Young guns to lead new Irish women-only racing team

Posted on: December 15th, 2016


A new eight-person woman’s-only cycling team called TC Racing has been launched with the aim of developing younger riders. From left, Eimear Harrison, Mary Brady, Orla Harrison, Orla Desmond and Katie Armstrong. Two more senior riders and one more junior are to be confirmed.


By Brian Canty

A new woman’s-only cycling team has been launched with five of the eight riders confirmed for the forthcoming season.

TC Racing will welcome junior riders Orla Desmond from Cork, Katie Armstrong from Down, Orla Harrison from Westport as well as senior riders Mary Brady from Meath, and Eimear Harrison on board for 2017.

In total, there will be four second-year juniors and four seniors, with one of the former and two of the latter to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The team plan to tackle all the major races on the domestic calendar, including the women’s national league, the national championships, the An Post Rás na mBan as well as some track and overseas events.

TC Racing has been on the scene for almost two decades now, having started in 1998 in Oldcastle, Co. Meath.

Back then, they were exclusively a downhill MTB team and for several years they competed in the Irish and British Series and also some World Cup events.

However, they have been more focused on road racing for the last eight seasons.

The man behind it, Tom Clogher, is hugely passionate about cycling and still races himself. And he is dipping into his own pocket to part-fund the team, though a bike sponsor is currently being sought.

He has put together a fine team next year, with some of the best juniors on the scene at the moment among his charges.

Orla Desmond, 16, has ridden for the Talent Team for the last two seasons and as well as winning three national titles she has worn the pink race leader’s jersey at the Errigal Youth Tour.

Armstrong, similarly, is a great find and the Bangor teenager has won the U16 national crit championships as well as taking bronze in both the time-trial and the road race.

Orla Harrison is only cycling two years but in that time the Westport teenager has won three national titles on the track and won many more road races in the youth ranks.

She has competed for the Sundrive Track Team and the Talent Team, as well as representing Ireland in the UK as well.

Her older sister Eimear Harrison is one of two senior riders confirmed in the team and she will bring some real class to the set-up.

This year she completed Rás na mBan and has a fine CV, despite being just 18.

The took bronze in national junior road race championships in 2015 and the same colour in the nationals this year.

She’s also raced track and boasts a silver and two bronze medals from the championships this year. She rode on the Irish High Performance squad this past season and also for women’s junior development squad in Belgium.

Mary Brady is a latecomer to cycling but will be one of the four senior riders in the team.