Report: Irish Women’s Stage Race


Dillon’s Triple as Siggard Takes the Final Stage and two jerseys for Britain’s Hannah Barnes in in An Post Rás na mBan (Women’s Stage race, Ireland)

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Olivia Dillon of team Ireland completed her third overall victory in An Post Rás na mBan as Denmark’s Christina Malling-Siggaard shrugged off driving wind and intermittent rain to take the ‘Inn at Dromoland’ final stage in County Clare.

While Malling-Siggard arrived alone to take the stage win, Dillon was safely ensconced in the lead group nine seconds behind, seventh position on the day and just one place ahead of her Ireland team mate Mel Späth with whom she had been level with on time since stage two on Thursday.

Dillon was declared the winner on count back of stage finishing positions though Späth had the consolation of her stage two success and both of them could reflect on a dominant Team Ireland performance throughout the week.

Britain’s Hannah Barnes, guesting with DID Electrical, made it a very successful first racing trip to Ireland, scooping the IVCA Queen of the Mountains competition and the National Dairy Council Points classification to go with her three stage victories.

Fiona Meade of Team Munster took the Clare County Council County Rider classification after a gritty 19th place finish on the day. First veteran was Monica Marconi of Orwell Wheelers Dundrum Town Centre while the first Junior prize went to Danish rider Elinor Huusko of Team Rytger.

Malling-Siggard’s victory was formed when she latched on to a lead group of nine riders that raced clear of a scattered peloton on the six km first category ascent of Gallows Hill after 18 of the 87 kilometres.

Dillon was 15 seconds behind cresting the rise, but soon closed the gap to Malling-Siggard, Späth, Jenny Fay (, Christine Majerus (Luxembourg), Laura Massey (Abergavenny RC) and Hannah Barnes (DID),

Early attackers Danielle Bekkering (Bike 4 Air) and Bianca Lust (District Nord Holland) had dropped back on Gallows Hill and the lead group was joined by Katie Donovan (Ritte CT), Vita Heine (Trek Norway) and Jennifer Letue (Trek Norway).

Further back, third placed Lydia Boylan of Team Ireland and Elizabeth Mallins of Abergavenny RC chased valiantly but wre eventually absorbed by a group of nine including fourth placed Veronique Fortin (DID), the latter the leading threat to the Ireland dominance of the standings.

By the time the lead group raced into Ennis to complete five days of tough racing action the chase group was within half a minute of the leaders as Malling-Siggard prepared to make her move.

With less than two kilometres remaining the flying Dane raced clear and held off the group to take a stage win on her first to An Post Rás na mBan.
Hannah Barnes just missed out on another Stena Line Stage Winners jersey as she sprinted in for second but the Northamptonshire rider will be well satisfied with her final haul from her visit to Clare.

Letue edged Christine Majerus out of another visit to the podium while at the back of the group Dillon was followed closely over the line by Späth to complete a superb week for the Irish team.

It’s Dillon’s third win in the race to go with her 2010 and 2011 successes and both she and Späth seem in excellent form ahead of their trip to the world championships in Florence next week.

1 Malling Siggaard,Chr DEN Team Rytger 2h36’18”
2 Barnes,Hannah IRL DID Ladies Racing Tea 2h36’27” @09″
3 Letue,Jenifer NOR Trek Norway 2h36’27” @ s/t
4 Majerus,Christine LUX Team Luxembourg 2h36’27” @ s/t
5 Heine,Vita NOR Trek Norway 2h36’27” @ s/t
6 Massey,Laura WAL Abergavenny RC 2h36’27” @ s/t
7 Dillon,Olivia IRL Irish National Team 2h36’27” @ s/t
8 Spath,Melanie IRL Irish National Team 2h36’27” @ s/t
9 Fay,Jenny GER 2h36’32” @14″
10 Donovan,Kathryn USA Ritte Women’s CT 2h36’36” @18″

General Classification
1 Dillon,Olivia V Irish National T 10h30’40”
2 Spath,Melanie S Irish National T 10h30’40” = s/t
3 Majerus,Christine S Team Luxembourg 10h34’38” @03’58”
4 Boylan,Lydia S Irish National T 10h34’42” @04’02”
5 Fortin,Veronique S DID Ladies Racin 10h34’46” @04’06”
6 Malling Siggaard,Chr S Team Rytger 10h34’57” @04’17”
7 Massey,Laura S Abergavenny RC 10h35’01” @04’21”
8 Mallins,Elizabeth S Abergavenny RC 10h35’23” @04’43”
9 Letue,Jenifer S Trek Norway 10h35’24” @04’44”
10 Heine,Vita S Trek Norway 10h35’30” @04’50”

Mountains Competition
1 Barnes,H IRL 58
2 Majerus,C LUX 47
3 Fay,J GER 29

Points Competition
1 Barnes,H IRL 57
2 Majerus,C LUX 46
3 Malling Sigg DEN 44



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