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PREVIEW: Round 4 National Road Series - Mullingar GP

PREVIEW: Round 4 National Road Series - Mullingar GP

NEW Irish National Road Race Champion Eve McCrystal will on Sunday race for the first time in the Champion’s jersey at round four of the Cycling Ireland National Road Series in Multyfarnham, County Westmeath.

The Garda CC rider denied a stellar cast of domestic stalwarts and professionals to stand on the top step at the Irish Road Racing Championships last month in Coollooney, County Sligo.

In a proud moment for the Dundalk woman, McCrystal sprinted to beat European Track Championships silver medallist Lydia Gurley, professional Alice Sharpe and Individual Time Trial National Champion Kelly Murphy, with National Road Series leader Katharine Smyth (Ballymena Road Club) back in 5th.

Newcomer Aine Donegan (Scott-Orwell Wheelers) finished 7th, alongside former National Road Race Champion Lydia Boylan, signalling the triathlete’s continued progression towards the top tier of Irish cycling.

McCrystal, Smyth, and Donegan are expected to line up for the Grange Motors Mullingar GP in Multyfarnham on Sunday, Smyth’s team mate Eileen Burns joining her after also making the top ten in the National Road Race and Time Trial Championships.

Men’s National Road Series leader Jamie Blanchfield (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) achieved his highest National Road Race placing, finishing 20th, but 12 other domestic riders also made the top 20, headed by U23 National Champion Darnell Moore, who finished second.

The Mullingar GP also sees the homecoming of County Westmeath’s Ras Tailteann Irish County Team Overall Classification winners - Viner-Caremark-Pactimo - though the team will be without Matteo Cigala.

The Italian transferred to Yorkshire-based team Holdsworth Pro Racing after last month’s Donamon GP in search of more international opportunities. He remains based in Ireland and continues to target overall victory in the National Road Series, presently sitting in third, 25 points off Blanchfield’s lead.

The Men’s and Women’s National Road Series races will set out on the hilly 34km circuit from Multyfarnham at 11am, the Men’s field covering four laps for 136km, and the Women’s three laps for 102km, both races finishing back in the town.

Sign on closes at 10.30am in the Multyfarnham Community Centre, with a full programme of youth and lower category senior races supporting the Cycling Ireland National Road Series Round 4.

For more details see http://www.facebook.com/cyclingirelandnationaroadseries/ and follow the race live this Sunday on http://www.twitter.com/CINatRoadSeries

Overall ranking to date in the Men’s Series HERE and in the Women’s Series HERE.

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