O’Neill Wins Sean Nolan Meath Grand Prix

Round 4 of the 2024 Road National Series, hosted by Navan RC, took place on Sunday, 9th of June. Unfortunately the weather made for far from ideal conditions for the Sean Nolan Meath Grand Prix and Rás Na Mí. 

Shortly after the Sean Nolan Meath Grand Prix got underway the race was red flagged following a crash. All remaining riders returned to race headquarters and were reset. The distance for both the Open and the Women’s race was reduced by one lap each. 

A special mention goes to the emergency services, medics, race officials, Navan RC and all those who assisted with the crash. We wish all riders involved a speedy recovery. 

Bryan McCrystal set the pace in the Open Race and led the breakaway group of five riders heading into the final lap, however, it was Gareth O’Neill for Athlete Nutrition who claimed victory following a final sprint to the line. Liam Crowley finished second for UCD and Josh Callaly completed the podium riding for Lucan RC.

In the 2024 Road National Series league table, George Pedan remains at the top of the table for Team PB Performance on 111 points with two legs remaining. Liam Crowley is on 98 in second and Daire Feeley is on 88 points in third.  

Junior riders put in some excellent performances, showing great promise for the future. 

In the overall league standings for the Juniors Philip O’Connor and Josh Callaly are tied at the top of the table, both on 41 points, which will make the remaining two legs very exciting. Patrick O’Sullivan is in third, only one point behind on 40. 

The addition of Rás Na Mí to the schedule as the Women’s Road National Series race proved popular. 

Despite challenging conditions, three riders broke away from the main peloton. A sprint to the line from Ellen McDermott proved to the right decision, as she finished ahead of Annalise Murphy, for Longcourt Hotel - NCW Wheelers, in second and Maeve Gallagher in third, riding for Challenge Cycling Club.  

The Keukens Redant Cycling Team rider is a former National Criterium Champion and has podiumed at Road National Championships twice. 

The second place finish for Murphy has helped her extend her lead to 27 points ahead of Mary Corless. Maeve Gallagher currently sits in third place in the league. 

In the Junior Women league Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club’s Kate Murphy has over double the number of points on her nearest rival, Rhiannon Dolan in second. Aliyah Rafferty holds third place. 

The fifth leg of the 2024 Road National Series is the Mullingar GP, on Sunday July 7th, hosted by Lakeside Wheelers.

Click here to enter round 5

Youth Road National Series 

Also hosted by Navan RC, the opening round of the Youth Road National Series took place on Saturday, 8th of June. 

This exciting new initiative is being run as a demonstration event this year. Saturday marked the first of three legs to take place this summer. 

The series was recommended by the Cycling Ireland Youth Working Group with the assistance of the High Performance Unit (HPU). For 2024 it will only feature Under 16 racing, with separate races for take place for boys and girls. 

The HPU's involvement will help the Cycling Ireland High Performance Development Coach in talent identification and further strengthens the High Performance Pathway for riders.

Victory went to Hugh Og Mulhearne for Verge Sport PI Cycles, however, Jack Lawless, riding for Gorey Cycling Club, is top of the leaderboard after the opening round. Lawless picked up more points in the prime sprints, leaving him narrowly ahead of Og Mulhearne and Jan Prell of VC Glendale. 

In the Under 16 girl’s race Emer Heverin topped the podium for All Human / Velo Revolution. Aoife O’Donovan was second for Dungarvan CC and Ysabella Huele was third for Orwell Wheelers CC. 

Cycling Ireland Participation Manager Paul Norton attended the opening round, he said: 

"It was great to see the first round of the Youth National Series take place in Navan last Saturday. It was a really well organised race by Niall Doggett and his team from Navan Road CC and it was encouraging to see riders and parents travel from all over the country to attend the first round.

"The course was flat kermesse style circuit that suited a rider with a strong sprint. With the inclusion of intermediate sprint points at various intervals during the race, which would be added to the tally of National Series points scored for placing in the top 20, it really created some aggressive and exciting racing. The next two rounds will see two different style courses that will suit a more punchier rider with intermediate sprint points placed strategically so these riders have a chance to accumulate points that go towards their overall National Series ranking."

The next round of the Youth Road National Series will take place on June 29th, hosted by Sliabh Luachra CC. Entries due to open in the coming days.