The B group getting ready to start. Annie caught laughing again

This week the Crit Chronicals are delighted to have guest reporter John Hammer. John will be familiar to most on the Irish cycling scene for his great photos. Ciara twisted his arm this week and John has sent us this very detailed report. We think this might not be his last guest writing!

Tuesday evening the Appleby Jewellers Orwell Women's Crit League raced on the Brittas Circuit . Starting in Manor Kilbride and traveling towards Blessington taking a left over the bridge spanning the Lake turning left off the bridge and back to Manor Kilbride. The sun was shining and some nice blue sky was seen briefly on part of the circuit .

The racing commenced at 7.04 pm with the B- riders given approximately 1 minute lead over the B riders . The B riders rode in good fashion and brought the B- riders back near the Bridge and field grew in strength and the presence of 3 National Youth Champions in this bunch of riders helped the confidence no end. Aoife O'Brien (Lakeland Wheelers), and Caoimhe May (Scott Orwell) took charge of the bunch and after some advice was given to the less experienced  riders a cohesive unit formed, each rider contributing efforts to remain clear of the A bunch who had started 4 minutes in arrears of the B- riders .

Aoife getting the B group organised! photo thanks to John Hammer

The A group had all the usual suspects along with a few new faces. It was never going to be easy for the A group to catch and then pass the now very progressive B group who were working in harmony and started their final lap with a 1 minute 20 second advantage over the A group. In the chasing group extensive work was being done by the Crit series leader Jennifer Bates (Gerard DHL). Also to the fore was her closest rival Sofie Loscher (Sundrive CC) with Beata Golczak (Arcane CC) also chipping in on the action. But all efforts by the A group came to nothing as the B group extended their lead to over 1 minute 40 seconds.

Jen leading the chasing A group. Photo thanks to John Hammer

In the end the finish was fought out in a sprint by National Youth Champions May and O'Brien with the Lakeland Wheelers Rider Aoife O'Brien taking the victory by the narrowest margin from Caoimhe May (Scott Orwell CC). Helen White (Stamullen RC) took 3rd spot. Catherine Mahoney (UCD) hung on for 4th with Road race debutante Helen Kelly (St Tiernans CC) claiming 5th. Susan Fagan (Arcane CC) was 6th and Naas CC rider Linda O Sullivan took a well deserved 7th place .

Aoife & Caoimhe sprinting for the line, photo thanks to Womens Cycling Ireland

The A group fought out the sprint for the remaining points Megan Davenport (UCD) took the sprint in determined style from Sofie Loscher (Sundrive CC) with Jennifer Neenan (Sundrive CC) claiming the final bonus point in 10th.

I observed some very promising efforts from several women tonight,  I was particularly impressed by the Helen Kelly and Linda O ' Sullivan for different reasons . Kelly was off the back by a few lenghts on the first lap but dug deep to close and rejoin the B group and finished strong to place 5th not too shabby on her debut . I am aware that O' Sullivan was given some advice about how not to become detached and she carried out the advice exactly , Cathetrine Mahoney has impressed week on week at TT in Crit  Corkagh Park and also tonight . These 3 women are going in the right direction I will watch their progress over the season and report accordingly.

John Hammer

The A group crossing Blessington Bridge

From the Organisors:

It's all getting very tight at the top of the A League Table! With only one week to go Jen Bates and Sophie Loscher are tied on 35 points each. It looks as though they might have 1st and 2nd tied up but who knows! Fighting it out in 3rd, 4th and 5th place are Beata Golczak on 26, Monica Freiband on 23 and Sandra Fitzgerald on 22. It's going to make for a very exciting TT next week.

In the B group Helen White is sitting comfortably on top of the table on 34 points. The battle in the B group looks to be for 2nd and 3rd - After missing the start last week Aaron Fox is on 29 points and close behind are Hannah Tilly and Catherine Mahoney on 27 with Caoimhe May on 26. Again a lot to race for next Tuesday.

League table here - League Points Spreadsheet

Some thanks!

We would like to thank John for his race report this week as well as his photographs! John has been a loyal supporter of the league and women's racing in general over the past number of years.

As we were on the open roads this week we we had a greater than normal number of marshals. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who gave up their time so that the riders could be safe on the roads. Thanks to Eddie Lynch and Luke Potter for driving lead cars, to Dave Hendron, Ken Moloney, Sinead Kennedy, Lucy Soden, Barry Mooney, Declan Keating, Dave Murnane, Simon Smith, Carthach McCarthy and Colm Featherstone for helping out.

Thanks to Seamus Mooney of Mooney's Pub in Manor Kilbride for supporting the racing and allowing us to use the car park and toilet facilities. It is always much appreciated!

As always we would like to thank our main sponsor – Appleby Jewelers. We are delighted to have them on board this year, their support is key to making the event what it is.

Thanks to Genevieve McLoughlin for supplying the tea, coffee and tasty treats at the end – I’m more disappointing I missed these than the racing this week! (Lou)

Finally to Orla, Ciara and Emily the Spreadsheet Queen, who I abandoned this week – chapeau for putting on a great nights racing!



 1. Aoife O'Brien      Lakeside Wheelers
 2. Caoimhe May        Scott-Orwell Wheelers
 3. Helen White        Stamullen
 4. Catherine Mahoney  UCD
 5. Helen Kelly        St. Tiernans
 6. Susan Fagan        Arcane Cycling Team
 7. Linda O'Sullivan   Naas Cycling Club
 8. Megan Davenport    UCD
 9. Sophie Loscher     Sundrive
10. Jennifer Neenan    Sundrive

Photos by John Hammer - John Hammer photo album - road race

Photos by Women's Cycling Ireland - Women's Cycling Ireland photo album - road race

Finish Line Video