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National Road Series – Round 5 – 2017 Grange Motors Mullingar GP – 16th July

13/07/2017
National Road Series – Round 5 – 2017 Grange Motors Mullingar GP – 16th July

CYCLING IRELAND’S Elite National Road Series travels to Multyfarnham in Mullingar for the third-last round this Sunday, as both leaders bid to overturn significant defeats in Round 4..

Having won three of the first four rounds, Paralympic Gold Medallist Eve McCrystal was beaten for the first time in the Brian McNamara GP, Team Madigan CC’s Katharine Smyth taking the race to reduce McCrystal’s lead to 25 points.


The men’s race told an identical story, second-placed Matteo Cigala beating Nenagh Classic winner Mark Dowling, to snip his lead to a skinnier 12 points.


With double points on offer in the finale at the Friends First Laragh Classic in Wicklow on September 2, it remains all to play for in the Elite National Road Series and what better venue to host this crucial round than the home of the 2014 Irish National Cycling Championships.


Run by Lakeside Wheelers, the 2017 Grange Motors Mullingar GP races on its familiar hilly 34km circuit, the Elite National Road Series Men’s race tackling four laps for 136km, and the Women’s racing two for 68km.


Last year Strata 3 Velo Revolution’s Dowling was beaten a tyre-width by UCD CC’s Ian Richardson, Dermot Turlock (Lucan CRC) taking a close third, while Sinnead Oakes (De Ronde Van Cork) beat subsequent National Road Series champion Claire McIlwaine, and Fiona Guihen, now riding for Black Rose Racing.


Oakes could be a real danger to the big two if turning up on Sunday; having finishing fourth in the Nenagh Classic and second in the Deenside Cup, she’s shown strong climbing form this term and comes into Mullingar with 60 points from just two races. Guihen is a threat too, bouncing back from illness to be third in the Brian McNamara.


The Grand Motors Mullingar GP starts and finishes in Multyfarnham, with sign on at the Community Centre from 8am and all races starting at 11am.


National Road Series Standings Overview


While the top two places in the Men’s and Women’s National Road Series tables appear decided, Cigala 32 points clear of third-placed Conn McDunphy and Smyth 55 points clear of injured Orla Walsh, the figures are much tighter below, with points down to 20th position making every effort count.


Dungarvan CC’s Niamh O’Donovan, last year’s champion Claire McIlwaine and Sinnead Oakes round out the women’s top six, all within 70 points of Smyth - 80 points going to the winner of the final race.


It’s first-round winner Darragh O’Mahony in fourth on the men’s circuit, Angus Fyffe, Craig Rea, round three winner Darnell Moore, Chris McGlinchey, Sean Lacey, and Mark Callaghan all accumulating 49 points or more - putting them within 58 points of second, and just 69 points off the top spot.

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