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Local Success In 2013 Mullingar Grand Prix

posted 1 Jul 2013, 13:41 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 8 Jul 2013, 14:33 ]
This year after much deliberation the decision was made to change our now annual Mullingar Two race to a one day Grand Prix, but that didn’t deter the numbers for turning up on Sunday Last. All in all we had over two hundred riders signed on across four separate races (A1/A2, A3, A4 and Ladies). Mullingar rugby club once again was our HQ for the day where we had ample car parking and excellent facilities. With this year’s route on the opposite side of the town the decision was made that all riders would cycle in convoy to the start line on Irelands largest Bridge the Joe Dolan Bridge. I have to say it was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in a long time, two hundred cyclists in one mass group congregated on this Mullingar Landmark!
First off on the new route, of Tyrrellspass up Greevebawn with a turn around on the road before Rochfortbridge then returning back to Belvedere turning left down by the golf club, then turning right at the Joe Dolan Bridge with finishing line approx. 1km from the roundabout, was the big (small) hitters in the A1/A2 Race in which we were represented by Peter Rimmer, John Murray, Paul Crowley, Damien Shaw (riding with AquaBlue) & Stuart Cox (riding with Black Rose). The racing was fast and furious from the drop of the flag, in typical Irish summer conditions strong winds, rain and a few sunny spells! The winning break of four made up of Damien Shaw, Sean Lacey (both AquaBlue), Neil Delahey & Javan Nulty (both DID Dunboyne) managed to break clear on the first of three laps. After some hard racing across the three lads Damien managed to solo to victory making his decisive move after coming off Gweenbawn on the last lap eventually taking the win to rapturous applause by more than a minute from Nulty in 2nd, lacey in 3rd & Delahey in 4th. Peter Rimmer maintained his recent good form by finishing in the bunch alongside Stuart Cox. Unfortunately the dreaded puncture fairy was about on Sunday and managed to strike Johnny & Paul.

Second race on the route was the largest field of the day the A3’s with 80 riders signed on also completing three laps of the circuit with Robbie Kenny, Billy Cunnane & Ronan Bracken representing Lakeside Wheelers. There were many short lived breaks but in the end the strong winds and showers ensured that most of the field was still in contention at the finish. With a rising road for the last kilometer Paul Coffey of Blanch Wheelies proved strongest from Niall Doggett Navan RC and Keith O'Connell Covey Wheelers. Well done to Robbie Kenny who managed to break into the top ten taking 9th place with Billy and Ronan a little further back in the bunch.
A4 Race
Lakeside Wheelers was well represented in the A4 race, which had 70 starters all in all we had a total of Twelve starters on the line John Nugent, Aidan Daly, Roy Carey, Matt Burke, David Bright, Brian Collentine, Mark Monaghan, Conor Hughes, Richie Lenehan, Stephen Corroon, Barry Pierce and Brendan Kiernan. Competing the route two times, the race was a bit of a cagey affair with the strong head wind on the outward leg of the lap keeping the attacks to a minimum and we Lakeside Wheelers riding to the fore and controlling the race throughout it was apparent that the race was to come down to a bunch sprint. 

Victory Salute from Brendan Kiernan
The key point of the race came right on the last turn at the roundabout where being in the top ten riders was critical, Richie showed all he mountain bike skills by leading Brendan Kiernan into and out of the roundabout and continued to lead Brendan up to the finish line where Brendan showed all his sprinting skills to take an excellent win by two seconds from Richie Lenehan who managed to keep his hard effort going to take second place with Stephen Corroon taking 5th , Matt Burke finishing 8th and the rest of the team finishing in the bunch. Both Brendan and Richie have now scored enough points to be upgraded to A3 status. Well done lads A3 will be a doddle to ye!

Ladies Race
Thirty ladies went to the start line and it didn't take long for Tullamore lady Francine Meehan to make her intentions know. As she powered ahead the only one able to follow her wheel was Anne Dalton of DID Dunboyne. The pressure up front split the field and in the last 10km Dalton had no answer when Meehan struck out for home. Francine from Tullamore Co. Offaly had 30 seconds to spare as she punched the air for a great win,
These events cannot be put on without the help of a lot of people and for that we are extremely grateful. Thanks to all the marshals who came out in force to help out on the day and make it a very safe race also a special mention must to go to the Lads & Ladies from SideBrook Wheelers in Rochfortbridge who did an excellent job at the turnabout point. Thanks also to the civil defence and local Gardaí for their support, they offer us invaluable back up which is greatly appreciated. Mullingar Rugby Club has been our HQ for the past number of years now and yet again they opened their doors to us again this year and let us invade their excellent clubhouse and facilities. A hot shower at the end of a race is a very welcome thing, thanks again for the use of your facilities.
Before I finish up I would also like to give a special mention to the man behind the race, none other than Joe Duffy, without doubt there would be open racing in Mullingar without Joe, his drive and organizational skills are second to none. Well done Joe and all the team on putting on an excellent event! 

Click here  for some pictures of the day's action.

Here are the results of the four races...

A1/A2 Race – 108km
1. Damien Shaw Aqua Blue
2. Javan Nulty DID Dunboyne
3. Sean Lacey Aqua Blue
4. Neil Delahaye DID Dunboyne
5. Gary Jeffers East Tyrone CC
6. Mark Dowling Polygon Sweet Nice

A3 Race – 108km
1. Paul Coffey Blanch Wh
2. Niall Doggett Navan RC
3. Keith O’Connell Covey Wheelers
4. Darragh McCarther Omagh
5. Mark Reilly Lucan CC
6. Philippe Bourdariaj Orwell Wheelers

A4 Race – 72km
1. Brendan Kiernan Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar
2. Richie Lenehan Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar
3. James Dignam Adamstown CC
4. Oisin Boland Orwell
5. Stephen Corroon Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar
6. Dan O’Brien Killarney CC

Womens Race
1. Francine Meehan Aqua Blue
2. Anne Dalton DID Dunboyne
3. Roisin Kennedy Adamstown CC
4. Emily Birchall Neenan Talent Team
5. Ciara Doogan Neenan Talent Team
6. Julie White North Tipp Wheelers

Mullingar GP Riders assemble on Joe Dolan bridge awaiting the off