Club Training: There will ne no training this Monday or Tuesday. We will be back on Wednesday.
North Tipp Sprint: have you signed up for our club race yet??? Entry is open. Spread the word. Visit our event page for details
Nenagh CC Juniors: training after school on Thursday at 4:30.
- ****** first race of the season takes place in Loughrea on Sunday ****** Make it your business to be there!!
Blarney: First round of the women’s national league.
(Hopefully one of the girls can send on a full report!)
It has been a long time coming, but after months of tough preparation the first big women’s race finally arrived on Sunday. Our women’s team are relatively new to the cycling racing circuit so it was always going to be hard to know how they would fare in this race. They were all showing good form in training but sometimes that does not translate into racing performance. There was no need to worry as our girls did the club proud once again!
Sinnead Oakes, Rachel Clancy, Majella Moyles and Sinead Kennedy all made the trip down for this tough hilly race. The pace for the race was fast but Sinnead, Rachel and Sinead all managed to stay with the top group as splits opened throughout the pack. Majella was unfortunate to exit the race with a mechanical issue but was doing well until then. This was a great start to the national league for the girls. They will be hoping to continue this good form next week in Carlow.
Rás Mhaigh Eo
A team of 5 went up to Westport for the first stage race of the year. This competition was limited to A2/A3 and junior riders only and with 135 on the start line it was always going to be a hard race. Kevin Sherlock and Matty Kennedy were both taking part in their first ever stage race. This was also Eoin Wooley’s first go at a combined A2/A3 race so the team were very much entering into the unknown. Shane and Kenneth had been showing good form to date so were hopefully of bagging a stage win. However, on this occasion that was not meant to be.
Stage 1: was a 90km stage with an average pace of 41kph. The large bunch and small roads meant it was very hard to maneuver. There wasn’t much action from our lads for the first half of this race as they sat in and saved energy. As they turned for home Shane and Kenneth both made their way to the front of the pack. Shane managed to get away but with no support the break was short lived. The bunch seemed quite content just to chase everything down so it all came down to an inevitable bunch sprint finish. Kenneth, Shane and Eoin came home safely at the back of the main bunch. No time lost but no time gained either.
Stage 2: TT: This time trial was all about damage limitation for the lads with only Shane bringing a TT bike (which hadn’t been used since puncturing out of the Ironman last year). There was a strong tail wind so the times were fast. That didn’t stop us from losing quite a bit of time on the leaders. Shane was fastest but there was a mix up with the timing so the final time is wrong for him. He still lost 1:17 on the winning time so it was nothing short of a disaster. At least the others had an excuse for slower times! All was not lost though as there was still the final and toughest stage to do.
Stage 3: was a 90km, hilly-ish stage with a final speed of 39kph. Some of the lads were starting to feel a little tired in the legs so the motivation and enthusiasm wasn’t fully there for the last stage. This was always going to be a tough one and positioning would be very important as wheels were going to be dropped all over the place due to the tiredness in the bunch. This was exactly the case and a few of our lads got caught out.
Kenneth, Shane and Matty were still there after the half way mark. Kenneth got into a very promising early break with 3 of the top GC riders, but once again everything was being chased down and they were eventually reeled in. Shane was biding his time until they hit the road home and the few remaining hills. With 20 miles to go he made his way up from the back and went on the attack. His first break lasted about a mile. The next one was a little bit more successful as there was a group of 4 on the road. That too got reeled in.
The 3rd break was the one that he got away in. Shane set off in pursuit of a lone escapee from Castlebar CC and caught him after a few miles. They proceeded to work together for the next few miles until they came across a sheep in the middle of the road. Shane lost 10 metres to his break away partner getting past the sheep and that was it; he couldn’t bridge the gap back. After a few more mile the bunch caught up to Shane and he had to be content with another bunch finish. To rub salt in the wounds his breakaway partner managed to stay away for the remaining 5 miles and win the stage. It was great to see Matty Kennedy finishing well up in the bunch. He was unlucky on Day 1 and more than made up for it on Day 2 with some strong riding and a late break away attempt thrown in too! Kenneth finished comfortably in the main pack too and will be reasonably happy with his weekend’s work (I am sure he would have liked to get in a winning break – he is never happy).
So the lads come home with no points and no prizes. It wasn’t all in vain though as they got a great work out and gained some valuable racing experience. Stage racing is at another level so if you haven’t tried it yet then make sure to target one in the near future.
Next up: no rest for the wicked – all eyes turn to Carrick on Suir for the traditional St. Patrick’s Day race on Tuesday. Try and make it if you can. Next weekend, there is a choice of heading to Carlow or Loughrea. We should have club members at both.