In the latest club profile we get the lowdown on Orwell’s new world champion Orla Hendron and her path to the maillot arc-en-ciel.

Age: Somewhere between 44-49

Years with Orwell: 8 years now… Holy S…!!

How did you get into cycling?

After my hockey career came to an end I took up triathlon, so that got me on a bike, then I did a charity cycle for Crumlin Hospital where I met Arthur Ebbs (also currently a member of Orwell).  He told me I should join the vets as I’d be good at the racing game if I tried it.  He brought me along to an IVCA race where Orwell stalwart Liam Keenan put me in a hard group because I was a triathlete. At the beginning I kept getting dropped but I kept at it until I didn’t get dropped anymore!

What made you choose Orwell Wheelers?

Eddie Lane was a good friend from triathlon and he was in the club. He always raved about how friendly and helpful the guys were, and I mean guys, as I think Katherine Hanrahan was the only woman in the Club then (and she was very nice too)!

How has women’s involvement in the Club changed since you joined?

Well the year I joined two other women joined: Kate Rudd and Karen Bothwell. And then three more joined the following year - Jenny Fay, Anna Frankland and Ashling Daly. They were all strong riders and we all raced.  Now we have much more numbers on the bike but not so many racing in proportion.  So hopefully that will change next year with Aideen’s drive to get a team training and racing programme going.

What types of cycling/racing do you do and what do you enjoy about it?

Well I got more into track racing this year because I wanted to do the European Track Masters.  I always did a bit on the track but never had my own bike.  Luckily Santy arrived last Xmas with a track bike for David and me.  David however never got a look in!  I enjoy the track because you get to do lots of races and there is a great buzz, especially at Sundrive Road.  I also like stage races and get great satisfaction from going really hard and moving up the GC in particular races each year.

What bikes do you own?

A Trek Madone, Trek 1200, Trek Equinox TT bike and a share in a Trek Track Bike.  (Oh, nearly forgot a shopping bike David fixed up for me when we started going out).  Actually I think the TT bike is half David’s as well! I’m lucky we are both the same bike size.

Obviously your greatest cycling high was meeting you husband Dave Tansey (Joe Daly Cycles) After that, what are your greatest cycling highs/achievements?

Obviously winning the World Masters Track Championships points race in my age category, bronze in the scratch race at the same event and my European Masters Track medals (bronze medals in the points race and the 2k pursuit this year (2010).  But at home winning the Women’s TT in the Gorey for the last few years up against serious domestic competition is satisfying and also working with Michelle Geoghegan to get a one-two for Orwell in the Mullingar National League race in 2009- that was cool!

Your biggest cycling lows/disappointments?

This year’s Gorey (2010) was disappointing for me- I don’t mind getting dropped in men’s races if I feel I’m improving i.e. I’m getting a bit further each year but this year I was dropped earlier than last year so that was disappointing.

Amongst your many cycling roles, you’re on the Board of Cycling Ireland. What does that entail?

Oh my god I’d bore the pants off you if I went into that!  But I will say that, although it does take up a good bit of time, they are a great bunch to work with and in a masochistic kind of way I do enjoy it. However 2011 will be my last year.

Your cycling heroes/role models?

Eddie Lynch for one because he keeps getting better every year and is older than me so that gives me great inspiration!!  Paddy Doran and Aidan Hammond who have coached me since I joined Orwell and Paddy in my role on the Women’s Commission has been the mentor behind the scenes

Your favourite training route/coffee stop?

My favourite route would have to be over in the west with my friends in Cong- they don’t cycle but do a mean tea for us when we get home.

What music is on your MP3 Player now?

Oh my god all sorts.  Apparently I gave my iPod away one night and it came back full of music like magic!


What next after winning the Rainbow Jersey in the Points Race at the World Masters Track Championships 2010?

Going to have to defend it!  It will be tough with strong riders coming up into my age category next year but I’m up for the challenge.