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Destination Sport Mullingar National Bike Week

posted 26 Jun 2012, 07:44 by Kevin Monaghan
The Destination Sports Mullingar programme of events to mark the start of National Bike Week proved to be a huge success on Sunday last (24th June) with hundreds of cyclist’s involved which attracted large numbers of spectator out on the streets.  In addition to the cycling events the “Taste of Mullingar” in Dominick Street also proved to be a big attraction for the crowd on a beautiful summers afternoon.

Early in the morning a team of volunteers from Lakeside Wheelers putting out barriers on the town center route had to endure heavy showers and it looked like we were in for another miserable day. What a difference some sunshine makes, the sun broke through around lunchtime and we were treated to a wonderful evening with a real flavor of what Summer.

Sprocket Rockets Take Over Mullingar Town Centre
The Sprocket Rocket underage riders led by Robbie Kenny and his team started proceedings and it was a sight to behold as over two hundred young cyclists from four to fourteen did a number of laps of the town center route. “Wow” what a spectacular sight the army of young cyclist was as they rode up the Jail Hill all decked out in their new “Sprocket Rocket” t-shirts and hoodies. With lots of club members and parents shepherding the young cyclists the joy on the young faces said it all and I think the future of cycling is Mullingar is in good hands.

Next up it was the turn of a number of Westmeath Sports Partnership teams of tandem cyclists, representing the National Council for the Blind, to race around the closed road circuit and it was very obvious that they all enjoy the experience. 

Inter Firms TT
This was followed by the “Inter Firms Team Time Trial”, which had twenty teams of four, lining up for the start.  Teams started off at 30 second intervals and complete two laps of the 1.3km route. While it might seem a short distance most riders confessed they found the intense pace required to be very difficult particularly coming up the Jail Hill the second time. Winners on the day were the “Bridge Warriors” team of Joe Carroll, Derek Sheehan, Noel Leavy and David Mithcell, while the “Senior Sprockets” of Clement Bartley, David Fox, Henry Whitston and Matt Burke took the runners up spot. The junior team prize went to Team Zip comprised of Thomas Kilmurray, Shane Hughes, David Boyne and Eoin Ashe.

The first ladies team home was Team McCazza with Muirna Walsh, Louise McCarra, Carmel Buckley and Liz Hoctor. The ladies were dressed in fabulous blue and black outfits, which any professional team would be proud of. If there was a best dress prize the girls would have won it hands down. It was notable the number of teams who made a big effort to turn out in coordinating outfits this year and it really added to the occasion.

Club Criterium
The final event of the evening, a Criterium race confined to Lakeside Wheelers club members, was a well contested event with 40 on the start line. A group of five riders broke clear in the last few laps to contest the sprint for overall honours.  Newcomer Mickey ‘Dan’ Murtagh took a great win from Richie Lenihan with Brendan Kiernan third, Mick Reynolds fourth and Colm Lynch fifth. Sixth place went to Aidan Farrell who led in the second group while Sonja O’Mahony took the prize for first lady home.
Thanks You's
Thanks to wonderful support from Westmeath County Council, the Garda Siochana, Civil Defense and members of Lakeside Wheelers the event went off very smoothly and everyone had a great afternoon of sport and enjoyment. A special word of thanks has to go to Maurice Stenson of Westmeath County Council who heads up the Destination Sport committee and Sanjo O’Mahony and her Westmeath Sports Partnership team for the Trojan work they have done on the National Bike Week events.
Mickey Dan Murtagh with Brendan Tosh Kiernan in the slipstream
Mickey-Dan Murtagh - eventual winner of the club Criterium - with Brendan Tosh Kiernan in the slipstream