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RESULTS: National Road Series Round 3 Women

RESULTS: National Road Series Round 3 Women

GARDA CC’s Eve McCrystal was again unstoppable in the Cycling Ireland Women’s National Road Series last Sunday as she sprinted to a third successive victory.

The Dundalk rider has now won all three rounds of the 2017 elite league, her latest coming at the Deenside Cup in Kilkenny, after jumping away from her four breakaway rivals in the closing metres of the 75km race.

“Everything stayed together until the climb,” she said. “Katherine Smyth set a fast pace, and over the top a natural selection of five got away.”

The usual suspects of McCrystal, Smyth (Team Madigan) and Sinead Oakes (De Ronde CC) were in this break, but improvers Orla Walsh (Scott-Orwell) and Kate Earlie (St. Tiernan's CC) also stuck in for the first time, perhaps assisted by a tail wind over the long Glenmagoo climb.

“We got a one minute gap at the bottom of hill and we all worked really well together, pushing the gap all the time,” McCrystal continued. “We hit the climb the second time and I put in a effort with 500m to the summit but didn’t break, so we were all together for the sprint.

“I found myself boxed in with 300m to go and had a bit of work to get out of that so I was relieved to win.”

The win means McCrystal’s lead has extended to 30 points over second-placed Katharine Smyth, who finished fourth on Sunday, behind Sinead Oakes and newcomer Orla Walsh, the final member of the breakaway, Kate Earlie, taking fifth.

Walsh’s podium moves the Scott-Orwell rider up one place to third in the table, the absent Claire McIlwaine (Phoenix CC) dropping back to fourth and Earlie moving four places up to fifth.

Lakeside Wheelers junior Nicole Gorry was the first home from the bunch, finishing sixth and moving up up to eighth place from 11th.

With just three races of the National Road Series left, McCrystal is in Italy this week to pilot for Rio 2016 Paralympics medallist
Katie George Dunlevy in the opening round of the Paracycling Road World Cup. The pair are scheduled to ride in Friday afternoon’s TT and Sunday morning’s road race.

McCrystal said: “We are in good shape. It’s Katie’s first race since Rio. She has the bit between her teeth and is ready to race.”

Following that, McCrystal intends to return to Ireland for Round 4 of the Women’s National Road Series at Tuam Cycling Club’s Brian McNamara GP.

That will also be Round 4 of the men’s edition, their Round 3 coming this weekend at the historic 60th Shay Elliott Memorial Race in County Wicklow.
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