Waller Cup Bohermeen Sunday April 28th
Bohermeen in Co. Meath was the destination for the wheelers race team this week and we were represented in all of the men’s senior races on the day. Peter Rimmer, Paul Crowley & John Murray were all involved in the A1/A2 Race, with Eoin Lynch competing in the A3 event & Eoghan Kevlihan and yours truly taking to the line in the A4 race. Conditions for the day were bright and blustery with the odd scattering of rain thrown in for good measure. First off onto the 16.5km fast relatively flat course was the A1/A2 lads who would be taking on no less than 8 laps. Our three boys acquitted themselves extremely well with Johnny managing to get into a few breaks but unfortunately missing out on the main one of the day finishing in the chasing group alongside Peter a few minutes down. Speaking with Peter afterwards he was telling me that it was a though race and that the average pace for the 116KM distance was 42kmph! Next off was the A3 race where Eoin lynch took to the line representing Lakeside Wheelers and would be tackling the lap 6 times. Eoin who is still riding as a junior put in a great days racing and instigated a number of breaks early on and was very unfortunate not to make the move of the day when approx. 20 riders managed to get a large gap on the chasing field. This didn't deter Eoin who stayed at the front of the peleton and put in some hard riding to clock up some great training. Up next was yours truly and Eoghan Kevlihan in the A4 race. From the drop of the flag the pace was very high and it was apparent that a break would do very well to get away from the bunch. The Frist lap was completed in no time and all and midway through the second lap I was unfortunately help up by a crash and got distanced from the bunch and was unable to catch back on. Eoghan managed to keep himself out of trouble and kept close to fore in the remaining laps and indeed launched a late attack with only a kilometre to go only to be caught by the marauding sprinting bunch only 400 meters from the line!
Mondello Race Series
(By Mark Monaghan)
After the hugely successful race series in Mondello last year ran by Usher C.C and Naas C.C, it was clearly a no brainer to run it again this year. Races are run on the famous car race track on a handicap basis (or as I prefer to call it catch the hare with me always being in the hare group!) with the A4 group being set off first with a gap to the A3’s who in turn had gap to the A2’s and they had… well you get the idea! The wheelers were represented on the night by Charlie Sheridan & Mark Monaghan in the hare group with Billy Cunnane in the A3 group and John Murray in the greyhound group (A1’s). The racing was fast and furious on the pristine tarmac and the laps flew past and before long all the groups were together with three laps remaining. Best Wheeler finisher on the night was Charlie Sheridan who was 3rd unplaced A4 just being edged out for a prize on the line in the sprint finish.
Wheelworx Ladies League Round Five
by Billy Cunnane
On Tuesday 7th May Claire Malone and Muirna Walsh travelled to Corkagh Park in Co. Dublin for round 5 of the Wheelworx sponsored and Orwell Wheelers ran event. To spice up the action the races were run as Points races, with riders collecting points in a sprint every second lap. Claire lined up in the B group. The Points race format was run over 12 laps for the B riders, meaning six sprints in each race. The limit and semi-limit riders grabbed the first two sprints but a determined chase from the Scratch group saw it all come together shortly before halfway. The finish came down to a sprint with Claire finishing comfortably in the bunch. The A race was a much more tactical affair than the B race which had preceded it, and after an initial frantic chase to reel in the Limit group as quickly as possible, the bunch settled down to a steady pace. Between the sprints most of the bunch was content to catch their breath and wait. A few breakaways were attempted, though with lots of people happy to chase, they were all to no avail. In the bunch sprint Muirna managed to finish 5th. Muirna now lays 4th overall in the Division A league table. Round 6 which is the final round is in Sandyford on 14th May
(By Billy Cunnane)
On 25th April Tullamore cycling club hosted round 2 of the Midland League in Clara. Lakeside Wheelers were well represented in all categories. The race was over 3 laps of a lumpy 13km circuit on the outskirts of the village. First race off on the evening was the A/B category. The B's set off first with a 2.5 min advantage on the chasing A group.
The B group was caught as they were just starting there 2nd lap. Numerous breaks were attempted with the winning break of 6 riders going clear from the bunch on lap 3. These fought out the sprint on the uphill finish with our own John Murray taking 1st, Paul Crowley 4th and Peter Rimmer 5th. The main bunch contested the remaining points with Ken Berry winning the bunch sprint to take 7th and Billy Cunnane finishing 10th.
The second race off on the evening was the C/D category. The D group set off first with a 4.5 min advantage on the chasing C group. The C group worked very well together and caught the D's on lap 3. The finish came down to a bunch sprint with Wheelers Joe Carroll taking 2nd, Roy Carey 3rd, Paddy Whelan 4th and Aidan Daly 5th.
John Murray sprints to victory in Clara
Round 3 of the Wheelworx sponsored and Orwell wheelers organised Ladies Crit League took place in Corkaigh Park Dublin on April 23rd. Muirna Walsh lined up with the A group for the first time after being upgraded following some top place finishes in previous rounds.
The race came down to a bunch sprint with Muirna finishing strongly in 11th. Round 4 returned to Sandyford on 30th April. Muirna Walsh and Noreen Garahy broke clear of the main group early on and held onto a gap of only 15 seconds for the final five laps. It wasn't until the final lap that a chasing group of 4 got across to them, and when it came down to the sprint returning champion Sandra Fitzgerald won by a comfortable margin.
Behind her Muirna Walsh was rewarded for her efforts when she just held off Trish Buckley for 2nd place, with Noreen Garahy hanging in for 4th. Muirna now lays 2nd overall in the A League table. Report to follow on Round 5 which is taking place in Corkaigh Park on 7th May.
Muirna Walsh 2nd in A race in Sandyford
After the recent bad weather, the sun shone and the wind abated setting the scene for a smashing night of racing at Rd 2 of the Wheelworx sponsored and Orwell organised Ladies Crit League in Sandyford Industrial Estate with a record turn-out of 48 riders taking part. We were represented by Muirna Walsh, Carmel Buckley and Claire Malone with all the Wheelerettes acquitted themselves excellently on the night.
With the majority of riders in the 15 lap handicapped B Race making their racing debut, the race was neutralised for 3 laps with seasoned racers, Orla Hendron (Orwell) and Kate Rudd (Black Rose) mentoring the newcomers around the technical corners of the circuit.
When the racing got underway, a seven rider breakaway got away and worked well together and managed to mop up all the placings. This group included Muirna Walsh who attacked with 3 laps to go opening up a 40 second gap to take a solo win and secure her lead in the B Division with 46 points. Well done Muirna.
Muirna Walsh in action last week
Thursday 18th April saw the opening round of the Midland League 2013. Lakeside Wheelers were well represented in the A/B and C/D categories. First group off on the evening was the B group with a 1 min 45 sec lead on the A group. From the off the pace was high and the B group managed to stretch the gap on the first lap out to 2 minutes. The A group worked well together to pull back in the handicap. The groups were back together on the last lap with the finish ending in sprint. Paul Crowley took 3rd, John Murray 4th and Billy Cunnane 8th.
The next race off on the evening was the C/D race. The D group were the first to start with a 4.30 min advantage on the chasing C group. The C group worked well together and had the gap down to 1 minute on the 2nd lap. On the final lap a breakaway group managed to get across to the D group. Again it came down to a bunch sprint with Aidan Daly taking 4th and John Tully taking 5th.
(By David Boyne)
European Youth Olympics trials in Corkaigh Park on Easter Monday. We set off for Corkagh Park on Easter Monday, to arrive at a cycle track that was flooded with under 10, under 12, under 14 and under 16 riders who had traveled the length and breadth of the country. There were people who came from Cork, Antrim and Down.
Conor and I were competing in the under 16 category and there was somewhere in the region of 40 riders in our race, ranging from the well experienced to us. This was my first open race and Conor's second. I must say I gained a lot of experience from the race. Our race was scheduled to begin at 1.30pm and it was in a criterium format for 60 minutes plus 3 laps. From the get-go the strong riders were at the front and weaker at the back, with Conor and myself somewhere in the middle, after between 20 - 30 minutes myself and Conor got lapped meaning we had to pull out. The race was flat to the mat from the beginning with average speeds over 40k an hour, which separated the men from the boys.
When they rang the bell for the last 3 laps it was the same 11 riders in contention as they had lapped the rest of the fields and were the strong riders from the beginning. The race finished with a quicker pace than it began but I must say I enjoyed watching the 11 riders battle it out for the first 6 prizes. I also felt it was a good experience for myself and hopefully many more races to come.
David Boyne (crossing the line on the left of the road) in action in Corkagh Park
On a very busy Easter weekend on the racing scene Lakeside Wheelers were represented in many different races dotted across the country. With Damien Shaw winning the overall in the prestigious Ràs Mumhan riding for his Aqua Blue racing team. We also had some excellent results in the may other races that were taking place. Below is the reports all those said races.
Rás Laois 2013
Ossory CC from Rathdowney, Laois hosted their first ever open race on Easter Sunday last. It was a great success with 92 riders in the men's A4 cat race and 44 ladies in their separate race. We were represented by Matt Burke, Eoghan Kevlihan & Muirna Walsh. On a lumpy course, with a nice challenging 2 km climb thrown in the middle of the circuit, it proved to be a quite challenging course with the strong head wind on the last 8km and an uphill sprint finish in the middle of Rathdowney town.
Muirna performed very well in the ladies race and came home in the second chasing group. Both Matt and Eoghan were active at the front of the bunch all day long. A solo Lucan rider was caught with 1km to go after staying away for 20km and all the counter attacks started. Eoghan managed to follow the right wheels at the front of the bunch and got in a good position to take 4th place in a tight finish. Matt was unfortunate to get caught behind a crash 500m from the line. Well done to all and congratulations to Ossory CC on a great event.
Eoin Lynch travelled down to Co. Galway over the Easter weekend to compete in this challenging event. This was a three day race starting with a 95km stage on the Saturday out into the Connemara hills. Easter Sunday started with a time trial in the morning around the village of Oughterard and the afternoon another 95km stage out to the country. The final stage was on Easter Monday and was a 50km stage consisting of 5x10km laps in the Oughterard area. Eoin had a mechanical problem on the first stage which left him out of contention for the Rest of the weekends racing.
The 47th Gorey 3 Day
On Easter Saturday Wheelers racing team was in Blessington Co. Wicklow for the Start of the Gorey 3 Day. This Event caters for the A2/A3 category of riders. We were represented by Billy Cunnane, Ken Berry, Paul Crowley and Steve Franzoni.
Stage 1 was over a distance of 120km from Blessington Village to Gorey and a lap of a 24km circuit when we arrived there. From the off the speeds were high with numerous breakaways being attempted but the 200 strong bunch kept each one in toe. At the 30km mark Ken Berry was unfortunate to puncture and was delayed getting a wheel by support due to the narrow roads and the length of the cavalcade. Ken tried his best to get back on to the bunch over the remainder of the stage but the gap was too great for him to bridge. Billy Cunnane and Paul Crowley finished in the Bunch with Steve Franzoni finishing shortly afterwards.
Stage 2 was a 6.4km TT on the Enniscorthy road into Gorey. All lads posted strong times.
Stage 3 was over a distance of 96km. It consisted of 4 laps of a 24km tough circuit, which included the climb of Cranford Hill. On the 3rd lap Steve and Billy were unfortunate to come down in a bunch smash. Both were uninjured and Steve managed to get up and powered his way back onto the main bunch. Billy was less fortunate and had to repair his bike before setting off to chase the bunch down. Steve and Paul finished in the main bunch with Billy finishing with a group of 8.
Stage 4 was over a distance of 96km from Gorey to Blessington. The speeds were once again very high with a few breaks being attempted. It was at the 60km mark in the town of Baltinglass that a smash happened again in the bunch. Billy was once again unfortunate to get tangled up in it. Again he was lucky not to get injured. He chased very hard to get back on the bunch but the distance was too great for him to bridge and he finished some 5 minutes down on the main bunch. Paul and Steve stayed with the bunch until the Sprint. Steve won the bunch sprint and got 3rd overall on the stage. Well done Steve on a great performance. A big thank you has to go to our support crew of Brendan Kiernan, Damien O'Brien and Peter Rimmer who volunteered their services over the weekend and also to Ken Berry for the supply of his van to transfer all the bikes and gear and to Eddie Tyrell at Grange Motors for the supply of the team car.
Team Lakeside Wheelers Gorey 3-Day 2013
(By Shay O'Toole)
Damien Shaw has announced his arrival to the elite end of the Irish road racing scene in spectacular style by winning the prestigious Kerry Group Ras Mumhan over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
The Mullingar cyclist - a member of local club Lakeside Wheelers - and racing in the colours of Munster based Aquablue Racing Team went to this 4 Day International event with one thing on his mind, winning! This race rates very highly on the international cycle racing calendar as was evident by the field which was peppered with top class riders from home and abroad. Damien won the first stage, 115km around Killorglin, on Good Friday evening with an exceptional display of power by riding away from the peloton in the final 5km and thereby gave himself an advantage of 33 seconds over his nearest rival heading into stage 2.
Saturday morning saw the bunch depart scenic Kenmare on the Queens stage, for a torturous 152km ride around the Beara Penninsula and back to Kenmare and with the Yellow jersey on his back Damien was the target man for the rest to aim at. This stage included several categorised climbs but with the efforts of Friday in his legs the fireman from Mullingar was happy to sit in the bunch and recover. However, this proved to be a dangerous tactic as at the end of the stage his Yellow jersey and his number 1 slot on General Classification (GC) had slipped onto the shoulders of Dutch man, Harry Sweering of the West Frasia team based on the continent.
Easter Sunday, and whilst most of us were dreaming about chocolate (Damien included, as there is no better man to devour the dark stuff) the Ras Mumhan peloton was setting off on a gruelling 150km route around Waterville and Valentia Island in terrible weather conditions. Not deterred by the weather Gods, this holiest of days proved to be the day that Shaw would put his stamp on the annual South Kerry classic which has several of Ireland’s and Europe’s top riders past and present on its impressive roll of honour. The Lakeside man opened up the taps and hammered it up the climbs leaving the field in his wake to ponder his awesome strength. Despite a mechanical difficulty on one of the now treacherous descents which saw his chain jammed in the small ring and effectively restricting him to third gear for the remaining 35km of the stage, Damien put all mishaps out of his mind and rode like a man possessed to the finish where he claimed fifth spot, but more importantly, he regained the coveted Yellow Jersey and also a healthy gap of 28 seconds on top of the GC.
Bank Holiday Monday, and although in pole position, Damien was under no illusion that this famous race was over as he told me it always throws up surprises on the final stage. He was expecting a relentless series of attacks on his GC slot as the bunch tore off on a circuit around Killorglin and Killarney, finishing with 10 laps of a short, criterium type track on the streets of the Puck Fair town.....he wasn’t disappointed. From the outset his rivals were doing their best to wear him down with several efforts made to get up the road, but all appeared to be in Shaw’s favour as the bunch approached Killorglin for the grand finale. Then, as if by appointment, the race was blown wide open with Sweering getting off the front and at one stage he had a gap of 15 seconds on the Mullingar man leaving the Flying Dutchman in virtual Yellow on the road and the Tweeters frantically typing ”Where is Damien”? Cool as the proverbial cucumber, Shaw and his Aquablue teammates got the bit between their teeth and drove for home reeling the danger men back in and with speeds touching 60kph they crossed the line with a gap that was so slight it left the commissaries scratching their heads and with a lot of computing to do. Eventually the result was confirmed and after four days of tough tough racing, Damien Shaw was declared the overall winner of the 2013 Kerry Group Ras Mumhan by an amazing four seconds.
This last stage was not for the faint-hearted, but what a thrilling finish and a well deserved victory for the Mullingar racer who will surely now go on to bigger and better things over the summer. On arrival back to his home town, Damien was feted by several of his Lakeside Wheelers club mates who coincidentally enough had gathered in the same location as the winning connections of the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National winner, “Liberty Counsel”. When questioned last weekend the Legend himself, Sean Kelly hinted that Damien had yet to show his full potential and stated that we hadn’t yet seen the true extent of his horsepower. We have now, well done Damien, you are a proper thoroughbred!
Damien Shaw powerfully defends his yellow jersey in stage 4
(All pictures Pat Doherty / Sticky Bottle)
Lakeside Wheelers were represented at two venues over the weekend of 23rd and 24th March with riders in both the Lucan Grand Prix and the Des Hanlon memorial in Carlow.
Lucan Grand Prix
On Saturday 23rd March Eoghan Kevlihan was in Batterstown Co Meath to take part in the Lucan GP. Eoghan Lined up in the A4 bunch of 70 Riders for the start of the 55km race. From the drop of the flag numerous attacks were attempted with 2 riders eventually getting an advantage on the bunch. Eoghan made a break with 2 other riders to try and get across. All 3 riders worked well together but both breakaways were caught by the main bunch with just 3km to go. The finish came down to a bunch sprint with Eoghan finishing in the top of the bunch in 15th position. Well done Eoghan.
Des Hanlon Memorial
On Sunday 24th March Carlow Cycling Club hosted the Des Hanlon Memorial race. The first race off was the A1/A2 over a distance of 156km and we were represented by Peter Rimmer and John Murray. On a freezing day for bike racing a five man move went clear inside the first 8kms of the race, with 3 of them never to be seen again. As well as the AquaBlue duo of Lacey and Fenlon in that breakaway was another rider from the team, Olan Barrett. These were joined by Ryan O’Donovan (Cork County) and Frawley. That group rode well together on the first of three laps, though O’Donovan and Barrett paid for their early efforts when they got dropped on the second lap. Conor Murphy (Eurocycles) – the winner of the Cycleways Cup in Navan a few weeks ago, blasted across the gap to the leading trio to make it four up front. And despite the gap to the group behind containing Peter Rimmer, ranging from three minutes to just 50 seconds, the leaders hung on to the finish where Lacey was too strong for the others. Fellow wheeler Damien Shaw took 8th position racing with the Aqua Blue team.
The second race off was for A3's and we were represented by Billy Cunnane, Eoin Lynch and Ken Berry. We all lined up in a bunch of 130 riders for the start of the challenging 114km circuit. From the gun the attacks started with 3 riders getting clear. After 10km they had a 35 second lead. They were soon joined by 2 other riders and they all worked well together. The bunch stalled on one of the climbs after Castlecomer and soon the gap was 2 minutes. This group however was caught at the 70km mark by a group containing 4 junior riders from the Nicolas Roche Performance Team-Standard Life. This group stayed away to the finish. Eoin lynch finished in the chasing bunch just outside the points. Eoin acquitted himself very well throughout the race instigating numerous attacks and getting into breakaways.
The 3rd Race off on the Day was the A4 race which was over a distance of 80km and we were represented by Brian Collentine. There were numerous attacks during the race but nothing stuck. Constantin Bartels of Western Lakes won the bunch sprint, with Brian finishing in the bunch. Next week we will have race reports from the Gorey 3 Day and Ràs Connemara.
The Lakeside Wheelers team that took part in the 2013 Des Hanlon memorial in Carlow
On Saturday 23rd March Conor Canton and David Boyne travelled to Roscommon, to take part in a qualifying round to get on the Irish team, for the European Youth Olympics. It consisted of a 7km individual time trial from Roscommon town to Castlecoote village.
Both lads acquitted themselves very well and posted some strong times. The 2013 European Youth Olympics Festival will take place in Utrecht, Netherlands from 14th to 19th July 2013. There will be two disciplines, a time trial and road race with both taking place on a flat, non-technical 8 km circuit – both the boys and girls time trials consist of one lap and the road races 8 laps and 6 laps for boys and girls respectively.
Next qualifying round is in Corkagh Park Dublin on 1st April.