New Irish Criterium Champion and World Tour star Mia Griffin heads the Ireland Team for Rás na mBan which was announced today.
The Kilkenny native heads to her home county for the start of the five-day, six-stage event on September 6th at the head of a young and talented Irish team lineup for Ireland’s top international stage race.
Griffin, who races internationally with the Israel Premier Tech Roland World Tour road race team and on the track with the Irish Team Pursuit squad, has only recently returned to competition after a layoff and has unfinished business in Rás na mBan.
The Glenmore rider, a former inter county camogie player at intermediate level, finished a close second on the final stage of Rás na mBan at Kilkenny Castle in 2021 and, after spending much of ’23 recovering from concussion, will be looking forward to a chance to showcase her sprint talent on home roads.
Griffin crashed out of the fabled Paris Roubaix cobbled classic in May and since then has been recuperating at home in Kilkenny and at her base in Switzerland. She returned to competition in recent weeks and scored a confidence building victory in the Irish Criterium Championship in Mondello Park last Tuesday (22nd August).
The 24-year-old will line up in Kilkenny with four team mates who, while younger, have already accumulated significant international experience.
Sisters Aoife and Caoimhe O’Brien from Offaly are both fast finishers who have acquired significant results in international road and track competitions. Aoife, the younger of the two at 19, is a former junior Irish road race champion who has raced abroad with distinction this year including at the European Under 23 Track Championships where she joined Caoimhe in the Irish team pursuit quartet.
Caoimhe, 21, races with the Belgian Cycling Team Belco Van Eyck week to week and has racked up a number of significant results on the road including second at the recent Irish national championships and second overall Vermarc Cycling Project Belgian two-day race in May.
They will be joined in Kilkenny by Ulsterwoman Erin Grace Creighton in Kilkenny, already an integral member of the Irish senior track pursuit squad. The 19-year-old former National Junior Road Race Champion has competed with the Irish team in the Elite European Championships among other international outings this year.
The team is completed by one of the most exciting emerging talents on the Irish road racing scene for many a year. Junior national road and time trial champion Lucy Benezet Minns scored a stunning fourth place finish in the time trial at the recent world championships in Glasgow and will be looking forward to the penultimate stage time trial around Kilkenny Castle on Sunday September 10th.