The final race of the Junior Summer League took place yesterday on the N7. There was a fine turn out for what was the last race of the season. Everyone with a chance of getting themselves in the prizes at the end of the year was there so we were assured of a good battle. There were also a couple of new faces on the start line – it’s not easy to join in with us late in the season as our lads have been training hard all summer, so fair play to the new lads for showing up and giving it a go!
The race was split into 2 groups. Group 1 consisted of the older juniors and Group 2 consisted of the younger juniors. Both groups were tasked with racing the full length of the 28km circuit but Group 2 were given a 7 minute head start on Group 1. Could they stay away?
Group 2 consisted of Calvin O’Brien, Christopher O’Meara, Luke Carroll, James Ryan, Michael Reddan and Conor Malone. James and Conor haven’t got much racing done so they were at a disadvantage. With Connor Adams missing, Calvin and Christopher were left to battle it out for the overall league win. Calvin had a healthy 3 point lead on top of the table but Christopher has been in very good form of late.
Group 1 consisted of Conor Brennan, Seán O’Neill, Conor Hough, Jake O’Kelly, Jack Boland and Denis Allen who races with Limerick CC. This is a very strong group and it was very hard to pick a winner at the start. With Dillon Neary absent, Conor, Seán, and Jack all had a strong chance of winning the league title. Jake and Jack had missed much of the summer so if the other lads pushed on the pace then the two boys might find themselves in trouble. Denis was the unknown quantity, would he be out the back or out front?
There was a fierce head wind on the way to Birdhill and this made things very hard for both groups. Group 2 struggled a little and didn’t work too well together, with a number of the group going out the back for a while. By the turn around point they were all together, with Conor having turned a little early as this was his first race and it would be too much to ask him to do the whole thing. Group 2 had to chase Conor down but they also had to try and stay away from Group 1, who were working well together.
Group 1 got to the turn around point all together and now just 3 minutes behind Group 2. As they turned, they now went from a head wind to a strong tail wind. The racing would now begin in earnest. Denis was the first to try a break away. He is obviously well drilled from the Limerick club and his break looked promising. It took a big effort from Conor Hough to drag the bunch back to him. The pace was very fast at this stage and they were closing in on Group 2 quickly. The next break away attempt was made by Conor Hough but that too was chased down.
Coming past the Roundhill pub the two Groups came together. At this stage there were a number of lads getting very tired and they couldn’t hold onto the group. The lack of miles in the legs of the newcomers to our junior racing was beginning to show. It is not a lack of talent – cycling is just one of those sports where you need to put the time in on your bike. There is nowhere to hide in a race and if you haven’t the work done then you will be found out.
Both Groups were now together but as they passed the flyover after Mulrooneys Garage only Christopher from Group 2 remained in the bunch. This was a great performance by him as he was leading out the select group of riders that were left (it would probably have been smarter to let them tow you!). Conor Hough, Conor Brennan, Denis Allen, Christopher O’Meara and Seán O’Neill were the last 5 remaining in the group. There would be no more breakaway attempts and it was all going to come down to a sprint finish.
Rounding the final corner, it was Seán O’Neill that took the lead. He jumped early and looked to use his strong sprinting abilities to stay ahead. He had to beat Conor Brennan to take the league title and he managed this as he took the win ahead of Conor Hough in 2nd, Conor Brennan in 3rd, Denis Allen in 4th and Christopher O’Meara in 5th.
A half minute later the rest of the lads started to trickle over the line. With Christy winning the Group 2 race the pressure was now on Calvin O’Brien. Calvin experienced two mechanicals in the race and was trailing behind a little. It was Luke Carroll that finished in 2nd in Group 2 with Calvin holding on for 3rd, just ahead of Michael Reddan in 4th, James Ryan in 5th and Conor Malone in 6th. Great stuff everyone!
Group 1: it was very tight all the way to the end but it was Seán who pipped Conor for the title.
- Seán O’Neill
- Conor Brennan
- Conor Hough
Group 2: Christy’s fine late season form wasn’t quite good enough to catch Calvin who held on for the win
- Calvin O’Brien
- Christopher O’Meara
- Luke Carroll
Prizes: everyone that took part in the series will get a small prize. The big prizes go to the top 3. Prizes will be given out next week.
Download: All race results to date
|Name||Handicap Time||Actual Time||Points|
|Group 1||Points||No. of Races|
|Group 2||Points||No. of Races|