Summer League Stage 2

Post date: Apr 30, 2015 9:45:11 PM

(By Mark Monaghan)

Hail, rain, wind and cold, means it’s the start of summer in Ireland and also the continuation of the “Summer League”. Stage two of the league took place on Tuesday last April 27th in Castletown Geoghan using the usual route but with a new start and finish point to try and change things up a little. This year’s race structure was similar to last years with two separate races split up into different groups handicapped accordingly. Forty four riders signed on for the night, including a lot of newcomers and some of our successful underage team also taking to the circuit for the first time.

“A” Race

First up was the “A” race split up into three groups with 11 riders per group. The racing was fast and aggressive from the offset with the first group splitting up early when an attack came on the first time up the more testing climb due to the strong headwind. Two brave souls, Jack Nugent and John Donoghue spent the next two laps out front being hunted down by the increasing bunch as the groups began to merge. With conditions deteriorating and speed being ramped up the by A1 riders the bunch began to splinter on the last lap with riders spread out all across the lap. A group of riders managed to get away and contest the final sprint on the new uphill finish. Well done to junior rider David Boyne on taking his first victory from his more senior counterparts, with Matt Burke taking 2nd and Peter Rimmer rounding out podium in third. After the dust had settled or should that be rain had puddles had dried up, I spoke with race winner David Boyne and asked him how the race went for him.

“The first of the club league was wet to say the least, but I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. This year we ventured to new territory with the start in Castletown and the finish 1km from Dysart. For the second year running there is an A and B race which cater for all abilities, within the A race there was three categories with a 3 minute handicap between each group and I presume it was the same for the B race. I set off with the "A1 group" which comprised of 1 A1, but I think we all felt we couldn’t leave Stuart (The Rás) Cox on his own. Our group started with 10 or so riders and the pace was flat out from the start to the end, each lap was fast with varying weather conditions, on lap 2 we got hailstones in Dysart which hurt quite badly when your gloves are in your back pocket but anyway we got through them. Then on lap 3 our seasoned A1 racer made the rookie mistake of sprinting for the line on lap 3... I must say it was funny to watch him go but if it makes him feel like he won everyone's happy! Then the final lap came and the pace stayed up to the line but everyone was on guard, and with a 100 metres to go I made my move and sailed across the line arms outstretched… Not, I was just happy to keep the bike upright on such an awful evening. But nonetheless it was great to see such big crowds of people out for the racing and marshalling, I would like to especially thank the marshals for maintaining their posts through the adverse weather conditions to allow us race safely at the season opener to our club racing. I'm not sure about everyone else but I'm looking forward to the next one already.”

“B” Race

Next up was the B race which consisted of newcomers to racing and underage riders who had face into two and a quarter laps. All riders acquitted themselves well over the course of the race especially our underage riders who led from the front with some very aggressive racing and which help to split the race up second time over the climb with Aaron Wade to the fore with Michael Conway and Peter Vambeck for company and Sean Kennedy closely following. These four stayed away till the end where Aaron wade showed is track sprinting skills to power to victory with Michael and Peter rounding out the podium. Well done Aaron you’re a marked man now! I also spoke to Aaron on Wednesday after the race before he attended a track meet at the Sundrive track in Dublin, oh the joys of being youthful!

“The race was really fun and enjoyable despite the weather and I was glad that the youths were allowed to race against other members of the club. I can’t wait to race again, hopefully in the dry weather.”

While the races were in full flow we had three of our underage girls out on the route on reconnaissance mission for later stages of the club league. Well done girls and watch out lads they are gunning for ye big time. Well done to underage coach supreme Philip Wade for organising all of the underage activity. The future looks very bright indeed.

Well done to all who raced in such awful conditions but a special mention must go to the team of marshals that manned the corners and helped to make the race a huge success. Without the help of marshals these races would be non existent. Next race takes place on Thursday May 14th.

Aaron Wade takes a fantastic win in the B race