Eight female cyclists from across Connacht will take on a 24 hour cycling challenge this weekend in Kildare racing in the Mondello24 Cycle. The team of eight riders from seven clubs is the first ever all female team to represent the province at a race of this kind.
Starting on the track at 12pm this Saturday afternoon the eight cyclists will ride in a relay format across the 24 hours with the final cyclist crossing the finish line at 12pm on Sunday. The team was selected from a host of applications from interested riders and after some team training and time trialling over the past few months the final eight riders were selected.
The team includes; Sara Canny Western Lakes CC, Aine McGuinness Seven Springs CC, Ericka Murray, Yeats Country CC, Laoighse Styles South Roscommon CC, Sharon McLoughlin Westport Covey Wheelers CC, Marian Lally and Nuala Shaughnessy will both represent Castlerea Cycling Club and our own Joanne Murphy rounds out the team representing Galway Bay CC.
With a variety of experience within the team, excitement is building as final preparations are made for the 24 hours on the track. The team are being supported by Coach Karen Cassidy who is the two time solo female champion at Mondello24 and recent winner of the 300k unsupported Wild Mayo Ultra, Padraic Benson takes on the role of Team Manager and Cycling Connacht Women’s officer Stefanie Carr adds her experience as support crew for the weekend.
Speaking about the team and the race Stefanie Carr said ‘We are delighted to be fielding an all women’s team for this event, the nervous excitement amongst the riders is building and we know everyone will give it their all on the track. We hope that this team will inspire other female riders in the province and beyond to consider the many opportunities to get out and ride their bikes and take on a challenge that not only excites them but takes them outside their comfort zone. The support for the team has been hugely positive and with a number of all women teams taking part in the event this year the racing will be very exciting and I’m sure there will be plenty of fun enjoyed on and off track.”
For updates across the race keep an eye on the Cycling Connacht Facebook Page