There was a nice even number of 50 sign ons for this evening’s race. Once again Baby Jesus blessed us with good weather. If only he could bring the cowardly lion Keith Butler some courage. One look at the returning Simon Ryan in the scratch bunch and he had scampered, tail between his legs, back to the middle bunch. Keith wasn’t the only one opting for the safety of the middle bunch as plenty of quality riders joined this group, resulting in their handicap being cut down to just 2 mins on the scratch group.
With 50 signing on, that meant we had 3 big groups on the road. The first group had 5 mins on the middle bunch and once again they worked very well on the road. Some were dropped but many stayed together. This wasn’t true of the middle bunch. With so many potential scratch group lads opting for this bunch, they really drove on the pace and many of the usual middle groupers were unable to hold on.
The scratch group worked well together, with everyone doing their fair share at the front. In truth, they needed to as the middle group were motoring. On the way to Nenagh, the scratch group picked up the remnants of the middle group in ones and twos. At the roundabout, the 2 min gap had reduce to 40 seconds so there was still plenty of work to do.
The front two groups merged early on the way back and a good pace continued to be set. The gap was coming down very slowly, this wasn’t helped by the scratch group taking a long time to get rolling properly after the turn. There wasn’t time for any solo break aways as with every mile that passed it became less likely that the bunch ahead would be caught.
Coming into Birdhill, and there was still a decent gap; enough to stay away on the hill. With some in the scratch group holding back for one final effort on the hill finish, it was left to a few to sacrifice their own race chances and bury themselves at the front in order to catch the bunch ahead. This work was greatly appreciated!
Turning onto the ramp and the scratch group were just 30m behind. Looking up the road, it was clear that the finish line wasn’t anywhere near where it was supposed to be. It was much lower down the hill, so this gave less time to catch those ahead. Simon Ryan was now driving things hard at the front of the scratch group and the gap closed quickly. Once caught, Simon dragged a group of 4 straight past the front group. This 4 would contest the sprint finish.
It was a close finish but Simon showed great strength to hold off everyone (into a head wind) and win the race. Emmet Murphy and Senan O’Dwyer came over the line in 2nd and 3rd, with the rest of the bunch following soon after.
1. Simon Ryan
2. Emmet Murphy
3. Senan O’Dwyer
Thanks to our marshalls for this evening: Kenneth Kennedy, Cathal Murphy and Stephen Greene.
Next race: league race 10 takes place next Thursday. We are already over half way through this series. Keep pushing to make the next bunch by the end of the league.
Best of luck to all our Nenagh CC cyclists that are racing this weekend in Donegal and Cork.
Nenagh CC – Youth Race
For those of you who have sons or daughters that race, you might be interested in a youth race we have coming up here in Nenagh in two weeks time – June 21st. We have a full U/12, U/14 and U/16 program. You can find full details on our website >> click here. Please help us spread the word.