Tuesday evening saw the opening round of the 2018 Appleby-Orwell Women’s Crit League. Just in case the 10 mile TT on its own wasn’t enough to contend with, the weather Gods threw in a strong blustery cross-wind and a generous dose of the finest Irish misht to round off the challenging conditions for the event. Despite the ‘grand soft evening’ that prevailed, a noteworthy turnout of 33 ladies from 14 different clubs presented themselves for 16 km of flat to the mat action along the Batterstown route.

The powerhouse that is Jennifer Bates (Gerard DHL) presented the winning time of 24:24 – an excellent effort especially given the conditions on the night and an improvement of over a minute on her last years winning time. Sofie Loscher of Sundrive came in second place with a superb time of 26:07 and rounding off the podium 50 seconds later was Aisling Barry of Dunboyne with an impressive time of 26:26

Jennifer Bates on her way to victory in R1

4th place went to Orwell’s own Breda Horan, a mere 19 seconds off a podium spot, with 5th been taken by a second strong Sundrive rider Jennifer Neenan at 27:18. Closing off the top 6 placings was Arron Fox from Belpark with a very respectable time of 27:30

Breda Horan - first Orwell home

Hannah Tilly from Arcane ensured the junior riders were well represented with an impressive time of 31:39 – well done Hannah

Huge thanks as always to our marshals who braved the elements to keep us all safe and help with the smooth running of the event – Luke GJ Potter, Barry Mooney, Richard McSherry and Dave Hendron. Thank you to Dave Mc for his excellent timing skills – a regular attendee with a skill that is not easily found elsewhere. To John Hammer, who stood in the rain for the evening to take some lovely photos of the lovely ladies - your ongoing support is much appreciated. Thanks also to John Twomey for his steady hand launching all out of the start gate – although I plan to check his newly acquired wife’s Strava for any suspicious acceleration in the first few seconds of her TT J. Huge thanks to the organisers – the familiar face of Orla Hendron who is an ongoing presence and support at all the women’s events – a significant amount of work going on in the background.

John Twomey keeping a watchful eye

Thank you also due to our new league sponsors Appleby Jewellers and to Pro-U Yoghurt for supplying the recovery yoghurts at the end of the TT tonight – your support is appreciated.

Lastly, a big thank you to all the riders that participated and threw themselves into 16km of pain on a wet, wild and windy Spring evening – extra kudos deserved for you all competing in those conditions! There were a few familiar faces last night that know the drill for the next few weeks and to all the new faces, congratulations and welcome to what is a very enjoyable 6 weeks of competitive women’s cycling – with a finishing evening of tay and hang sangwiges in McCaffrey’s on the evening of the final TT.

Sign on next Tuesday is at 18:30 with a short safety skills session to take place just before racing starts at 7pm.

Until next week....!



Full Results: on the forum.