|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
TQ Paper International Two Day - NE
Ireland, September 18-19, 2004
Stage 3 - September 19: Cloghran road race, 74km
Moriarty wins TQ Paper International
By Shane Stokes
Louise Moriarty answered each of the challenges to her yellow jersey today, running out as the first Irish winner of the 2004 TQ Paper International in five years. The Ireland A rider was part of a four woman breakaway which went clear in the final third of the hilly 74 kilometre stage around North County Dublin, sprinting home just behind Helen Gutteridge of Team Luciano and one place ahead of Inge Klep (Team Movingladies).
Gutteridge had started the day fourth, just four seconds behind Moriarty, but in finishing runner-up on the stage the Irishwoman limited Gutteridge's time bonus gain to just two seconds. The two riders took first and second overall, with Moriarty's team-mate Colette Swift finishing back in the main bunch and so slipping from second to fourth in the general classification. Once Moriarty got clear on the run-in to the finish Swift was obliged to play a defending role, losing her own chance of victory.
Moriarty finished second, third and second on the race's stages, took the points jersey and is clearly in excellent form, landing the first stage race victory of her career. Yesterday's time trial winner Swift is also in fine shape and with both riders going on to ride the elite world championship road race for Ireland in just under two weeks time, this weekend's result was both a good form-builder and confidence booster for them.
Other riders on the Ireland A team also rode strongly, with Julie O'Hagan and Siobhan Dervan sixth and seventh respectively. Junior rider Mary Brennan was sixteenth, one place ahead of Team Ireland B's Roisin Kennedy, and showed that she too is building form in advance of her ride in the junior women's road race at the world championships in Verona.
In addition to the overall and points titles, the combined Team Ireland A effort secured first place in the team classification. Second went to Team Luciano, who had Gutteridge in second place, junior Kim Blythe in twelfth and Jeanette Tebbitt in thirteenth. Wales were next, with Kirsten Brooks (eighth) and Caroline Gray (ninth) in the top ten. Other rides of note were that of Inge Klep, third overall, and Joukje Braam (W.V. Alcmaria Victrix), who was best junior and fifth in the final general classification.
Yvonne Schroeder (RG Charlottenburg Berlin) was tenth while Klep's team-mates Judith Helmink (eleventh), Linda Ringlever and Sharon Van Essen finished outside the top ten but were amongst the main animators of the race. As had been seen in previous years, their strong, aggressive riding leant much to the competition and helped make this year's TQ Paper International an exciting, unpredictable race.
How it unfolded
A total of 53 riders lined out for today's final stage, a hilly 74 kilometre road race around North County Dublin. Time gaps were small after the flat first stage and the short time trial which followed yesterday afternoon, but today's tougher leg of the race was sure to put the riders under more pressure and to prompt attacks on the yellow jersey of Louise Moriarty.
Mindful perhaps of the difficult second half of the stage, with climbs at the Three Sisters, Snowtown Hill and Naul Village lying in wait, there was a controlled start to the day's racing. The Team Ireland A squad kept an eye on the main challengers to Moriarty and Colette Swift, then initiated the attacks when they fired off Mary Brennan fifteen kilometres into the stage. Brennan and Team Movingladies Groenewoud rider Judith Helmink opened up a small lead on the bunch and while Brennan then fell back, Helmink persisted for a while longer.
The Dutchwoman's team-mate Sharon Van Essen was first to the top of the Three Sisters climb, taking top points ahead of Moriarty - who was clearly feeling strong - and her own team-mate Inge Klep. Stage one winner Helen Gutteridge (Team Luciano) was fourth.
The Dutch effort continued on the run-in to the village of Gormanstown, where Van Essen's team-mate Linda Ringlever combined with Merel Koenen (W.V. Alcmaria Victrix) to eke out a decent lead. They were joined soon afterwards by Swift, who became race leader on the road. However after three kilometres the riders were reeled in, ensuring that the main bunch started the tough climb of Snowtown hill as one group.
Swift had recovered sufficiently from her effort to lead most of the way up the climb, with Van Essen sparking off a small split when she made her surge for the prime. She was followed over the top by Siobhan Dervan and Louise Moriarty, with their Ireland A team-mate Julie O'Hagan taking fourth and so underlining the team's strength in depth.
Once down the descent into Naul, a group of eight riders formed at the head of affairs. Van Essen, Swift, Moriarty, Dervan, Gutteridge, Klep, Heather Summers (BC East Midland) and Ann McFarland (Cycling Ulster) were all there, and were joined almost immediately by Roisin Kennedy (Ireland B) and Judith Helmink. Ten others made contact soon afterwards, with the remainder of the bunch hovering half a minute further back.
Van Essen was aggressive again on the Naul climb, the last big ascent of the day, drawing clear to score three out of three primes and make sure of the Queen of the Hills title. Moriarty was again the next to the top, showing her strength in riding away from the rest of the front group and joining with the Dutchwoman. They rode together but were recaptured after about two kilometres of freedom. Van Essen's team-mate Helmink then put in a number of strong efforts in a bid to go clear, attacking the bunch and stretching the group out into one long line. But while she was one of the most active and determined, it was the next attack which was the one destined to stick, with Van Essen, Moriarty, Klep and Gutteridge moving clear with about fifteen kilometres remaining and opened up a decisive lead.
Working well together, the quartet continued to build their advantage. As they raced towards the 'S Bends' section of the course the gap was 34 seconds, and this soon jumped up to 50. With two kilometres to go the lead was 55 seconds, making it certain that one of the four would win the stage.
The question was, which one would it be? Numerical advantage favoured the two Movingladies riders, but both Moriarty and Gutteridge had already shown they were two of the strongest in the race. The time bonuses at hand made the result even more crucial, with four seconds separating the two riders and a total of five up for grabs. As Moriarty said afterwards, to win overall she had to stick close to Gutteridge.
The attacks started with about two kilometres remaining, the Dutchwomen trying to go clear but being contained by the other two. Gutteridge hit the front with 200 metres to go, and while Moriarty did what she could to come around her, the Englishwoman was too strong and raced to her second stage win of the weekend. Moriarty crossed the line second, thus winning the first stage race of her career, with Klep also finishing in the same time and van Essen losing four seconds. Moriarty's team-mate Siobhan Dervan led in the main bunch one minute after the break.
Taking the winner's time bonus into account, Gutteridge moved up from fourth to second overall but, crucially, was still two seconds behind Moriarty in the final general classification. She rode strongly to win stages one and three but lost out due to her ninth place in the race against the clock. 'If only I could time trial,' she lamented afterwards.
Moriarty finished second behind Gutteridge on the two road race stages but her third place in the time trial would prove to be the vital difference between them. The Ireland A rider was delighted with her first major victory.
'This is great, I am over the moon,' she said. 'It is hard to believe it. I didn't know how today would go - I'd never led a stage race before and so it was all new to me. I felt pretty good once the stage started. I kept trying to get away on the hills but was brought back. I attacked three or four times on the road in after the Naul climb. When the group got away I didn't think it would stick but we kept going away and were able to build a good lead.'
When asked if she was worried about the other riders combining against her, Moriarty said that Gutteridge was her only concern. 'The two Dutch girls were a bit further back, so they were not my main worry,' she said. 'In fact, if one of them had got clear I would have been quite happy for them to have won the stage, as it would have taken away the win bonus and made things a bit easier for me. As it worked out, the four of us worked together right up until about two kilometres to go, when the attacks started. The Dutch girls tried to get away.I just stuck to Helen's wheel, wherever she went I was going to follow.'
'I tried to get by her in the sprint but she was too fast. As long as I finished second things would be fine, and that is how it worked out.'
Moriarty was congratulated after the stage by Colette Swift, who had started the day level on time with her team-mate. Swift was clearly disappointed to lose out on her chance of winning overall, having had to play a defensive role once Moriarty got away. The French-based Irishwoman crossed the line one minute down as part of the chasing group, ending the three-stage race in fourth place overall.
'It could have been either of us who got it,' she said. 'It all depended on who got into the right move. With about ten kilometres to go I tried to jump across to the break. I got halfway across but it was too hard by myself to close the remainder of the gap. There was no way I was going to bring other riders across, so I had to try to do it by myself.'
'I'm a bit disappointed with how things turned out but happy that Louise won the race - the most important thing was that one or other of us did it.'
'The plan today was to get one of the two of us up the road. The other girls on the team were asked to do that early on in order to split things up a bit, then we would give it a go later on in the stage. I felt good, I think it could have been either of us who got away. I tried early on but we got brought back. When Louise went, it was the perfect time and it worked out well for her.'
Moriarty and Swift will be riding the elite women's road race in Verona, and so will benefit from a boost to their confidence after their performance this weekend.
The rest of the Ireland A team also rode impressively during the TQ Paper International. Julie O'Hagan and Siobhan Dervan finished sixth and seventh overall, while junior riders Mary Brennan and Erin Turnkington did valuable team work and mixed well with the older competitors. They also took top ten placings in the time trial, showing their potential. Brennan will join Moriarty and Swift on the team for Verona, where she will become the first ever Irish entrant in the junior women's road race.
This year's TQ International was also encouraging for the other Irish riders in the race, such as those on the Team Ireland B, Cycling Ulster and Leinster squads. While some of them lost time due to the bad crashes on stage one - one of which, unfortunately, caused Gillian McDarby to break her collarbone - they rode solidly over the remainder of the weekend. The large gaps between the home and visiting riders which were evident in other years were absent this time round, indicating that the hard work done by CI's women's commission, running races and recruiting riders, is starting to pay off. So too the efforts put in by those behind the TQ Paper International, which develops year after year and which should continue to grow.
Images by Shane Stokes/www.irishcycling.com
1 Helen Gutteridge (Team Luciano) 2.07.09 2 Louise Moriarty (Team Ireland A) 3 Inge Klep (Team Movingladies) 4 Sharon van Essen (Team Movingladies) 0.04 5 Siobhan Dervan (Team Ireland A) 1.00 6 Merel Koenen (WV Alcmaria Victrix) 7 Colette Swift (Team Ireland A) 8 Yvonne Schroeder (RG Charlottenburg Berlin) 9 Roisin Kennedy (Team Ireland B) 10 Julie O’Hagan (Team Ireland A) Mountains QOM 1 1 Sharon van Essen (Team Movingladies) 5 pts 2 Louise Moriarty (Team Ireland A) 3 3 Inge Klep (Team Movingladies) 2 4 Helen Gutteridge (Team Luciano) 1 QOM 2 1 Sharon van Essen (Team Movingladies) 5 pts 2 Siobhan Dervan (Team Ireland A) 3 3 Louise Moriarty (Team Ireland A) 2 4 Julie O’Hagan (Team Ireland A) 1 QOM 3 1 Sharon van Essen (Team Movingladies) 5 pts 2 Louise Moriarty (Team Ireland A) 3 3Siobhan Dervan (Team Ireland A) 2 4 Roisin Kennedy (Team Ireland B) 1 Primes Prime 1: Georgina Rowson (Team Luciano) Prime 2: Yvonne Schroeder (RG Charlottenburg Berlin) Prime 3: Deborah Gordon (All Systems Dublin Wheelers) Final general classification 1 Louise Moriarty (Team Ireland A) 3.52.58 2 Helen Gutteridge (Team Luciano) 0.02 3 Inge Klep (Team Movingladies) 0.29 4 Colette Swift (Team Ireland A) 1.03 5 Joukje Braam (W.V. Alcmaria Victrix) 1.06 6 Julie O’Hagan (Team Ireland A) 1.12 7 Siobhan Dervan (Team Ireland A) 1.13 8 Kirsten Brooks (Wales) 1.16 9 Caroline Gray (Wales) 1.23 10 Yvonne Schroeder (RG Charlottenburg Berlin) 1.25 Points classification 1 Louise Moriarty (Team Ireland A) 26 pts 2 Helen Gutteridge (Team Luciano) 22 3 Jouke Braam (W.V. Alcmaria Victrix) 17 4 Inge Klep (Team Movingladies Groenewoud) 15 5 Colette Swift (Team Ireland A) 14 Mountains classification 1 Sharon van Essen (Team Movingladies) 15 pts 2 Louise Moriarty (Team Ireland A) 8 3 Siobhan Dervan (Team Ireland A) 5 4 Inge Klep (Team Movingladies Groenewoud) 2 5 Helen Gutteridge (Team Luciano) 1 Juniors classification 1 Jouke Braam (W.V. Alcmaria Victrix) 3.54.04 2 Kim Blythe (Team Luciano) 0.21 3 Mary Brennan (Team Ireland A) 0.29 4 Lauren O’Neill (Team Luciano) 1.26 5 Erin Turkington (Team Ireland A) 16.28 Veterans classification 1 Ann McFarland (Cycling Ulster) 3.54.46 2 Orla Hendron (Orwell-Dundrum SC) 0.57