Cycling: Lara Gillespie 'proud' to come out on top in National Championship

The UCD Cycling Club rider came first in a masse sprint victory which filled the finish straight in Knockaderry
Cycling: Lara Gillespie 'proud' to come out on top in National Championship

Lara Gillespie of UCD Cycling Club wins the women’s senior race. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Lara Gillespie came out on top in testing conditions in west Limerick as she claimed victory in an exciting and intense Senior Women’s National Championship as sprinted to victory.

The UCD Cycling Club rider came first in a masse sprint victory which filled the finish straight in Knockaderry on the last day of the Newcastlewest CC promoted event.

Teenager Lara, was followed on the line by Thursday’s Time Trial National Champion Eve McCrystal (Strata 3-VeloRevolution) and Ellen McDermott (Team Boompods).

“It was intense from the beginning of the race, there was a group off the front," Gillespie said.

"We were coming up the hill and with about 500 metres to go it just felt like it was going on for ages, it was a really good race."

Gillespie admitted that given the strength of the field, she was surprised to come out on top.

“So many strong women out today, I am just really surprised that I won. I am so proud, I worked so hard all year.

In the men's race on Saturday, another youngster Ben Healy stormed to a dominant victory.

Fresh from his U23 victory in Thursday’s Time Trial, Healy rode a faultless race in blazing sunshine, over the rolling terrain of the Co Limerick course.

“I was riding very hard, there were personal best numbers for me today.," he said. "It has been a fantastic few days, I came here wanting to do well and I have achieved everything I could have hoped for."

The victory impressed Nicholas Roche said that he was disappointed but congratulated Ben Healy on his victory.

“Once again mixed feelings at the finish, I am happy for Ben. He really did a perfect race, he rode smart – he knew the bunch would mark me down and went for most of the day."

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