Every weekend seems to be jam packed with training and racing these days. Between novice, junior and senior training sessions and A1, A2, A3, A4 races there are lots of things to aim for. With the days getting longer and the temperatures rising there is no better time to get back on your bike and start putting in the hard miles.
- Thursday – training spin – a few club members are going to be cycling the new Visit Nenagh A4 route. They will be leaving the hotel at 8:00am.
- Thursday – race – there is a race in Carrick-on-Suir.
- Saturday – training spin – usual club training session starting at 9:00am from the hotel.
- Sunday – 2 senior races – one race is in Loughrea (flat route). The other race is the Des Hanlon Classic in Carlow (hilly tough race). We don’t care which one you go to – just make sure you are at one of them!
- Sunday – junior race – the junior racing season starts here. Juniors should make sure you have your license ready and make sure your gearing is correct.
- Sunday – training spin – leaves Tescos at 8:00am
- Monday – final sessions of Bertie’s circuits
- Tuesday – turbo (3 sessions left before the Nenagh Summer League gets underway)
Saturday Spin: the club were out in force on Saturday for a long cycle that took us over to Kinnitty. We set off in two separate groups, with the Rás lads heading off an hour earlier as they were trying to fit in a little bit of extra climbing in the Slieve Blooms. There were 28 out in total and we all came together in Kinnitty. As the main bunch were going up the Wolftrapp the Rás group were coming down. This however led to a bit of a mix up for the return cycle home. There were 3 or 4 different groups on the road and to make things more difficult there was a strong head wind to deal with. There was no other option than put the head down and tough it out. Distance covered today were 110km for the main group and 146km for the Rás group. Not bad going at all!
Our juniors and novice cyclists were also out on the road today. The junior road racing season is starting soon so the team are getting in some valuable mileage before the first race in Loughrea. Keep up the good work everyone!
Rás Luimní: a team of 10 from the club turned up at this National Series race. Where was everybody else??!! The weather was perfect for racing; shorts and cycling jerseys were all that was needed. As this was the first National Series race of the year the standard of the A1/A2 race was very strong. Most of the top Irish riders were down for this race so our lads were understandably a little nervous at the start. Thankfully, those nerves were unwarranted as our team did themselves proud on the day.
A1/A2 Race: Gary, Shane, Mike, Kenneth and Dan were on the start line for this 125km race. There were 4 laps to do with one decent hill on each lap. The starting pace was very fast and it didn’t really let up for the entire race. An average speed of 42km / hour tells you how tough it was.
There was a large bunch for this race with what looked like over 100 signed on. Getting a result was always going to be tough. Even more so considering the tough cycles the lads did on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There were lots of miles in the legs already but if you want to improve you need to keep training hard through the races.
After 3 laps, Gary, Mike Shane and Kenneth were still in the bunch. As the race progressed the lads found themselves getting stronger. With 5km to go of the 3rd lap, Shane got himself in a breakaway of 7 or so. There were two mini breakaways up the road, both with 6 or 7 in them. They set off in pursuit of these breakaways and with a few km to go to the finish they had caught both breaks; however 3 cyclists remained out front after breaking from the front break. Kenneth and Mike were working hard in the bunch behind trying to disrupt any chases by the bunch.
Coming into the finish in town there were 15 in Shane’s group with 3 further ahead and uncatchable. The final sprint was up a small hill so Shane was able to perform reasonably well in the wind-up. They were battling for 4th position but in the end Shane had to settle for 11th. As this was a National Series event that finishing position was good enough for 2 points (top 12 score). A little while later, the 3 lads crossed the line in the main bunch. It was great to see Gary getting back into form. Tis about time says you!
A3 Race: we had a decent team in this one with Tommy Hanrahan, Denis Allen, Eoin Woolley and Matty Kennedy starting. Once again there was a large bunch to contend with and plenty of good juniors in that bunch. It proved tough to get away in breakaways in this one. With 10km to go Denis was brought down in a minor crash so that was his race gone. Tommy, Matty and Eoin all had to settle for bunch finishes.
A4 race: disappointingly, we only had 1 entrant in this race and that was Donnchadh Floyd. Donnchadh has made a very solid start to his racing season and continued that trend in this race with a top 20 finish in this 2 lap race. He found it relatively easy to hang on in the bunch. Once he gets a few more races under his belt he will no doubt be pushing for points.
It is great to see club members still keeping the Sunday cycle going. 9 cyclists + 1 dog turned up for the usual lake cycle. At this stage the 120km is getting a little bit too easy for the group. Thankfully this cycle was a good bit warmer than last Sunday’s Arctic conditions. Unsurprisingly, it made for a far more enjoyable cycle. A decent average pace of 29km / hr was recorded. Not bad at all!
More photos from Rás Luimní (photographer – Seán Rowe)