There was a great turn out for this week’s summer league race. Speeds were high as usual and the gruelling 1.5k finish up the ramp made it a real hard slog at the end. These sort of evenings will stand to you as the racing season progresses. When you finally start winning those points to gain promotion, you can be sure the racing skills you developed at summer league races like this will have played their part. Aim to race smart but finish in a body-bag.
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We had 4 groups on the road this evening with gaps at 0, 4, 8 and 10. The last few races, the scratch group had caught the groups ahead very early. Even though the handicaps were still the same, the groups didn’t merge until 3/4 way through the race. The groups ahead were obviously being well marshalled. Rolling through in the scratch group was fast but easy enough as there was a large bunch all working hard together. A strong tail wind to Nenagh meant the average speeds were very high all the way to the turn around point.
Turnaround – one groups exits as another enters the roundabout
Each group kept working hard until they all finally merged into a super group just after the flyover. This didn’t leave too much time for breakaways. The only real chance of staying away is if you can get away at the Yellowbridge; once you get to the downhill section at Kilmastulla it would take a very strong cyclist to get away so close to the finish at Birdhill. A number of cyclists tried their luck at the Yellowbridge with Matty. Mikey and Shane the first 3 to go. They were soon joined by Peter Leahy, Ronan Costelloe, PJ Collins and Con Doherty. These breaks were short-lived however as the headwind made it tough to stay away from a fast-moving bunch.
On the run in to Birdhill a 3 man breakaway got away. In that break was Peter Leahy, Vinny Gleeson, PJ Collins and James O’Connor. They had a decent lead going on to the ramp but the finish was still all the way at the top and that ramp has a habit of draining the life out of breakaways. This was true once again this evening as the bunch closed in.
Keith Butler and Kenneth Kennedy worked together to close the gap. With no Nenagh CC members in the break they were determined to reel the break back in. They were towing Shane and Mike back up into contention. About half way up the ramp Kenneth pulled aside and Shane closed the rest of the gap. He had Mike, Con and Ronan lurking behind him.
With 400m to go, Shane went for it. He passed the break away but couldn’t shake the other lads from his wheel. With 100m to go Con, Ronan and Mike all came around him and fought it out for the win. They finished in that order in what was a very exciting finish. It was good to see most people pushing hard right to the line. This is where races are won and lost so if you keep dropping out before the end you will never improve. Take your beatings and come back stronger the next week.
Thanks to our marshals Bertie, Benny, Aidan and Donnchadh for helping out. Next week the marshals will be Dan and Charlie Hogan plus Chris Spelman. If any of ye have a problem making it then let us know early so we can find replacements.
Up Next: Nenagh Summer League Race 8 – next Thursday, May 25th.
Future route change notice!! the evenings are much longer now so we will be changing the routes slightly and making them tougher and longer. This will help keep things fresh too by offering new challenges. We have a number of different routes in mind and will make sure to post them on our website before race day so that everyone knows what the story is.
Sample new routes are:
- same route except when we get back to the Birdhill roundabout, we go the full way around and back towards Nenagh. At the Yellowbridge pub we swing left for a hill-top finish at Coum.
- same route except when we get back to the Birdhill roundabout we go straight through and pass through Birdhill. We will then do a loop around Chapel Hill, before heading towards a flat sprint finish at Gooig.
Best of Luck: to current club members and ex club members and all friends of the summer league who are going to be lining up on the start line of the An Post Rás on Sunday.
Video of the Finish
missed Con’s victory by two seconds, just about see Ronan in 2nd!