The 2nd race of our junior summer league took place yesterday on the N7. These races are proving to be tough tests especially when the wind is blowing a gale like it was yesterday. We changed the format slightly for race 2 – with the boys being separated into two groups. The first group tackled the 28km Birdhill and back route while the second group did the 16km route to Roundhill and back.
28km route: in the 1st race of the league nobody managed to break the hour barrier for the route. As it was the 1st race, most of the lads were being very conservative on the road; this most certainly wasn’t the case this time. 8 lads took part in this race with Conor Brennan, Jack Boland and Conor Hough all going in the first group. They were followed by Seán O’Neill, Jake O’Kelly, Aaron Duggan and Tadgh Kelly 2 minutes later. Chasing them all down was the experienced cyclist Dillon Neary who started 1:20 behind the middle group. Darren Dunne shadowed this race to make sure everyone was working well.
All 3 groups made slow progress towards Birdhill as the strong wind made it very tough. Before the turn in Birdhill the first two groups had come together, but Conor Brennan had broke away from the bunch and was battling out front by himself. Dillon still had a lot of work to do at the back to catch the rest. The 28km distance is quite long for some and you could see it having a tiring effect on some of the lads who were now out of contention.
On the way back to Nenagh the pace really picked up. There were no more friends now as each of the lads looked to drop the other and stake a claim for victory. With Dillon inching ever closer, the lads in the bunch had to get a move on. Seán O’Neill was the first to go on a break with about 6km to go to the finish. Jack Boland, Jake O’Kelly and Conor Brennan all tried hard to chase Seán down, but it was proving a tough task. Coming into the last 1km Dillon had come from behind to catch the group. The group had also closed in on Seán so it was all to play for in the final sprint. In the end, Dillon put in a very strong final surge to win by 6 seconds from Jack who pipped Seán on the line. 4th place went to Conor with Jake crossing the line shortly after in 5th.
The final flat times were very quick this week, with Dillon Neary setting a new course record of 55:20. Six of the boys went under the hour mark which is a great improvement on Race 1. Tadgh Kelly was competing in this race for the first time so he will do much better at the next one. Conor Hough improved on his time from race 1 by 7 minutes which is a great improvement. Well done lads. That was a superb effort on what was a tough day.
- Dillon Neary – 58:40 (flat time – 55:20)
- Jack Boland – 58:46 (flat time – 58:46)
- Seán O’Neill – 58:47 (flat time – 56:47)
- Conor Brennan – 58:52 (flat time – 58:52)
- Jake O’Kelly – 58:56 (flat time – 56:56)
- Aaron Duggan – 1:00:53 (flat time – 58:53)
- Conor Hough – 1:03:38 (flat time – 1:03:38)
- Tadgh Kelly – 1:04:37 (flat time – 1:02:37)
16km route: 5 lads took part in the short distance race out to Roundhill and back. With Anita guiding this group, they made great progress out the road into the wind. The racing wasn’t going to start until the way back home so each of the lads were getting ready to to some damage on the way home. The two strongest lads on the day were Calvin O’Brien and Luke Carroll. Both lads pushed the pace on the way back and managed to open a 45 second gap on the remaining lads. In the end nothing could separate them in the sprint finish and they both tied for 1st place. In the race for 3rd, Liam Heffernan managed to beat Christopher O’Meara who had to settle for 4th. Doing very well at his first race was Ahmed Taha who finished in 5th. Ahmed is new to this racing group so he can be very proud of his efforts.
- Calvin O’Brien – 46:55
- Luke Carroll – 46:55
- Liam Heffernan – 47:38
- Christopher O’Meara – 47:40
- Ahmed Taha – 48:18
Next Race: will take place at the end of May. There were a lot of regulars missing today so we want to see ye back out the next time. The more races you miss the further behind you are going to fall. We will be hoping to get some other clubs to come race us on this circuit in June so we need ye all to be on top of your game!!!
Remember there is a junior training session this Saturday, May 10th at 2:30 in the CBS.