The Nenagh Summer League kicked off this evening. It turned out to be a fine evening for racing. The early showers disappeared to leave a sunny day for racing. Cyclists turned up in big numbers for the opening race with 52 cyclists on the start line. This meant that we had 4 bunches on the road with handicaps of 0, 7, 3, and 3. No bunch managed to stay away so the handicaps worked pretty well on the first night. We will probably reduce them a little for next week though as we want to make a proper race of it a little earlier.
The first group on the road consisted of many of our club junior riders. This was a great chance for them to experience a fast pace bunch ride. It is the closest thing you will get to real racing. The opening night can be a shock to the system but don’t let that put you off. The next two bunches consisted of our wily vets, women cyclists and A4 level cyclists. These two bunches worked very well together and stayed away for a long time.
The final bunch consisted of mainly A3, A2 and A1 riders and the speed in this group was fast. The 12 lads in the back group set off at a hard pace but the group didn’t quite work as well as in the past with plenty of tired legs on show after some big recent races. At the turnaround point there was still a sizable gap to the groups ahead.
As the scratch group hit the Yellowbridge on the return leg, the 3rd group were is sight. Simon Ryan and Aaron O’Brien used this opportunity to chance a break up to the group ahead. This was a good move but the lads behind reacted quickly and closed the gap to the bunch ahead before and real damage was done.
Strong turns from Dan Hogan and Paul Kennedy helped keep the speeds up. Simon, Aaron and Seán Yelverton also put in some strong efforts to bring back the one remaining bunch up ahead. with 1.5km to go to Birdhill the bunch ahead were caught and now all thoughts turned to the tough uphill finish on the ramp.
Aaron, Seán and Simon worked well for Mego with Kenneth and Matty Kennedy battling hard for Nenagh CC. As is usually the case when in this situation, there was no stopping Simon Ryan who came first. 2nd was Aaron and 3rd was Kenneth. In the women’s race it was Sinead Kennedy that came home in 1st place.
Thanks to everyone for coming. The average pace for this evening was 42km/hr. Hopefully over the next few weeks we can work on boosting that in addition to making the event more of an actual race i.e. groups come together a little earlier. Thanks also to our marshals today – Majella Moyles, Gary Scully and Mark Dempsey.
- Simon Ryan
- Aaron O’Brien
- Kenneth Kennedy
Womens – 1st – Sinéad Kennedy
Juniors – 1st – Jack Boland
Video of Finish