RESULTS: National Road Series 2018 – Third Round Donamon GP 10th June

COUNTY Waterford rider Conor Hennebry has moved into a podium position in the Cycling Ireland National Road Series after a hard-fought win in Roscommon on Sunday.

The former underage hurler lined up for the 112km Donamon GP with three Viner Caremark Pactimo team mates – Matteo Cigala, Sean Hahessy and Aaron Kearney.

All four were part of the five-strong squad that won the Irish County Rider Team Classification at Ras Tailteann in May, with 25-year-old Hennebry having also won the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan stage race in April.

On a fast, hot 16km circuit around Donamon Castle, Hennebry and Hahessy worked hard to get into the break that stuck, nine getting away on the second of seven laps.

An elite chase group, including Holdsworth Bikes’s Conn McDunphy and Cigala, briefly closed in on the break, but crossing the line with a lap to go the gap was out to nearly 2 minutes, as Hennebry mercilessly attacked his remaining cohorts.

That proved the winning move, Hennebry soloing to victory, with Burren Racing Team’s Mark Shannon a tired second and Hahessy third.

Hennebry said: “It was tough, it was riding full gas all day. I think we averaged about 44kph, and there was a fair bit of climbing in it as well. To average that on that course was tough for a day out, and it was surprisingly hot.

He added: “The gap [from the break to the bunch] was still very small going on to the third lap, so we all had to ride and fully commit. The gap slowly grew from 25 seconds up to about two minutes. We all kept riding anyway, but I could see a few guys missing a few turns – they were starting to get tired, so I decided to try my luck.

“I attacked the last time through the finish line and kinda dangled with a lead of 50 metres or so for two thirds of a lap, until Mark Shannon of Burren Cycling Club came across to me. That was a great help to me because he’s a good engine. He was well able to pull turns.  It came down to a bit of a sprint coming up the final hill and I just about held on.”

Hennebry will race next in the National Criterium Championships in Mullingar on Friday night, and will return to the same town on Sunday, July 15 for round 4 of the National Road Series at the Mullingar GP.

The win elevates the Portlaw man to joint third in the National Road Series standings with reigning champion Sean Lacey. Lacey, Hennebry’s team mate, had led the table before Sunday’s race, but the Tralee man is set to miss the remainder of the season through injury.

The new league leader is Sunday’s 12th Jamie Blanchfield on 81 points, with Cigala in second on 76 points.

Cigala is now set to join UK team Holdsworth Bikes for opportunities to compete in bigger races with the likes of Sean McKenna, Damien Shaw and McDunphy.

The Women’s National Road Series race at the Donamon GP came down to a bunch sprint won by reigning champion Eve McCrystal.

The Garda CC rider beat newcomer Aine Donegan (Scott-Orwell Wheelers) and National Road Series league leader Katharine Smyth (Ballymena Road Club), who retains her position despite the defeat,

Donegan remains in second position overall, 15 points adrift of Smyth, with McCrystal creeping on to the podium after her second win in as many races. Nessa Rochford (De Ronde Van Cork CC) is fourth and Niamh O’Donavan (TC Racing) is 5th.

Round 4 of the Cycling Ireland Men’s and Women’s National Road Series is the Mullingar GP in Mullingar on Sunday, July 15, hosted by Lakeside Wheelers. Follow @CINatRoadSeries on Twitter and Cycling Ireland National Road Series on Facebook for further details.

Points Allocation

Place 2017 Points
1st 40
2nd 35
3rd 30
4th 25
5th 20
6th 19
7th 18
8th 17
9th 16
10th 15
11th 13
12th 11
13th 10
14th 9
15th 8
16th 7
17th 6
18th 5
19th 4
20th 3

 

Events in Series

DATE EVENT LOCATION HOSTING CLUB
25 March Des Hanlon Carlow Carlow RCC
15 April Donal Crowley Memorial Road Race Blarney Blarney Cycling Club
10 June Donamon GP Donamon Donamon Dynamos CC
15 July Mullingar GP Mullingar Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar CC
11 August John Beggs Memorial Banbridge Banbridge CC
01 September Laragh Classic Laragh St. Tiernans CC
15 September The Red Hand Trophy Ballymena Ballymena RC

 

 



 


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