Caoimhe O’Brien’s Youth Olympics Story
Post date: Aug 14, 2017 9:45:51 AM
(By Shay O'Toole & Caoimhe O'Brien - Sun. 13th August 2017)
As promised last week the following is a report from Caoimhe O’Brien on her recent exploits at the Youth Olympics which were held in Gyor, Hungary. Caoimhe is not only one of the brightest stars of Lakeside Wheelers but she is now one of the most promising female riders in Ireland and with a little luck she will continue to develop and become a major force in ladies cycling in the future. Thanks very much Caoimhe for sharing your diary with us...
“Going to the European youth Olympics was amazing. Every day we experienced new things and got to meet many new people. One of the highlights of the trip was the opening ceremony. There was an amazing performance and we got to watch a brilliant show. The best part of the opening ceremony was getting to parade around the stadium with the other Irish athletes.
There were seventy two girls in total competing in the cycling events. The first race was a time trial. It was a flat course with a very strong head wind on the last 5km of the 10km course. I felt strong for the first half but lost my endurance for the final half. I finished 49th but I was happy with my result since time trials are not my strong point. I'm also at a slight disadvantage with my age as I am only 15 since April this year but I compete at U16 level against riders who are at least a year older than me.
The road race was on Thursday and it was a 44km race but again. It was also a very flat course. I felt very strong in preparation for the race and was looking forward to it. It was a fast race for the most part however, at some stages it was very slow which caused numerous crashes. The weather conditions were terrible and the roads were very wet. We came into the last 500m and everyone was fighting for positions. We all began to sprint at 200m and a girl cycled into me causing me to come down and putting me out of competition. My bike broke in half so I had to walk across the line holding one half of my “poor” bike in each hand but I was glad, and very lucky, not to be injured myself.
Caoimhe (centre in green) narrowly escapes one of the numerous crashes in Hungary
Overall I had the time of my life in Hungary. I made friends for life and got to experience international racing. I'd like to thank everyone throughout this year for helping me achieve my dream especially my coaches Martin O'Loughlin and Nicola McKiverigan. Also, everyone from Lakeside Wheelers who sent me messages of support, the Olympic council and my wonderful parents, thank you and thanks to you all for reading about my trip.
A great action shot of Caoimhe O'Brien in Hungary