Eileen is Irish National TT Champion!/Darrell takes bronze!

22 June 2017

Having shown some fantastic form against the clock of late, Eileen Burns has landed a big one this evening at the National TT Championships.

The Ballymena Road Club rider has taken the gold medal in the elite women’s title race, whilst BRC handcyclist Darrell Erwin also took a bronze medal in his event to top off a fantastic evening for the Road Club. Luke McMullan took a very creditable 12th place in the Elite Mens category.

It was a very close contest in the Elite women's event with the difference between gold and silver proving just 13 seconds.

But after 34km of flat out racing from Johnstown in Co Wexford, it is Burns who takes the Irish title.

She went around the course in a time of 49:16.

Burns saw off the challenge of Kelly Murphy (Team Ford Ecoboost) , who clocked a time of 49:29.

And rounding out the podium was Eve McCrystal. The Paralympic tandem pilot has been in winning form on the road of late, claiming the first three rounds of the National Road Series.

However, while she was 2nd at the championships last year, to Anna Turvey, she was forced to settle for bronze tonight.

McCrystal recorded a time of 49:59, some 42 seconds off gold and 30 seconds off the silver medal.

The victory was a very significant one for Burns because not only is she now the elite Irish champion, she is also chasing Commonwealth Games selection with Northern Ireland.

And on the strength of this result and other recent rides she looks to be squarely in the driving seat and set for the Games at Gold Coast, Australia next year.

Road and track international Burns revealed her form leading into these championships with a brilliant ride in Wales a couple of weeks ago.

Riding a Welsh 25 mile TT on the R25-3H course at Aberdare she recorded a time of 52:47; the first time she has broken the 53 minute mark.

That was an emotional performance from her as her grandfather had just died before she started the race.

In May she won the Welsh CA Time Trial Champs, riding the 25 mile test in 53:07.

And two weeks before that Burns took a top 10 in an international race in Holland.

She finished in 6th place in the 19.7km EPZ Omloop van Borsele TT (UCI 1.1). It was won by British champion Hayley Simmonds (Team WNT).


Elite Women’s Podium

1 Eileen Burns (Ballymena RC) 49.16

2 Kelly Murphy (Team Ford Ecoboost)  49.29

3 Eve McCrystal (Garda CC) 49.59