by Caroline Martinez
Reigning National Cyclocross Champion Fran Meehan has been dominating the domestic scene for the past few years. With five national jerseys under her belt, the Tullamore woman, fully intends on keeping her green and white skinsuit for another year. Competition is however as big as ever with even more women taking on the sport recently. The battle will be fierce in the quest for the national title.
Fran is ready to take on her newest opponents. We spoke with the Aquablue rider after her latest race at Punchestown this weekend.
“I’m feeling good.” she says about her current form.
“I feel like I’ve stepped up a notch this year because of the girls. It’s brilliant to see so many riders. When I started doing cyclocross, we might get two. I think they’re up to twenty now between north and south, it’s brilliant.”
And to prepare better for the demanding standard, Fran lined up beside the best men in the country today in Punchestown.
“I really wanted to push myself hard today I feel like I had to. It’s good because one guy was there on my tail and we raced straight to line.”
“I felt good. I was having issues with my pedals, so I’m a bit disappointed about that; but I felt strong and it’s longer than the race we normally ride which is really good.”
Fran is probably the most experienced racer in the country and she is not fazed by the rumours of tough competition coming from overseas to try and take the title.
“There’s a good few girls. I don’t know really, I’m just focusing on my own race. I’m going to do the best I can do and if it’s good enough on the day, it’s good enough on the day. If it’s not, it’s not.”
The National Championships registration open today and the course is believed to be the hardest in the country. This does not intimidate the Cyclocross specialist who enjoys a hard race.
“I love it. The tougher the better. The muckier, the wetter it is, the better it is.”