International cycling star Lara Gillespie has picked up the keys to a Cupra Formentor from Johnson & Perrott Fleet following a promise made to her ahead of Rás na mBan last September.
The 21-year-old from Enniskerry, County Wicklow is gearing up for the coming season when she will once again represent Ireland in international track cycling as she and the Irish Team Pursuit squad push for qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Helping her on her journey will be the Johnson & Perrott Fleet supplied Cupra which she will have the use of throughout 2023 and which comes on the back of a ‘pact’ forged between herself and Jonathan O’Brien, Managing Director of Johnson & Perrott Fleet last September.
Gillespie made herself available for a photo shoot to promote the Johnson & Perrott Fleet sponsorship of Rás na mBan, Ireland’s five-day international stage race. Lara actually cut short her graduation ceremony from UCD to do the photo shoot, a commitment which so impressed Jonathan O’Brien that he promised her a car for a month if she won a stage in the race.
As is now well known, Gillespie actually won two stages, the first Irish successes for eight years in the event. Her sprint success on stage one in Callan ended an Irish victory drought stretching back to 2014 and was matched by the Ireland team rider on stage four in Piltown.
As a result, O’Brien agreed to extend the agreement to a full year during which Gillespie will dovetail her commitments on the velodromes of the world with road racing as part of the UAE Development UCI Continental team.
Speaking at the announcement, Johnson & Perrott Fleet Managing Director Jonathan O’Brien said: “Lara Gillespie is in the vanguard of a new wave of Irish racing talent and it’s a proud moment for us to be able to support her on her journey to international success.
“The focus and commitment Lara has demonstrated in her career so far is an inspiration to all and we’re delighted to be able to reduce some of the logistical challenges she will face in her bid for international racing glory with this collaboration.
In expressing her delight at securing a valuable commercial sponsorship Lara Gillespie said: “I’m thrilled to be helped by Jonhson & Perrott Fleet at this important moment in my career. I wasn’t sure if Jonathan was serious when he made the ‘deal’ at the Rás na mBan photoshoot but when he told me that not only was he going to give me a car but that he would extend the agreement for the whole year, I was understandably thrilled.
“This is a big year with the European Championships, the World Championships and the UCI World Cup Series beginning the process of qualification for the Olympic games next year. It’s great that I have this beautiful Cupra Formentor to help me on my way.”
About Johnson & Perrott
Founded in 1985, Johnson & Perrott Fleet has been providing contract hire, leasing and fleet management solutions to businesses throughout Ireland for over 30 years.
Operating from South City Business Park in Tallaght, Johnson & Perrott Fleet manages a fleet of almost 1,800 cars and commercial vehicles for both domestic and international customers, ranging from blue chip multinationals leasing over one hundred vehicles to home grown SME’s with less than five.
About Lara Gillespie
From Enniskerry, County Wicklow, 21-year-old Lara Gillespie is a member of the Irish track team pursuit squad aiming to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
She is a decorated rider in multiple disciplines of cycle sport having won the European Championship points race as a junior and multiple medals at world and European level as a junior and Under 23 rider.
She is also a former Irish road race and cyclo-cross champion. For 2023 she will ride the UAE Development Team in road racing and with the Irish National team in international track competition beginning with the European Track Championships in February.