Hard to believe that we have already had 12 races and are nearly 3/4s way through the race series already. This evening’s race attracted a crowd of around 30 to the start line. There were 3 groups on the road but a little bit of a mix-up with the handicaps meant that group 1 would never be seen again. The chase wasn’t helped by cows crossing the N7 either!
There was a strong tail wind at the start and this led to fast times from the groups on the way to Nenagh. Bunch 2 were caught by bunch 3 just before the turn around point. The first group was still way ahead. It was great to see them working so well together today. Even if the correct handicaps were used it would still have been very hard to catch this group.
The now combined group 2 + 3 bunch had to battle a stiff breeze on the way back to Birdhill. It was clear very early that people weren’t willing to work hard on the chase so the break aways started early. Shane and Matty were first to go and they were soon joined by Paul Kennedy and Aaron O’Brien; however the break soon fizzled out as they could see the road closed up ahead as cattle were crossing from Hanrahan’s farm.
A few minutes ticked by before the action kicked off again. First to break from the bunch was Kenneth Kennedy and David Guerin from Newcastle West. They were soon joined by Matty Kennedy and Paul Kennedy NWCC. It was tough for them battling into the wind so the progress was slow. Aaron O’Brien and Shane Scully were next to break.
Coming into the hill at the Yellowbridge, the bunch closed the gap but a group of four stayed out ahead. That group included the two powerhouses Aaron and Paul, Shane and Pat Ryan from Tipp Wheelers. A sizeable gap opened and it looked highly likely that they would stay away. Of course they were only battling for minor places today as the race had been wrapped up by Group 1 who were well out of sight.
Pat Ryan was caught out in the break behind and dropped back to the chase bunch. Shane was next to go as the two other lads worked him over nicely. That left Aaron and Paul with a nice gap coming into Birdhill. A fast moving chase group had formed behind consisting of a lot of Nenagh CC cyclists. They picked Shane up and drove on after the two boys ahead with big turns from Con and Dan.
On the ramp, the gap had come down. In the end, Shane managed to recover and was led out by Kenneth up the hill. He overtook the other lads before the line but was met by a bored looking group 1 who were all still hanging around wondering what the hell took us so long! From talking to them it seemed like they had a fast race. In the women’s race, Cliodhna McGrath continued to impress as she worked very hard throughout and got up the ramp ahead of Gillian Mounsey for the win. The top 3 men on the night were Daniel Yon Hin, John Gleeson and Charlie Hogan. It’s great to see two of the club’s top youth cyclists, Dan and John, battling it out for the win!
See ye all again at race 13 next Thursday.
Thanks to our 3 marshals – Will Rymer, Bertie Sherlock and Pat Reddan.
It’s a big weekend coming for the club – First of all, best of luck to all our club members that are heading to France on Saturday. Best of luck to Dan and Eamon at the vets National Champs and last but not least best of luck to everyone that is heading down to the Hell of the West in Kilkee. For all those that are left in Nenagh – come out training with us on Saturday and Sunday.