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National Bike Week Finishes in Style

posted 27 Jun 2011, 15:12 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 4 Jul 2011, 16:36 ]
Mullingar town centre saw a big finish to National Bike Week on Sunday last, with the streets lined with people out to watch the racing, I would imagine we had more people out in support than the Irish National Championships!

The day started with Sprocket Rocket led by Robbie Kenny, children of all age’s right down to the stabilizer gang completing the full lap in the sunshine. Next it was the turn of the sports partnership led by club member Craig Sterret.

The racing got underway with the Inter-firms challenge, four mixed ability members per team racing around two laps of the course, with the time of the fourth rider over the line determiningthe team's time. There was a huge entry for this event with eighteen teams of four taking part, including teams from An Post, the Tri Club, County Council, Taconic, Gardai and Longford Cycling Club to mention just a few.  WIth so much action on the course, the the timekeepers were kept very busy.  Fastest team on the day was Team Taconic (oictured opposite). 

Next up it was the ladies…They raced over 5 laps with the bunch staying together for the first couple of laps. Louise McCarra, one of the Wheelers newest members, showed her strength setting a fast pace early on and it was great to see experienced racer Cathy Flynn back in action.

Eventual race winner was Paula Murray who rode a tactically perfect race, jumping just before the line. In second place was Cathy O’Toole who gave everything she had climbing the hill towards the finish.  Carmel Dolan followed in third place with Claire Malone fourth, Louise McCarra in fifth and Carmel Buckley sixth.  Well done to all for an entertaining race.

A large group lined out for the club competition and the pressure was on early with riders such as Karl Moran quickly to the front.

The early pace soon saw the bunch split and two riders got away, Billy Creevy from Mid West Road Club and Philip Wade (Lakeside Wheelers / Midland Tri Club). These two riders worked extremely hard together continually extending their time gap from the 30 strong bunch.

In the end Billy Creevy managed to get clear and took top spot from Philip.  I have a funny feeling this is not the last we see of Philip Wade on the bike racing side of things, with such good form it would be a shame not to put it into practice again!  George Bell (junior) was a fine third, followed by Richie Lenihan in fourth, Darrian Killian from Shannonside in fifth and Billy Cunnane sixth.

Last up was the senior race, a slightly smaller group with some local heroes including Robbie Kenny and Peter Rimmer, both favourites for the race win, as well as riders from some of our neighbouring clubs in Longford and Athlone.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be their day despite some hard effort. The win went to Dave Fagen who managed to pick himself up after a nasty fall on the first corner of the first lap  and do what he does best  - time trial into first place with over 30 seconds to spare over Scott Kahler of Garda CC in second.  Robbie Kenny won the sprint for third, followed by Longford stalwart Kevin Martin in fourth with Peter Rimmer fifth and Paul Crowley in sixth.

The day would not have gone so well without the hard work put in by the Wheelers organisers, Joe Duffy, Robbie Kenny and Shay O’Toole to mention a few. So a big thank you to them, the many club members who spent the day cheering on the race participants.  Great credit too to Westmeath County Council for their assistance in making the event possible and to the Gardai and Civil Defence for their excellent marshalling.

Mark Monaghan takes some fluids on board after the last race ofthe day on Sunday!

More pictures here
Sprocket Rocket Kiddies Cycle Pictures here