Mountain bike star turn, Späth sprints to victory in road season opener

Posted on: February 27th, 2012

Mel Spath (Cycleways) wins the race for women & A4 men aged 50 years and over (Photo: Damian Faulkner)

Mel Spath (Cycleways) wins the race for women & A4 men aged 50 years and over (Photo: Damian Faulkner)


Mel Späth (Cycleways) led in the field to take the first victory of the new road season in the combined Women’s/Over 50’s A4 men’s race on Cuchulainn CC’s Trader’s Cup promotion yesterday, Sunday.

Späth sprinted in ahead of Galway-based Spaniard Sara Ortiz (Black Rose) with ace track racer Orla Hendron (DTC Orwell Wheelers) third woman home in the group sprint to the line.

Star mountain biker Späth had ridden a long road race the day before at the Annaclone GP in Co Antrim and adopted tactics aimed at keeping her legs as fresh as possible for the end game at the conclusion of two laps of the testing 17km course near Dundalk.

Still, the double Ras na mBan county rider classification winner still found herself away in a select group of four on the second lap following an attack on the circuit’s toughest drag by Ortiz.

Späth, Amy Brice (Phoenix CC) and Sandra Fitzgerald (Lucan CRC) responded and for a while it looked as if this quartet would contest the final sprint until the group behind got organised.

Despite her weekend’s endeavours, Späth had enough in hand to convincingly win the sprint to the line ahead of impressive newcomer Ortiz. Hendron who was happy with third after a truncated winter training programme.

Behind them, Fitzgerald was unfortunate to crash in the final skirmish and was taken to hospital where x-rays thankfully revealed that no bones were broken.

Former national champion Geraldine Gill (Bohermeen CC) and Brice rounded out the top six.

Women & A4 Vets 50+

  1. Melanie Späth (Cycleways)
  2. Sara Ortiz (Black Rose)
  3. Paul Atkinson (Swords CC)
  4. Orla Hendron (DTC Orwell Wheelers)
  5. Geraldine Gill (Bohermeen CC)
  6. Amy Brice (Phoenix CC)