TQ Papers 2 Day
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A disappointing field of 28 riders started the prestigious TQ Papers International event (which formed hte final round of the UK Women's Team Series 2002) on Saturday 5 October 2002. Despite the low numbers this did not detract from the quality of riders taking part. Ester van der Helm and Sharon Van Essen, both Dutch Nationl Selection Squad members, were in attendance, representing the Netherlands Moving Ladies Groenwoud team. Van der Helm coming to the event after a successful 6th place in the Tour of Holland.
The Ireland representative team boasted both experienced and new talent with Susan O'Mara back competing after some months out and Louise Moriarty still going well after her 4th place in the Isle of Wight 2 day and a summer of racing in mainland Europe. Also joining the event were a representative Ulster Cycling Federation team which included Debbie Booth, who like O'Mara was returning from illness. A District Nord Holland junior selection team and the German RG-Berlin Charlottenburg team completed the continental entries. English competitors were also in attendance although only Team Letchworth and Surrey League made the trip across the water. .
The sun was shining as the race rolled out for Stage 1 64km around a 8km circuit close to Dubin Airport. The bunch started exceptionally fast, the first lap was completed in around 12minutes for 8km. At 2miles the group were all together despite the pace. The pace slowed then picked up again to around 35mph and a few riders suffered, novice at this level, Fiona Tracey riding for the UCF team was the first to drop off the back, followed within a mile on the back part of the circuit by Suzanne Hamilton (Team Letchworth) who stated later that she has been recovering from a knee injury and "just did not have the speed".
As the pace evened off a little Corri Farquharson, Team Letchworth was the next to lose touch. She was pleased to have lasted for hte very fast first lap and spent the next 6km going backwards and forwards through the following cars in an attempt to get back on. A lap later, she picked up Fiona Tracey for company and the two worked together to get to the finish of the stage.
Siobhan Jacob, (unattached) who is making the transition from rowing to cycling, attempted to break away but was caught by the bunch then unfortunately suffered a mechanical problem. The pace increase again to 35mph \and 4 riders got away and quickly gained a 15 sec gap. They were : Ester van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, Sharon Van Essen, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, Louise Moriarty , Ireland and Stephanie Gronouw RG-Berlin Charlottenburg, Inge Kelp, Moving Ladies.
A german rider attempted to get away off the front of the bunch but Roisin Kennedy, Ireland pulled the group back to the lone rider. The lead group had increased their lead to 1min 12sec gap by the half way point increasing it steadily by lap 5 it was 1min 40sec. Ann Bath Surrey - UK and one of two veterans in the race punctured at 30km and chased back well to the chasing bunch. By lap 6 the gap had opened up to 2 min 15sec Susan.O'Mara, Ireland attempted to get away but the bunch led by Mary Boyd, Team Letchworth (and O'Mara's team mate had she been riding for her usual team and not representing Ireland) covered the gap. A number of attempts were made by members of the chasing bunch to break way, all unsuccessful. By lap 7 the lead group had increased their gap to 2min 27 sec and the chasing group were all together.
Entering the last lap a bottle was dropped in the chasing bunch causing Ester Kassing District Nord Holland to swerve into the gravel, she punctured but chased hard after a swift wheel change to catch the group back. Debbie Booth, UCF and Inge Kelp, Moving Ladies Groenwoud attempted to get away but were not successful
In the later stages of the race the gap to the leading four had increased to 2min 40sec, Inge Kelp, Moving Ladies Groenwoud attempted to get away again but the move was covered by Susan O'Mara, Ireland and team mate Kate Rudd they gained a gap of 10 sec, the gap to the leaders was coming down to 2min 25sec, Mary Boyd lead the group and chased and caught the mini break away group of O'Mara.
At the 1k to go the leading four riders wound it up for the sprint at the line Ester van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, beat Stephanie Gronow, RG-Berlin Charlottenburg, Louise Moriarty, Ireland and Sharon van Essen, Moving Ladies Groenwoud coming in 4th place. The chasing bunch fought out their sprit for the line, Inge Kelp taking the victory from Mary Boyd.
Stage 1 Result
1, Ester van der Helm (Moving Ladies-Groenewoud) 1 hour 47 mins 9 secs;
2, S. Gronow (RG Berlin Cherlottenburg);
3, L. Moriarty (Ireland);
4, S. Van Essen (Moving Ladies- Groenewoud) all same time;
5, I. Klep (Moving Ladies Groenewoud) at 2 mins 59 secs;
6, M. Boyd (Team Letchworth) same time
After a short break the riders were back out again for the short 2km time trial. A slight up hill drag into a head wind ensured that it was going to be a tough event. Despite the conditions, the stage was won by Stage 1 winner Ester van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenwoud in a time of 3min45.90sec.
1, Van der Helm, 2 kilometre TT in 3 mins 45.9 secs;
2, Gronow at .7 secs;
3, Moriarty, at 13.39 secs;
4, S. O'Mara (Ireland) at 18.64 secs;
5, D. Booth (UCF) at 20.48 secs;
6, Van Essen, at 21.94 secs
27 riders started Stage 2 on a cool and cloudy day. The Yellow jersey Ester van der Helm, Green jersey Stephanie Gronow, RG-Berlin Charlottenburg lead the bunch out onto the grueling Irish national course. The riders would face 74km including three Queen of the Mountain challenges. At 9km the bunch was together and the pace was relatively slow - a welcome relief to most after the high initial speeds of stage 1.
Debbie Booth, UCF lead the group with Kate Rudd, Ireland as they approached the first climb. Susan O'Mara moved up group to prepare for small climb into Garristown. Inge Kelp, Moving Ladies Groenwoud , Gillian McDarby, Ireland and Debbie Booth, UCF attempted to get away at base of climb, but were chased down unfortunately by her own team mate Sheila Rafferty. At 26km Alison Butler, Surrey-UK suffered a back wheel puncture, due to the swift wheel change she managed to get back on the group.
As the 1st big climb strained the legs of the riders Fiona Tracey, UCF lost contact with the group. First over the top and gaining valuable Queen of the Mountain points was Sharon van Essen, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, followed by Louise Moriarty, Ireland, Ester van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenwoud and Inge Kelp, Moving Ladies Groenwoud. Approaching 2nd big climb the bunch split as riders dropped off the back of the group a small group got away, identical to stage 1 Ester van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, Sharon Van Essen, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, Louise Moriarty , Ireland and Stephanie Gronow, RG-Berlin Charlottenburg were in the break. Sharon Van Essen, Moving Ladies Groenwoud taking the Queen of the Mountain points from Stephanie Gronow, RG-Berlin Charlottenburg, Ester van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenwoud then Louise Moriarty , Ireland. They quickly managed to create a 11sec gap. The chasing group lead by O'Mara chased hard to bring them back, the leaders sat up at Naul, the base of 3rd Queen of the Mountains.
Ester Kassing lost her chain and had to chase hard to get back into the group, as did Debbie Booth, UCF who had been dropped on the previous climb. The group of Ester van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, Sharon Van Essen, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, Louise Moriarty , Ireland and Stephanie Gronow, RG-Berlin Charlottenburg gave the rest no time to catch their breath as they created another break on the assent of the 3rd hill. Stephanie Gronow, took the points followed by Sharon Van Essen, Ester van der Helm and Moriarty.
The leaders generated a gap of 20 sec but were caught again by the relentless chasing group of 11 riders. A number of riders attempted to get away but were unsuccessful. With 2km to go Inge Kelp, Moving Ladies Groenwoud, made a quick move and quickly created a gap of 10 sec, the group did not react. At the line she had maintained the gap to take the stage.
Stage 3 Result
1, Inge Klep 46 miles in 2 hours 14 mins 27 secs;
2, van der Helm, at 3 secs;
3, Gronow, at 5 secs;
4, S. van Essen;
6, O'Mara, both same time
TQ Papers GC Overall
1, Van der Helm, 4 hours 5 mins 16 secs;
2, Gronow, at 6 secs;
3, Moriarty, at 23 secs;
4, Van Essen, at 32 secs;
5, Klep, at 3 mins 25 secs;
6, O'Mara at 3 mins 28
Irish Ferries Queen of the Hills Overall
Sharon Van Essen 13points
Stephanie Gronow 8points
Louise Moriarty 6points
Ester van der Helm 6points
Inge Kelp 1point
Impsport Points Competition Esther van der Helm
Veteran winner Sheila Raffery, Ireland.
Junior Winner Yvonne de Jong, District Nord Holland
WomensCycling.net Lanterne Rouge Fiona Tracey Ulster Cycling Federation
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