to Victory at Mullingar GP

Post date: Jul 16, 2019 9:12:15 AM

( By Shay O'Toole )

Fifteen year old Lakeside Wheelers rider, Aoife O’Brien, rode the race of her young life last Sunday to win the Mullingar GP in Multyfarnham.

The annual race promoted by Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar has been incorporated into the Cycling Ireland National Road Series for elite riders for the last two years which means it attracts the best talent on the amateur scene in Ireland in the senior men’s and ladies’ categories.

Due to her age, O’Brien, the national U16 champion from Ballinafid, was only included on the start list by way of a special exemption from Cycling Ireland because she has been selected to ride for Ireland at the Youth Olympics in Baku, Azerbaijan next week. The ladies race was held over two laps of the 35km Castlepollard, Coole circuit which started and finished in Multyfarnham. Aoife was riding the race as preparation for her trip to the Youth Olympics.

Approaching the village on the second lap, the race was all together so a bunch sprint finish was on the cards. As the peloton passed the GAA pitch, Aoife used experience and craft belying her youth to sit calmly at the pointy end of the race, waiting for her moment to pull the trigger. With the punishing uphill finish now taking its toll on her competitors, the Lakeside Wheelers girl made one final effort and threw her bike at the line to claim the biggest race of her career to date.

Following the race the local teenager was thrilled with her performance saying “I never expected it but I am delighted to win at my home race”. In winning, Aoife beat Grace Young (Strata 3 Velo Revolution) the current leader in National Road Series into second place with Nikki Taggart (Arcane CC) a top ten finisher in the National Criterium Championships last week rounding out the podium. Aoife’s victory was all the more enjoyable as it was practically on her doorstep and she was supported by several friends and most of her family (Aoife’s sister Caoimhe is currently in Belgium with the Irish team at the European Track Championships).

Well done Aoife on a fantastic performance and from everybody at Lakeside Wheelers, best of luck in Baku.

In the other races on the programme Lakeside Wheelers was well represented across all categories. Well done to all who competed in the club colours.

The weekend of racing was finished off in great style with a BBQ and a few refreshments at the Chambers Bar on Mount St on Sunday evening. Thanks to Ulrika Maher for organising this social event and ensuring that everyone was extremely well looked after.

The race organisers would also like to extend a big thank you to all club members who made the Mullingar GP a big success again this year. Special mention to Jack Nugent, Mark Horohoe, Eamon Hogan, John Farrell, Joe Duffy, Ed Tyrell and club Chairman, Henry Whitston for all their hard work in the weeks leading up to the race.

Aoife O'Brien winning round 4 of the Elite Ladies National Road Series race in Multy.

Lorcan Caffery and Aidan Farrell at the Mullingar GP in Multyfarnham.