Matthew Teggart and Erin Creighton are the leaders of Cycling Ireland’s National Road Series as the domestic peloton heads into tomorrow’s penultimate round in Mayo.
Teggart, who will ride for a strong Ulster team in next month’s Rás Tailteann, holds a commanding lead of the men’s series after winning all of the first three events.
The Banbridge man added victory in the Sean Nolan Meath Grand Prix in Dunshaughlin last Sunday to wins at the Des Hanlon Memorial in Carlow and the Darach McCarthy & Co Solicitors Road Race in Limerick earlier in the year.
Riding for the British-based Wiv SunGod continental professional team, Teggart was active throughout last Sunday’s race and was involved in both of the big moves of the day, first going clear in a 10-strong group, before sprinting home at the head of a later four-man breakaway to take his third win in as many races.
Behind him, Luke Smith (Moynalty), Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles) and David Montgomery (Spellman Dublin Port) crossed the line in that order from the break while another Banbridge man, Paul Hagan, led home the chase group for fifth.
With a maximum 120 points from the first three series events, Teggart has a 58 point lead over both UCD’s Conor Murnane and Smith going into tomorrow’s140km fourth round race in Cong, although the series is still potentially up for grabs with double points on offer in the final event in Banbridge in August.
“I’m definitely in the best place possible after three rounds,” said Teggart. “The aim is now to hang on and win it outright.”
Former national champion and double Paralympic champion, Eve McCrystal, soloed clear of the rest of the field to take victory in round three on Sunday with national junior champion Aoife O’Brien (Torelli Cayman Islands Scimitar), taking second ahead of UCD’s Gabriel Glodentyne.
The ladies National Road Series also sees a new leader heading into round four, with Erin Creighton of Mc Convey Cycles donning the green and white jersey of series leader after seventh place in Meath on Sunday gave her enough points to overthrow previous table topper Caoimhe O’Brien (Torelli Cayman Islands Scimitar), who won the opening two events but missed the Meath Grand Prix.
In the Junior series, Patrick O’Loughlin of Panduit Carrick Wheelers did enough when finishing fourth behind Italian-based Adam Gilsenan (Club Ciclista Canturino), Sam Maloney (Greenmount) and Quillan Donnelly (Usher IRC) in round three last week to hold onto his overall lead ahead of the penultimate round in Mayo.
O’Loughlin now has a 15-point lead over Gilsenan, with Donnelly a further 15 points back.
Held in memory of the late Brian O’Loughlin, father of former national champion and Olympian David O’Loughlin, tomorrow's undulating course against the scenic backdrop of Lough Corrib is sure to provide plenty of action when the racing begins at noon.