The 37 cyclists on the start line for this evening’s latest Summer League were shivering waiting for the whistle to blow. It certainly wasn’t the best weather for cycling with a bitterly cold north westerly wind blowing. Fair play to all those that turned up, we hope you got something other than hypothermia out of that cycle!
As numbers were down a little this week we decided to go with just 3 groups. The handicaps were 6 mins and 3 mins. The first group on the road was a little bit unbalanced with too big a variance in ability resulting in a good few cyclists getting dumped out the back early as the stronger riders in the group used the tail wind to push the pace high. We will make sure there are 4 groups next week again.
The two groups behind worked well but it was clear that the scratch bunch were closing the 3 minute gap quickly. At the turnaround point there was very little between the scratch group and the 2nd group, but the first group still had a big lead up front. They were clearly going well and had a chance of staying away.
The two back groups merged before the flyover and the rolling over came to a halt. The speed slowed right down and a breakaway formed with Daniel Bresnan, Kenneth Kennedy, David Burke, a Raparee lad and another Limerick lad in it. They opened a 10 second gap coming up to the rise at the Yellowbridge. Eoin O’Donoghue, Keith Butler and Derek Bowen made an effort to get across to the break with only Eoin managing to get into the break.
The pace up the hill was slow as nobody was willing to push themselves. Close to the top, Shane Scully bridged to the break and they all pushed on. The break wasn’t quite powerful enough and couldn’t push too far ahead. Paul Kennedy Was next up to the break and upped the pace immediately by putting in some big turns at the front. As the group got closer to Birdhill the break stalled and the bunch behind closed the gap.
The first group was still out ahead as we came into Birdhill but with the finish at the top of the ramp it was gonna be tough for them to stay away. The group behind was focusing on each other and ignoring the group ahead. Mike Browne was first to go and he led the group onto the ramp. He was reeled in by Paul Kennedy. Next to try his luck was Matty Kennedy but once again Paul was able to close. By this stage the front group had been caught and passed.
As the finish line came into view it was Tommy Hanrahan that put in a big surge. Shane jumped on his wheel and the two lads were left to fight it out for the win. In the end, Shane was just about able to come around Tommy. The final place on the podium went to a Limerick CC rider in 3rd. The first woman home tonight was Cliodhna McGrath and the first junior was Daniel Yon Hin.
The average pace this evening was 41km/hr; that is well down on the highs of last year so it is something we will need to improve upon as the season progresses. The nasty weather this evening certainly didn’t help. It’s not all about average pace though as that doesn’t tell the whole story. The summer league provides a good opportunity to practice rolling, breaking, sprinting etc. so as long as you focus on those things you will be improving.
Thanks to our marshals this evening: Con Kennedy, Gillian Mounsey, Clifford Guest and Geraldine Kyne.
Next up: race 5 is on next Thursday at 7:00pm. It would be great to have some of the top cyclists from last year back to increase the quality of the race! As for Nenagh CC – next up is the Ballinrobe 3 Day. Best of luck at that!