Gillespie and Wade Take Final Round Victories
Glodenyte and Teggart Secure Overall Elite Titles
UCD Cycling Club’s Lara Gillespie and Aaron Wade of Team U Cube 17 took the spoils in the final round of the Road National Series this afternoon on a testing circuit deep in the rolling hills of Dromore, County Down.
Overall Women’s Elite Series leader Gabriele Glodenyte took fourth place on the day, securing enough points to fend off an array of potential challengers and take the series title.
Matthew Teggart of WIV SunGod led the Elite Men’s Series heading into the final round, having won all three of his previous RNS outings this season. The Banbridge native sealed the overall title after taking second place on the day behind Wade, ending the series with a comfortable lead over his nearest challengers.
Speaking after the race, Teggart reflected on his achievements, saying “It’s been a class season, I’m really pleased to win three out of the four and then second. I’m delighted, I’ve showed a lot of consistency, so I’m really pleased with that.”
Heavy rain showers and an increasing breeze led to tricky conditions on a relentless course that Teggart described as “one of the hardest races in the country”.
Aggressive racing all day led to the field being thinned down with each passing lap, eventually leading to a select group of a dozen favourites, including Teggart and Wade, getting clear halfway through the 128km race.
The gap to the chase group behind quickly spun out to over two minutes, whilst the attacking continued up front with notable attempts by Teggart, Daire Feeley and Gareth O’Neill to get clear. Teggart finally did break free along with Wade on the last of four laps, in what would turn out to be the race winning move.
Deciding not to wait for the final kilometre ascent up Mount Street, Wade opportunistically kicked clear early and managed to get a gap, holding off the chasing Teggart to take the win in Dromore. The in-form Daire Feeley led home of the remnants of the chasing group to take third place behind the leading duo.
The victory for Wade was made all the sweeter after a difficult season racing in France, being forced to miss several key races whilst recovering from a double arm break, dislocated collarbone and a fractured hand.
In the Elite and Junior Women’s race earlier in the day, Lara Gillespie returned to winning ways in her first road race in two years. The former National Road Race champion fended off an Eve McCrystal fresh from a sixth World Paracycling Championship title with tandem partner Katie-George Dunlevy, with UCD Cycling Club’s Ella Doherty pipping teammate and series leader Glodenyte to the final podium spot.
Gillespie and McCrystal were both active earlier in the race, with a combination of several attacks and the arduous profile leading to a gradual reduction in the size of the main bunch as the race wore on. The pair were then able to get a small gap heading into the finish, with Gillespie kicking clear to take the victory from McCrystal.
A fourth-place finish for Glodenyte was enough to confirm an overall series win, with the UCD rider reflecting on a breakthrough season after the race, “I’m absolutely delighted to win the National Series. This is my first year doing the National Series so I really couldn’t believe it. When I first started my goal was to not get dropped, and then quickly turned to a goal to get a podium, and then eventually it was to actually win the series, so I’m absolutely delighted.”
Also up for grabs in the final round of the series were the Junior titles, with Navan Road Club’s Emma Smith placing highest in the women’s race. This result allowed her to take the overall Junior Women’s Road National Series, leapfrogging the absent Aoife O’Brien and Erin Creighton, who are both competing for Ireland at the upcoming UCI Junior Track World Championships.
In the Junior Men’s category, Patrick O’Loughlin of Panduit Carrick Wheelers secured his series lead and overall title, finishing second highest behind Westport Covey Wheelers’ Niall McLoughlin, with Curtis Neill of Carn Wheelers coming in third.
Images by Inpho Photography: https://client.inpho.ie/client-cyclingireland-nationalroadseriesround5-200822/
Road National Series final rankings