Skip to main content


Joseph Mullen put in a storming ride in the junior race to take victory on a day when Greta Lawless scored another decisive elite victory while Jamie Meehan and Dean Harvey went head-to-head in the men’s race (Photo: Cycling Ireland)

The fourth round of the National Cyclocross Series served up to great battles in the main events with Jamie Meehan (Spellman Dublin Port) and Dean Harvey (Trinity Racing) fighting it out in the men’s race while Greta Lawless (Team WORC) and Caoimhe May (Orwell Wheelers) duked it out in the women’s event.

In the junior men’s race, the three riders who represented Ireland at the European Cyclocross Championships last week in France emerged strongest, though there were big gaps between them. The winner put in the fastest lap of the day; quicker than any of the riders in the elite men’s race.

In the senior men’s category, while Harvey emerged as by far the strongest rider on the ‘cross scene last year, and has continued that way in the current season, Meehan has developed at a rate of knots over the last 12 months and got one over on his big rival yesterday.

There wasn’t much to separate the leading out front, with Kevin McCambridge (Trinity Racing) also right in the mix with Harvey and Meehan at the front. McCambridge slipped back a little on the penultimately lap in the eight-lap race at Technological University of the Shannon campus in Thurles, Co Tipperary as Meehan put in a huge final lap to win.

Harvey left himself with a bit to do in the early stages, losing 12 seconds to Meehan and McCambridge after that duo pulled clear at the front. However, that advantage was short-lived as national champion Harvey got back up to them on the second lap.

Harvey then kept going, rounding the third lap some 15 seconds faster than Meehan and McCambridge. However, while Harvey would often ride away at that point, once he had established a small gap out front, there was just a couple of seconds to separate the leading trio over the next two laps.

By the start of the lap 6, Harvey was leading by six seconds from Meehan, with McCambridge next, in 3rd and just another couple of seconds back. Then came Travis Harkness (Scott Bright Motor Group), at 1:28, with Richie Barry (St Finbarr’s) in 5th, at 2:07, and then Robin Seymour (Team WORC) in 6th at 3:12.

Meehan and Harvey then really went head-to-head over the next couple of laps; Meehan faster by eight seconds on lap 6 to just about take the lead, thought Harvey caught and passed him, just about leading going onto the final lap.

During that last passage of the circuit, Meehan hit the afterburners and put in the second fastest lap of his race – just two seconds slower than his 6:44 on the opening lap – to distance Harvey and win by 14 seconds after 55 minutes of racing.

McCambridge was 3rd, 1:20 down on Meehan, with Harkness in 4th at 2:44. Barry was 5th and Seymour 6th, at 3:35 and 5:33 respectively.

In the women’s race, first-year junior rider Lawless (16) once again showed her credentials with another elite victory, this time over May after six laps of racing.

That event was not a closer run contest, with Lawless really turning on the power from gun to tape to come away with victory by close to two minutes over May. Doireann Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) was 3rd, with Niamh Stephens (Team Giant Dublin) placing 4th. Kate Murphy (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) and Jean Wilson (Orwell Wheelers) were 5th and 6th.

Lawless has already won national titles on the dirt and now in her first year as a junior rode the Europeans for in France for the national team last week. Yesterday in Tipperary she never looked like she would be beaten.

She put 1:08 into May, and 1:30 into Killeen, during the opening three laps and continued in that vein for most of the remainder of the race, save for a much slower penultimate lap when May pulled back 11 seconds.

In the end, however, teenager Lawless ran out the winner by 1:43 over May, with Killeen 3rd at 3:16 and Stephens in 4th at 3:39.

The junior men’s race saw Joseph Mullen (Navan Road Club) took a brilliant win in the six-lap race. His 6:33 time over the second lap was the fastest of the day. Indeed, his lap times through the race – all under seven minutes aside from the final lap, would have put him at, or around, the front of the race in the senior men’s event.

He raced into an early leader, ahead of fellow junior cyclocross internationals David Gaffney (Dungarvan CC) and Conor Murphy (Rostrevor MTB). Mullen never looked back and claimed the victory in a blistering time of 40:58, some 2:51 up on 2nd placed Gaffney with Murphy in 3rd at 4:10.

For full results of all races, please follow this link.

#Meehan #battles #Harvey #Lawless #Mullen #runaway #winners #Thurles

Source link