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Damien Shaw wins National Road Race
29 Jun 2015 11:11
Part-time rider Damien Shaw won the National Cycling Road Race Championship in Omagh today, defeating some of Ireland's top professionals in the process.
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One hundred and four riders took to the start line in Omagh this morning, facing 105 miles, comprising seven laps of a 15-mile circuit.
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The field consisted of some of the best domestic riders alongside full-time professionals from the An Post Chainreaction team including defending champion Ryan Mullen, four-time winner Matt Brammeier, Martyn Irvine and Team Sky’s Philip Deignan.
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In the end, Mullingar fireman Damien Shaw, riding for Team Asea, was the clear winner.
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As in previous years’ championships, the winning move of the day was the first break and this formed shortly after the start of the second lap with a 13-strong group going clear.
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The alarm bells went off quickly for some key men expected to feature, such as Brammeier and Irvine, who both missed the move.
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They quickly formed a chase group behind the 11 leaders and this was to be the pattern for the early part of the race.
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Coming towards the end of lap four, a further chase group including Ryan Mullen caught Brammeier’s group and for a period it looked like they might pull close to the leaders.
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However, up front, Team Asea set the pace as they had four cards to play with. MacAuley, Aiken, Reilly and Shaw drove the break strongly with the company of Dunbar, Stewart, Dunne, Hahessy, Clancy, Dowling and local man Marc Potts.
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As the race reached the second-last lap the front group began to splinter. The efforts of Team Asea began to take its toll with Aiken and Reilly losing contact with the leaders.
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Dunne made a few attempts to break clear and these attacks split the front group into two coming towards the final lap.
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Shaw then made his move to be quickly followed by Eddie Dunbar. This duo quickly opened a big gap on the remaining chasers and it was clear they would be fighting it out for the title.
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Shaw, however, made his winning move just over 4k from the line and this time Dunbar was unable to follow.
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The Mullingar man was able to savour his victory having a minute to spare over the impressive 18-year-old Dunbar, from the NFTO Pro Cycling team, who claimed the U23 title with his second-place finish.
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Dunne from An Post Chainreaction came home on his own to take the Bronze Medal.
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Daniel Stewart from Phoenix CC won the U23 Silver medal with his ninth place finish just ahead of Sean Hahessy from Liquidworx Fitscience who won the U23 Bronze Medal.
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