A woman killed while cycling in north Co Dublin at the weekend was a Microsoft manager and leading road racing rider on the Irish cycling scene. Gabriele Glodenyte was fatally injured in a crash with an oncoming car at Grallagh, Garristown, just before lunchtime on Saturday.
The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene before her remains were removed to Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, for postmortem.
Gardaí spoke to the driver of the car and an investigation into the crash is under way at Balbriggan Garda station.
The death of such a high-profile athlete has caused shock in the Irish road cycling community, where Ms Glodenyte was a very popular figure. She had emerged rapidly as a leading rider last season after initially taking up cycling for leisure.
Cycling Ireland issued a statement saying it was “shocked and saddened to hear of the death of a female member” in a road crash, though it did not name Ms Glodenyte.
“On behalf of all of our members, Cycling Ireland would like to extend our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, clubmates and all who knew her. Our thoughts are with them at this devastating time.”
The Irish Times understands Ms Glodenyte was training on Saturday when the crash occurred at about 12.50pm. She was cycling with her partner, Sean Landers, also an elite cyclist and former national champion. Other cyclists in the area arrived at the scene.
The road where the crash occurred was sealed off and underwent an examination by Garda forensic collision investigators. The car involved has also been taken for examination by investigating gardaí.
Ms Glodenyte worked as a partner business manager in Microsoft, taking up that position about three years ago after graduating from Trinity College Dublin. Her family is originally from Lithuania but is based in Drogheda, with Ms Glodenyte a student at the Franciscan College in Gormanstown, Co Meath, during her school years.
Ms Glodenyte had taken up road cycling in recent years and competed in races with University College Dublin Cycling Club. Last year she progressed very significantly, winning the Cycling Ireland National Road Series, the premier competition on the island of Ireland for elite road cyclists.
Last May, 12 months before she was killed, she won the Brian O’Loughlin Memorial in Co Mayo, part of the series, beating established champion and international-level cyclists to victory. That performance signalled her arrival at the top tier of domestic road racing, before she went on to win the series overall.
Last July she also won the prestigious Newry Three Day race in Co Down ahead of cyclists who have represented Ireland at World Championships level. She had also twice competed in Rás na mBan, the premier women’s stage race, with multiple races on consecutive days, against Olympic cyclists from Ireland and abroad. She had ridden her first races in Belgium last year.
After winning the Cycling Ireland national series last season, she spoke of encouraging other women to take up racing, featuring in a social media campaign promoting women’s events. “What I enjoy most is that you get to see different towns and meet new people,” she said at the time.
Ms Glodenyte had been a part of the student mentoring programme during her time at Trinity College, providing support and guidance to first-year students. She had also mentored children in the CoderDojo scheme in the college, aimed at introducing national school children to coding.
The Garda urged anyone who witnessed the fatal crash to come forward and aid the investigation. Anyone with information – including any footage recorded in the area around the time of the crash – can contact Balbriggan Garda station on (01) 802 0510 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.