Stickybottle

Irish cycling’s new golden girl has massive sporting pedigree

Posted on: September 1st, 2015

Now 30-years-old and having taken up cycling just a few months ago, Eimear Moran doesn’t sound like the typical ‘next big thing’. But she just might be. Above, leading the points race on her way to her fourth gold medal of the National Track Championships in Dublin at the weekend (Photo: David McVeigh – The Belgian Project)

 

Riding in the colours of the Sundrive Track Team, Eimear Moran took four individual gold medals away from the National Track Championships at the weekend.

The 30-year-old Offaly woman had already won two titles in team events earlier in the summer meaning she is now a six-time Irish champion having only started cycling this year.

Moran’s victories at the weekend suggest she is an athlete who is as versatile as she is powerful.

She won the 3km individual pursuit after recording the fastest qualifying time.

She also took gold in the sprint, where her 200 TT qualifying time of 12.005 was a new national record.

And in the 500m TT her power took her to another gold. Moran followed that up with her fourth national title in two days in the concluding 10k scratch race, suggesting she already has the race craft to match her impressive engine.

 

Moran takes the penultimate round of the National Women’s League in Clonmel last month (Photo: Toby Watson)

 

It is obviously still very early in her cycling development, having ridden her first races in March.

But her track success coupled with some wins on the road – at Rás an Laois in April and the Joe Daly’s National Women’s League in Clonmel last month – suggest she may be destined for the international set-up despite her years.

Another strong indication that Moran may well have exciting adventures ahead of her in an Irish jersey is her success in international rowing.

She was a junior international from the age of the 16 years. Incredibly considering her success on her bike of late, she was still being selected to represent Ireland last summer after coming back to the sport following a long lay-off.

 

 

International rowing career

Moran first began making waves (pun intended) in rowing back in 2000 when as a fresh-faced 16-year-old she won her first big wins; in the junior doubles at the Irish national championships and at the Henley competing for King’s Hospital.

In the same year she won bronze and silver for Irish in the women’s single scull at the Nations Cup in Copenhagen; the World Cup in rowing for U23s.

She also took victory in the single sculls in Henley in 2001 and represented Ireland at the World Junior Championships in Duisburg in Germany; the only Irish rower to be picked for the championships.

She was 5th in the B final, having had the misfortune to meet the then reigning world champion early in the competition. That result moved the then 17-year-old to 11th in the world rankings at the time.

The following year, 2002, Moran again won at Henley when she took the junior single sculls title.

 

Moran, rear seat, competing in the green of Ireland just last summer. She first represented her country in rowing aged just 16 years.

 

She followed that up with more success at the 2002 national championships, bringing her tally of national titles to eight, though still aged 17 years. She again represented Ireland at the World Championships though fell short of her goal of a top six finish.

By 2004 she was studying at the University of Sunderland and took another win at Henley as part of a double sculls crew and was selected for the World University Championships at Brive in France.

She then stopped competing, only to return in 2010 at the age of 26-years and having moved to quadruple sculls – four in a boat – she made a winning return to Henley.

She was immediately back in the frame for national selection and training with a group under Irish rowing legend Niall O’Toole was selected for the national team, competing in Irish colours at the Memorial Paolo d’Aloja regatta in Piediluco, Italy as recently as April of last year.

Last May she competed in the European Championships in Belgrade in the women’s double sculls where they were 10th.

She was selected in June of last year to compete in the World Cup in Aiguebelette, France, in the women’s double scull and won a bronze medal at an international regatta in Italy leading up to that event.

A conversion to cycling followed and when we catch up with Moran we’ll bring you her remarkable story in full.

 

Moran in one of the four national champion’s jerseys she won at the weekend, flanked on the podium by Sundrive team mates Susie Mitchell and Micelle Mullen (Photo: David McVeigh – The Belgian Project)

 

 

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