Gurley, Gallagher (16) best of Irish as French win big at Rás mBan

Posted on: September 10th, 2018

The final stage of Rás na mBan into Kilkenny City was won in a bunch sprint by Iris Sachet, above. Another French rider, Coralie Demay, won overall. Lydia Gurley was best-placed Irish woman overall while teenager Maeve Gallagher won the domestic rider classification (Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan)




Lydia Gurley was best Irish rider overall at Rás na mBan and Maeve Gallagher (16) took the domestic rider classification.

But it was the overseas visitors who again had their day yesterday; completing a clean sweep of the stages.

Former race leader Iris Sachet claimed the final stage and her fellow French rider Coralie Demay, a 25-year-old pro who ride for FDJ’s women’s UCI team, wrapped up the overall.

With the final 90km stage into Kilkenny City coming down to a bunch sprint there was no change at the top of the overall.

Indeed, the bunch numbered some 78 riders at the finish meaning most of the field made if all the way in the pack.

Sachet, who rides for the DN17 Nouvelle Aquitaine team, stormed in to the finish outside Kilkenny Castle to take the final stage, and wrap up the points classification in the process.

Jess Roberts of Team GB was 2nd, with Swiss rider Desirée Ehrler (CCN Momentum) claiming 3rd place, her third time to take a stage podium since the race began.


Best placed domestic rider Maeve Gallagher in the green jersey, photo Sean Rowe. The two best women overall; Demay leads Juniper, photo by Lorraine O’Sullivan.


There were three Irish women in the top 20 on the final stage; Ellen McDermott of Team NH the best of them in 12th place.

Then came national champion Eve McCrystal, the Team Ireland rider placing 16th. And Lauren Creamer (Scott Orwell) claimed 20th place.

Demay, riding for Team Breizh in Kilkenny, took the leader’s jersey into the final stage after a brace of top performances on stages 3 and 4.

On the third stage she was 2nd to the top of Mount Leinster, beaten only by  the very impressive Nicola Juniper who took the stage win and race lead.

However, though Juniper took a two second lead over Demay into the Saturday morning stage 4 uphill TT, it was Demay who proved strongest in that test.

She won the stage by four seconds from Juniper (TC Racing). And that was enough to leapfrog over her into the leader’s jersey; leading Juniper by two seconds with two stages remaining.

Saturday evening’s one-hour criterium in Kilkenny came down to a sprint from a 40-rider group. And yesterday’s concluding stage was also a bunch sprint.

As a result, Demay held that two-second lead over Juniper to the finish of the 2018 Rás na mBan.

In the general standings, 2016 race winner Rikke Lonne of Maaslandster International was 3rd overall at 57 seconds.


Lydia Gurley photographer by Sean Rowe in TT action on Saturday; she took 10th in the final general classification. The top three overall; Demay, Juniper, Lonne – photo by Lorraine O’Sullivan.


Best-placed Irish rider overall was Gurley; riding for the national team and a former silver medal winner in the Madison at the European Track Championships.

Gurley was 10th and some 2:07 off the overall winner Demay. Alice Sharpe was next of the Irish; in 15th place for VC Ériu at 3:01.

Lauren Creamer was another rider who finished in the top 20 on the final overall; placing 18th at 3:33.

Maeve Gallagher, a 16-year-old Castlebar rider competing with Team Verge Sports at Rás na mBan, was best domestic rider overall. She won that classification from team mate Agnieszka Wozniak by 4:43.

And Imogen Cotter was 3rd in the domestic rider classification; the Team NH woman 7:01 down.

Maeve Gallagher had performed strongly on the Mount Leinster finish and in the TT the following morning when she was only beaten by one Irish rider; Lydia Gurley.

Gallagher is a first-year junior and while she was aged 16 years through this race, she celebrates her 17th birthday today, Monday.

Gallagher finished 27th overall at 3:57. But it was her climbing prowess that impressed most; she showed herself one of the very best of the Irish elites when the road went up.

Ellen Barker of Team GB won the young rider classification. Double stage winner Juniper was queen of the mountains; and arguably the most impressive rider of the race with her aggression.

Team GB was the best team overall and VC Ériu was best of the five Irish-based teams in the race.

Full results for the final stage and all the overall standings can be viewed below, or by following this link.




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