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Shaw Among Top Lineup for Mullingar Crit

posted 12 Jun 2017, 08:19 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 12 Jun 2017, 09:08 ]
(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 11th May 2017)   
Wednesday evening (14th June) sees the annual running of the Mullingar Criterium promoted by Lakeside Wheelers. Event organisers are delighted with the news that Damien Shaw of the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team will be signing on once he comes out of this week’s Ronde de l’Oise stage race in France with a clean bill of health. 
Crit races are traditionally staged on short (1.2km) town-centre circuits for a pre-determined time followed by two laps. This generally leads to a very fast and exciting sporting spectacle for which power and good bike handling skills are essential. In recent years Lakeside Wheelers have twice staged the Irish National Crit Championships in Mullingar on a circuit which is generally regarded as one of the best in Ireland. Starting from outside Days Bazaar the route takes the riders left at Galvin's Menswear entering Blackhall carpark at the side of Reynos Café then downhill to exit the carpark at Jail Hill where they will turn left up through Mount St and left again at the Market Square to complete the lap.

Racing will get underway once the streets have been officially closed by the Gardai at approximately 7pm and first off will be the A4’s who will race for 20 minutes and 2 laps. Then at 7.30pm the A3’s will race for 30 minutes and two laps. Both of these races will have several Lakeside Wheelers members competing and best of luck to them all. At approx. 8.15pm the main event of the evening will commence with some of Ireland’s best cyclists taking to the start line for the A1/A2/A+ race which will be run over 45 minutes plus 2 laps.

To date there has been great interest with several riders signed up online but as is the norm for crits, the weather will play a major part so hopefully it stays dry and big numbers will turn up on the night.

Shaw a Hot Favourite
This will be an excellent opportunity for all local sports fans to come out and see top class cycling on the main street of Mullingar with the rare but added bonus of seeing Damien Shaw compete in his home town. The An Post Chainreaction rider will definitely be one of the hot favourites to take the title as he has a good record in crits having finished 2nd in both of the National Champs races mentioned earlier. He will also be coming to the race on the back of some excellent form in recent weeks. 

In April he took his first professional race win at the Tour du Loir et Cher in France then followed that up with a storming ride a week later on stage 1 of the Tour of Brittany where he was caught just 50 meters short of the line after a 100km breakaway. He then rode an excellent An Post Ras coming home 5th overall in what was an extremely tough 8 day race. This year’s Ras saw Shaw compete against some very serious competition some of whom had World Tour experience in events such as the Giro d’Italia and the La Vuelta d’Espana.

However, with Mark Dowling the current Irish National Crit champion signed on to race the Mullingar Crit, Damien won’t have it all his own way and he will have to be very clever with his tactical approach on Wednesday evening.
So, make sure you are there on the night to witness one of the best sporting events in the locality this year.

Mullingar Crit 2015 - Lined up at the start
The country's top riders lined up for the last Mullingar Criterium.
An equally strong field is expected on Wednesday evening.

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