Shaw lights up Omagh to lift Irish road race crown
Mullingar firefighter Damien Shaw claimed the biggest victory of his career yesterday when he soloed clear of a 13-man breakaway group to win the Irish road race championships title in Omagh.
The Team Asea amateur signalled his intent early in the 168km race, going clear on the first of seven laps of a mainly flat circuit and helping force a 13-man group clear one lap later.
A mechanical saw Sky pro Philip Deignan's title race come to an abrupt halt back in the peloton and despite the best efforts of four-time champion Matt Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka), last year's winner Ryan Mullen (An Post-Chain Reaction) and track star Martyn Irvine of Madison Genesis and the rest of a 10-man chase group behind, the baker's dozen up front began to open a sizeable advantage which they held.
"It wasn't really planned to go so early," admitted a delighted Shaw afterwards.
"I just found myself off the front in a couple of splits and if you're in the splits at least then you can make the decision of whether to keep going or not."