More than 100 riders took to the start line in Omagh to contest the 2015 Cycling Ireland National Road Championship. They faced 168km comprising of seven laps of a 24km circuit.
The field consisted of some of the best domestic riders alongside full-time professionals from the An Post Chainreaction team, including defending champion Ryan Mullen, four-time winner Matt Brammeier, Martyn Irvine and Team Sky’s Philip Deignan. In the end the clear winner was to be the Mullingar fireman Damien Shaw riding for Team Asea.
As in previous years’ championships, the winning move of the day was to be the first break, and this formed shortly after the start of the second lap with a 13-strong group going clear.
The alarm bells went off quickly for some of key men expected to feature such as Brammeier and Irvine, who missed the move. They quickly formed a chase group behind the 11 leaders and this was to be the pattern for the early part of the race.
Coming toward the end of lap four, a further chase group including Mullen caught Brammeier’s group and for a period it looked like they might pull close to the leaders. However, up front Team Asea set the pace as they had four cards to play with MacAuley, Aiken, Reilly and Shaw drove the break strongly with the company of Dunbar, Stewart, Dunne, Hahessy, Clancy, Dowling and local man Marc Potts.
As the race went out on the second-last lap the front group began to splinter as the efforts of Team Asea began to take their toll with Aiken and Reilly loosing contact with the leaders. Conor Dunne made a few attempts to break clear and these attacks split the front group into two coming towards the final lap. Shaw then made his move to be quickly followed by Eddie Dunbar.
This duo quickly opened a big gap on the remaining chasers and it was clear they would be fighting it out for the title. Shaw, however, made his winning move just over 4km from the line and this time Dunbar was unable to follow.
The Mullingar man was able to savour his victory having a minute to spare over the impressive 18-year-old Eddie Dunbar from the NFTO Pro Cycling team who would claim the U23 title with his second-place finish. Conor Dunne from An Post Chainreaction came home on his own to take the Bronze Medal. Daniel Stewart from Phoenix CC won the U23 Silver medal with his ninth-place finish just ahead of Sean Hahessy from Liquidworx Fitscience who won the U23 Bronze Medal.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Damien Shaw (Ire) Team Asea||4:02:05|
|2||Eddie Dunbar (Ire) NFTO||0:01:02|
|3||Conor Dunne (Ire) An Post Chain Reaction||0:02:40|
|4||Connor McConvey (Ire) Team 3M||0:02:47|
|5||Marc Potts (Ire) Omagh Wheelers||0:03:12|
|6||Mark Dowling (Ire) Dunboyne CC|
|7||Steven Clancy (Ire) Team Novo Nordisk||0:05:01|
|8||Alistair McCaulay (Ire) Team Asea|
|9||Daniel Stewart (Ire) Phoenix CC|
|10||Sean Hahessy (Ire) Liquidworx Fitscience||0:08:01|