A monsoon greeted the girls midway the race and made it a battle of the hardest (Feature photo Sharon Mc Farland)

High-level podium with Alice Sharp ( UCI World Cycling Centre) gold, Imogen Cotters (S-Bikes Bodhi Cycling) silver and Katharine Smyth (Ballymena RC) bronze
(Photo BP media)

The sun was out at the start of the race and all looked fine till the “Irish summer” kicked in greeting the girls with a rainstorm halfway the race and kept raining till the end…the crowd at the finish area disappeared very quickly to find cover, and the media photographers got shelter on the podium thankfully to prevent damage to their equipment. As I was of the announcer team, we soon took shelter on the podium too, and stayed there for the duration, the poor girls didn’t have such luxury in the race and I was surprised to see 14 finishing the race out of approx 25 girls who started. The race started in earnest in lap 2 when Katharine, Imogen and Alice went up the road and they stayed away till the end, a brief moment they had the company of the TT Champ 2019 Kelly Murphy (Storey Racing GB) but her effort of chasing and closing the gap had used all her energy and she dropped back again and didn’t finish the race. Most of the survivors in the chasing groups battled for the minor places, as still medals to grab in the master’s section of the race. This was the case for Grace Young (Strata)who beat Sharon Bird (Velo Cafe Magasin Belfast) for the 4th place about 2.49m down on the winning trio. They got rewarded with silver and bronze in the Masters podium (results below) I only can tap my hat to this female flandriens, they have been there for a race and a race we got!!

Renamed Shipquay river (photo BP Media)
Full results Women’s and Masters Championship race 2019
  1. Alice Sharpe World Cycling Centre 2h56’58” 34.24kmph
  2. Imogen Cotter S-Bikes Bodhi Cycling
  3. Katharine Smyth Ballymena Road Club @43″ (Masters Champ)
  4. Grace Young Strata 3 VeloRevolution @02’49”
  5. Sharon Bird Velo Cafe Magasin
  6. Michell Geoghegan Illi-Bikes Cycling Team @02’53”
  7. Eileen Burns Ballymena Road Club
  8. Lauren Creamer Brotherton Cycles GB @03’13”
  9. Maria Claffey UCD Cycling Club @03’21”
  10. Kelly Murphy Storey Racing GB @07’05”
  11. Laura Campbell Ballymena Road Club
  12. Leah Desmond Bandon CC
  13. Michelle McKinney Galway Bay CC
  14. Ellen McDermott Team Boompods NL
The Masters Podium with Katharine Smyth gold and silver for Grace Young, Sharon Bird was missing who took gold (Photo BP Media)

Here a few photos I managed to take between rain storms…and that was day 1 completed, back to the B&B for drying out and download some photos, a short night sleep and back for more on the Sunday. Reports tomorrow (Tuesday) of the Junior Ladies and Elite race

Owner of Claudes on the left (apologies for not knowing your name) at the finishing line who sponsored the races, and serves one of the best coffee’s in Derry
My two good friends from Ballymena, Grace and Joann
The campers of Apollo CC enjoying a pint
More friends
The last lap guys
Still sunny at the neutral section
Eve Mc Crystal did not finish to retain her jersey but very understandable after her efforts on Thursday..
Richard Maes with our talented youngsters supporting the ladies race
Julie Rea tried but had to abandon the race due to the gap to the front but deserves a wee mention for her efforts
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