FHot on the heels of Friday evening’s National Time Trial Championships in Mullingar, Lakeside Wheelers were back on duty on Saturday morning with the opening of the 2012 Mullingar Two-Day. A busy schedule over two days ensured large numbers of visitors to Mullingar, as over 220 riders arrived for the weekend for a full programme of four separate races, each with three stages, 12 races in all.
In stage one of Category 1-2 race, Ryan Sherlock of the Cycleways team took the win in an exciting sprint finish, outfoxing the DID Dunboyne duo of Fiacra O'Muire and Tim O’Regan, completing the tough 139km route in 3h 28m 21s and setting himself up well to defend his 2011 title. Robin Kelly Waterford Racing Club was fourth over a minute and a half later along with another DID rider Aidan Crowley, just ahead of Stamullen’s Craig Sweetman in sixth. The top finishers had opened up an early breakaway and over the course of the four laps extended this lead to over eight minutes by the finish.
Phoenix CC’s Marcel Kock,with 36 seconds to spare, took stage 1 of the Category 3 race. He held off the chasers up the tough final climb to the finish, with Eric Downey of Orwell Wheelers in second place. Keith Johnson of Lakeland CC led the pack in 9 seconds later to take third.
Earlier in the day the Category 4 race, over two laps of the same north Westmeath course saw a field of 84 riders take to the field in wet and windy conditions. Despite several attempts at breakaways, the race stayed together and finished in an exciting bunch sprint, which was won by Colm Burke of Bohermeen who managed to steal 3 seconds from the bunch and take the leaders jersey. In second place was Neil Butler of Marbel City with Lakeside Wheelers man Colin Lynch in third, Patrick Smith, Dublin University in fourth, Roger Farrell of Dunamon in fifth and Lakeside Wheeler Richard Lenihan in sixth. Well done to the Lakeside Wheelers team who worked well to get 2 riders into the top 6.
In the separate ladies stage race, over the same course as the A4 race, two of the Ireland development squad finished stage 1 in the top 3, Amy Brice winning and Anne Dalton third, with Melanie Spath coming between them in second.
Also credited with the same time in fourth and fifth respectively were Emma Walsh from Dungarven and Roisin Kenneddy of ESB. Bohermeen rider Geraldine Gill took sixth spot some 19 seconds back with the main bunch over four minutes behind her.
On Saturday evening, the Category 4 and ladies' time trials took place on a tough 3.2 km uphill course that tested the mettle of the riders. The only saving grace was a strong headwind but this was more than cancelled out by the steady uphill gradient from start to finish.
The Category 4 TT was won by Dublin Wheelers rider Cathal O'Gorman in a time of 5':18.73" with Ben Delaney of Wexford Wheelers second some 3 seconds down, followed in third by Neil Butler of Marble in 3rd place at 7 seconds behind the stage winner. Best Lakeside Wheelers times were Brian Collentine in 5' 37.74" and Colin Lynch with an almost identical time of 5' 37.89". O'Gorman's time was enough to earn him the yellow jersey going into stage 3 on Sunday morning. The ladies' TT was won in fine style by Melanie Spath of Cycleways CC in an impressive time of 5':21.90", followed by Anne Dalton of the Irish Development Team at 31 sec. & Roisin Kenneddy a further 4 secs. back in 3rd.
The Category 4 and Ladies races resumed at noon on Sunday with the final road stage. Due to circumstances beyond the control of the race organisers, the planned route had to be shortened. This didn't detract from the racing however and both races made the most of the drier conditions. The Category 4 race finished in a bunch sprint, with Roger Farrell of Dunamon Dynamos stealing a march on the bunch to take the stage with 3 seconds to spare from Colm Burke of Bohermeen and Patrick Smyth of Dublin University. In another fine performance Lakeside Wheelers man Richie Lenihan was fourth. Cathal O'Gorman finished 8th on the stage at the same time as the bunch which was enough to crown him overall winner of the Category 4 race. Ben Delaney of Wexford Wheelers was 2nd overall with Neil Butler of Marble City third. Highest place Lakeside Wheeler was Colin Lynch, just 19 seconds off the overall winning time in 11th place - well done Colin.
Category 1-2 and Category Time Trials & Final Stagess
Earlier on Sunday morning it was the turn of the Category 1-2 and Category 3 riders to take on the challenge of the short but hilly TT route. Ryan Sherlock followed his stage 1 victory with a powerful performance to take the win in stage 2 in a time of 4':34.96", giving himself a 24 second lead to take into the afternoon's final stage. David Walsh - Slaney CC was second in the TT, 22 seconds back with Fiacra O'Muire in third a further second back. The Category 3 TT was won by Paul Keogh of Bottecchia RC in a time of 5':00.9". Andrew Stanley of Dublin University was 2nd some 5 seconds back with Eric Downey third at 10 seconds. Race leader Marcel Kock finished the TT in 6th place, losing just 4 seconds to his main rival, leaving him with a 32 second lead for the final stage.
The final stage of the Category 1-2 and Category 3 races took to the roads shortly after 2pm without the restriction of the shorter lap. Unfortunately the weather closed in giving a wet afternoon of racing. The yellow jerseys were attacked relentlessly in both races and were stoutly defended by both men with little or no support.
stage three 21 seconds behind the stage winner Robin Kelly and retained his yellow jersey and claim overal victory with a margin of 17 seconds to spare over Tim O'Regan in second overall and Tim's DID Dunboyne clubmate Fiacra O'Muire in third at 24 seconds. Peter Rimmer finished top Lakeside Wheeler in 21st place.
The final stage of the Category 3 race was won in a bunch sprint by Barry Dunne of Orwell Wheelers followed in 2nd by Gael Hoareu - VC Eckwersheim with Stephen Murray of Dungarven CC in third. Race leader Kock finished 16 seconds off the pace in 44th position but had still 14 seconds to spare to hold on to his yellow jersey and claim overall victory. Paul Keogh of Phoenix CC was 2nd overall with Eric Downey just 2 seconds further back in 3rd overall. Robbie Kenny was best placed Lakeside Wheelers rider overall in 15th position, a very creditable performamnce, especially as he rode the last several kilometres of the final stage witha front-wheel puncture! Also picking up a prize was Lakeside Wheelers junior Eoin Lynch who finished just 58 seconds down on the overall winner.
Full result sheets for each stage and overall are attached for viewing/downloading below...
Some of the Lakeside Wheelers Category 1,2 & 3 riders before Stage 1 on Saturday.