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Cycling Ireland Monthly Awards - January/ February Winners

Cycling Ireland Monthly Awards - January/ February Winners

The first winners in the Cycling Ireland Monthly Awards for 2019 are Toby Watson (Volunteer of the Month), Matthew Campbell (Male Rider of the Month) and Lara Gillespie (Female Rider of the Month).

The winner of club of the month is Bray Wheelers. This is a new award introduced for 2019 alongside the existing categories from last year.

The winners were nominated by Cycling Ireland members, with a selection panel voting to decide the winner’s of each category.

The Female Rider of the Month is Lara Gillespie (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club).

Lara had a strong start to the 2019 season. She retained the elite national cyclocross title in Cork, winning out in a sprint finish. After this she was selected to represent the national team at the World Cyclocross Championships in Denmark finishing in 40th place in the U23 race.

"I was really eager to retain my cyclocross national title but I knew it would be a tough ask, being among super strong competition on flying form for the race. I decided to just take the race as it came and stay composed. Judging by the course and how the race played out I knew I would need to be extremely switched on for the final few laps. It came down to a sprint finish where I gave it my all and crossed the line with my hands in the air" she said.

"I was extremely proud to retain the title and be apart of a very positive, competitive and entertaining  women's race and I hope it continues! Huge credit to all the hardworking people in the background building courses, coaching and trying to help develop cyclocross as a sport in Ireland- people like Andy Layhe, any many more!".

The winner of the Male Rider of the Month is Matthew Campbell (Ratoath BMX Club).

Matthew had a successful last few months, competing in Manchester as part of the Winter Series. He raced in the 17-29 age group and made the final 4 out of 5 times, managing third place in two of those finals and taking the overall title. He is also planning to race some rounds of the British National Series and the European series later this year.

"Manchester is one of my favourite tracks to ride and the racing under the roof series is great race experience for the upcoming race season. It was a great experience representing my country in Manchester and flying the flag", he said.

 "I've been training very hard in the off season and it's great to show my progress in the series. My mindset for each race was to get a good gate and get out in front of the pack. I knew then I could hold my place and had been practicing this at my home track in Ratoath BMX".

"A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes with my dad, Tom Campbell, Cycling Ireland and my coach Jeremy Hayes. I'm very thankful for their immense support" he concluded


The Volunteer of the Month Award goes to Toby Watson (VC Glendale).

Toby has been selected for the award for the time he gives as a photographer at a large amount of cycling events. Toby is a member of the VC Glendale club based in Antrim. He sacrifices a large amount of his free time going to events providing quality coverage of local clubs Toby was also recently recognised by Cycling Ulster as their volunteer of the year for 2018.

"It's hard to take in that I won this award, " he said. "I'm cycling's biggest fan and have been for a long time. I work around the clock and cover Ireland/ Scotland and sacrifice my spare time for training to capture my local heroes week in, week out. It keeps me in the loop, thank you for your support."

The Club of the Month Award goes to Bray Wheelers.

The club has been nominated for this award for their very successful "Couch to 50k" programme which ran over six weeks during February and March, organised by the club’s Women’s Development Officer Edwina Beirne. 


The programme was designed for newcomers to the club to get into cycling and lead a more active lifestyle, improve their fitness and to meet new friends and become a part of the club. At the conclusion of the programme participants were presented with a medal by club President Phil O’Brien to recognise their achievements.


Key to the success of the ‘Couch to 50k’ was the personal attention given to all who took part, with a WhatsApp group set up so that all participants could get help with questions from club coaches. Group leaders from the club were male and female to encourage more women to take part. The aim was to convert the new riders into club riders. A follow up programme ‘50 to 100k an Intro to Club Cycling’ was also initiated so that riders could progress to club level and make best use of their 50k initial goal.


Great feedback was received throughout the Couch to 50k programme and Bray Wheelers are delighted to be awarded club of the month.


**Nominations for the March awards will open next week!**

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