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Family Cyclocross Round 2 Tuesday 30th December

posted 28 Dec 2014, 14:45 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 6 Jan 2015, 11:11 ]
(By Steve Franzoni)   
Tuesday 30th December saw St. Loman's GAA Club as the venue for round two of our winter series for adults and kids. The first round was very successful with great numbers signing on for both the junior and senior elements of the afternoons entertainment. Racing is held on a mixture of grass and gravel tracks on pretty much any type of off-road bike.

As with the first round it was the kids that lined up first on shortened track. This time I had took inspiration from the maze which is my head, and decided to go all "creative", with the course design. Having been asked the day before for the course diagram, by co-organiser Roy Carey, I was forced to instigate what i will call a delaying tactic, hidden in the guise of "its a secret", truthfully I didn't really have a clue. But at 10am on a cold, frosty and clear morning the creative juices soon got flowing and I delivered (according to me anyway) a masterpiece of taped madness. If you haven't seen this kind of thing before imagine a young toddler let loose with a pen drawing circles on a page or a complicated maze. As we started the epic taping marathon it made perfect sense to me but took some convincing to everyone else that it would work. Its strange how different minds works, and this could easily have been a constructive scientific study into how heads perceive things.

The under age races were split into the now usual format of under 6's (parent assisted in many cases), under 8's, under 10's, under 12's and 14's. The races were short and sweet but judging by the heavy breath and fatigue on their faces, plenty long enough to challenge all. A great turn out meant lots of racing action, and fun had by all. The presentation of medals when finishing, always seems to bring extra smiles to everyone faces and helped the young ones to forget about the cold weather.

At this point the numbers signing on to the adults race was swelling well beyond our expectations. Due to a lack of racing elsewhere in the country racers had traveled from all over the country to take part and get a workout, some in preparation for the National Champs on 11th January. A large number of girls had signed on, proof that cycle racing is become more and more popular with the ladies. The Lakeside Wheelers are a forced to be reckoned with in the women's road racing scene, and despite a short cross season Michelle O'Halloran, has had some good results this season thus far.

The inclusion of a beginners category this time round meant entries totaled 50 with the underage riders. This meant during the race the course was going to be busy. After my pre-race briefing, I sneaked into the front row for the start. Stuart "Le Cross Rás" Cox was the local favorite for the win, his season so far has shown some great potential, if he can only clip his pedals in. As usual the mass start favored me and I sat very uncomfortably into second place on the first half of lap one, setting the pace and scene for Stuart to hammer home his second win of the series. As usual our plan didn't work and half way into the race, two blow ins (not including me), had managed to sneak away from him. At this point I could list all of Stuarts excuses for dropping the two riders, but feel it is better to just say his shoes were having an off day, for fear of boring anyone further.

As with the previous race, participation from the local club riders was great. Too many names to list had signed on and managed their laps both on their bikes and bums at some stages. But everyone was reporting having fun. Spectator support blew me away this time round. Great numbers had congregated by the sign on and coffee tent, and as always it was fantastic to here everyone's cheers as we tackled the steps during every lap.

When the racing was over, Stuart had managed third place. Still a respectable finish, with another blow in not far behind. The venue had proven successful as before and many thanks should go to St. Lomans for their help. We had overlooked the fact, that Loman's had just completed their new heated changing rooms and forgot to mention it to all the racers. The facilities there are great and perfect for these kind of events.

As always with these events. its the guys in the background that make them happen, and this event was no different. Great numbers of helpers turned out on the day, to not only follow my crazy tape directions, but to help with sign-on, marshaling, re-taping during the race, photography and lap counting. Your help is greatly appreciated by all participants and members of the club.

Look out for round three soon.

Thanks To Sharon Barrett for the Photos
Action from Round 2 of the Cyclocross Series
Action from Round 2 of the Cyclocross Series