Ever since the Rás, crowds have been dwindling at our summer league race. When it was raining and dark outside we were getting 50+ cyclists at a league race. Today on a lovely evening for cycling we had less than half that. Very strange. There are still 3 months left in the racing season and plenty more races to target. Now is not the time to be easing back!!! Anyway, rant over – here’s how this evenings race went…..
We had two groups on the road with a small handicap of just 5 minutes between them. Plenty of decent riders sneaked into the 1st group so we had to cut the handicap down. This put a little pressure on some of our own club riders but they all lifted their performances on the night.
There was a tail wind on the way out to the turn around point. This led to some high speeds with an average 44.5km/hr being held by the scratch group. They managed to cut the gap by a little over 3 minutes at the turn. The first group were doing well and working hard. After the turn, each group hit a headwind and the amount rolling through started to decrease at bodies got tired.
Both groups merged on the hill after the Yellowbridge. This is always a bad spot for the group ahead to get caught as the immediate increase in pace on a hill is usually too much for many of the group to handle. Strong cycling by the likes of Matty Kennedy, Sean Yelverton, Con Kennedy and Denis Allen on the hill was lining the bunch out. Soon people started dropping wheels and the elastics snapped.
A number of jumps between the hill and Roundhill saw a strong group 0f 7 riders open a decent gap. The group behind got organised quickly and set about reeling them in. There was only a 10 second gap as both bunches descended down Kilmastulla. Coming into Birdhill and gap was still there.
In the front break, thoughts turned to victory. Matty Kennedy broke twice out of the bunch hoping to either go clear or force someone from another club to chase him down. Twice he was chased down but no other Nenagh CC rider went for glory. Instead they turned onto the final ramp altogether and the group stalled. Nobody wanted to lead it out.
It might not have been the quickest last km uphill sprint but in the end it didn’t have to be as Seán Yelverton, fresh from finishing the Rás, took an easy sprint finish at the end. In second place was Denis Allen from Nenagh CC. In third was David Bourke from Limerickk CC with Con Kennedy from Nenagh CC just behind. First woman home today was Cliodhna McGrath from Nenagh CC and first junior home was Daniel Yonhin. Daniel is flying it but keeps getting distanced on the quick descent because of his junior gears!
Thanks to our marshals for marshaling.
One last point for club members and marshaling – we are hoping that all club members will do one night each. Our preference is for people to race when they can, but if you can’t race and you are available to marshal then we would appreciate you volunteering (I am not talking about the usual few who have already done far more than their fair share of marshaling – ye are finished for the year). This evening we had our 3 rás lads marshaling, this negatively affects the quality of the league when all 3 are forced out of the race. We are trying to put on as high a quality league race as possible. This league is a reflection of our club! We have 7 more weeks of the league left so please try to stay focused on it. You won’t get better training anywhere else.