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Lakeside Wheelers Host a Very Successful Youths Championships

posted 26 Aug 2019, 02:02 by Site Admin   [ updated 26 Aug 2019, 03:53 ]
( By Shay O'Toole )
Last weekend was an extremely busy few days for the members of Lakeside Wheelers as the club played host to the National Youths Championships. This Cycling Ireland accredited series of races was kindly sponsored by Centra which made the planning and running of the event a much easier task for the racing committee which had been meeting for months in advance to ensure that the 170 riders and their families were well catered for.

The competition commenced on Saturday, August 17th in Multyfarnham with Time Trials in the morning and road racing in the afternoon however the village was a hive of activity from early on Friday with several riders doing recons of both circuits. The organising committee decided to open sign-on from Friday evening to allow those who had travelled long distances to register and this proved to be a very worthwhile exercise as over 60% of competitors availed of the opportunity.

An early start was the order of the day on Saturday morning as the village of Multy woke to the sound of teenagers thrashing their legs on rollers and turbos in preparation for the 8KM Time Trial test. Those who were lucky enough to roll off the start ramp in the first hour or two escaped the several heavy rain showers which peppered the area over the course of the day. By lunchtime all 170 riders had completed the TT and then went straight into prep for the road racing which got underway at 2pm.

The hilly 12km Mornington circuit was the challenge which faced all age categories for the afternoon and it proved to be a great racing track with some very close finishes. By now the crowds had gathered and there was a considerable amount of people lining the main finishing straight from the village to the top of the hill past the Community Centre. With all races finished at approximately 7pm the marshals and organisers went into clear up mode in preparation for the Criterium on Sunday.

Due to the ongoing works in Mullingar town centre the normal crit circuit around Blackhall was not an option for race organisers so, thanks to Bennett Construction the Championships found a new home in the grounds of Forest Park Industrial complex. By 10am it was buzzing with competitors practicing on the 1km circuit around the car parks and buildings of the former Tarkett factory.

Local interest over the weekend came in the form of Lakeside Wheelers riders, Mikey Flaherty, Aoife O’Brien, Ruairi Woods and Mark Langtry. All of these young Wheelers acquitted themselves very well against the best underage cyclists in Ireland but it was Aoife who shone brightest.

In a clean sweep of events for which she was eligible, Aoife was in devastating form and won the U15 TT, Road Race and Criterium. This was an excellent display by the young Mullingar girl who is most definitely the Queen of underage cycling in Ireland at the moment.

With all races and the clean up completed by 3pm it gave marshals and anyone interested in hurling a chance to get to a TV to watch the All Ireland final in Croke Park. On behalf of the organising committee, a big thank you is due to all members who assisted in any way over the weekend. The feedback from team mentors, parents, riders and neutral visitors was totally positive and they were all full of praise for the way Lakeside Wheelers once again stood up to the plate on a national level. Thanks also to the management of Multyfarnham Community Centre, the Franciscian Friars, the residents of Multyfarnham, Mullingar Civil Defence, Westmeath Co.Council, Multyfarnham Gardai, Youth Cafe Mullingar and of course, the main sponsors, Centra. Without the help of all of these organisations events like this would not be possible.

Matt McKerrow (Cycling Ireland CEO) makes a presentation to Eamon Hogan, Lakeside Wheelers, after the National Youths Championships.

Roy Carey (TT Starter) poses with Aoife O'Brien before her TT.