Germany’s Pohl Wins Overall as Eileen Roe Takes Final Stage

Scotland’s Eileen Roe (WV Breda sprinted in ahead of a lead group of 31 riders to take the sixth and final stage in An Post Rás na mBan in Ennis.

After 85km in South Clare the former British Circuit Race champion powered up the finishing straight ahead of double stage winner Grace Garner (Team RST) from England and Germany’s Stephanie Pohl (South Netherlands-Energy HR).

Pohl’s third place thus protected the seven-second advantage she held over Roe to secure overall honours in the tenth edition of An Post Rás na mBan.

Pohl is the second German winner of the event following Stephanie Gronow’s victory in the first event in 2006.

Pohl’s next assignment is the world championships in Richmond Virginia next week where she’ll ride in the service of team leaders Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worrack.

Pohl is in the German army and, as the reigning world champion in the Points Race on the track, is looking forward to competing in the velodrome at Rio next summer.

“It’s a really nice race and it is really good preparation for the world championships. I’m delighted to have taken victory here in Clare this week,” said Pohl, who will race on the road with the Bigla professional squad next season.

Pohl was ever vigilant throughout the final stage as wave after wave of early attacks were neutralised. Kirsten Peetom (WV kicked off the attacking while Helene Gerard (Team Breizh Ladies) was clear for much of the 10km, second classified ascent of the day only to be caught within sight of the top.

Henrietta Colbourne (Team Jadan) was first over the climb after which the riders faced the long descent back to the finish line in Ennis.

Irish riders Eve McCrystal (Richie’s Garda CC) and Lydia Boylan (WNT) raced clear in the closing kilometres, opening up an advantage of 15s as the charged towards the line.

McCrystal and Boylan were caught inside the final kilometre setting up the group sprint to the line taken in emphatic style by Roe.

“I checked out the finish last night and I knew I needed to be in front coming through the final turn. I led it out from a long way and I managed them hold them off.

“Ann Ewing told me I had to win at least one stage and I’m delighted it was the one she won last year,” added Roe in reference to her fellow Scotswoman’s final stage success for the same WV Breda team in the same stage 12 months ago.

Like Ewing, Roe also ended the week in second overall, seven seconds in arrears with Emma Norsgaard Jorgensen (Team Rytger) third at 13s.

Norsgaard Jorgensen took the final womenscycling.ieYoung Rider award to go with her stage two stage success however the Danish teenager was pipped for the final NDC Points jersey by Grace Garner whose second place on the final day pushed her one point in front.

The Wicklow 200 Queen of the Mountains Classification had already secured by Mirthe Wagenaar (WV ahead of the final day and the Dutchwoman was first over the first climb of the day for an encore.

Clare County Council Best Irish Rider was the preserve of Eve McCrystal (Richie’s Garda CC) throughout the week and, after an early bike change, the Louthwoman was soon back in the pack ready to contend for stage honours.

The Best British Rider award went the way of Natalie Grinczer (Fusion RT) while top junior was Norsgaard Jorgensen.

Best team was the Fusion RT squad of Natalie Grinczer, Rebecca Nixon, Eleanor Campbell, Jennifer Hudson and Elizabeth Stedman while the best Irish team award went to the Richie’s Garda CC squad of Eve McCrystal, Catherine McAteer, Orla Montague, Karen Robinson and Claire McIlwaine.