The sunshine brought a big crowd to our Thursday evening event. There were 40 on the start line divided into 3 groups. The first group was very large this week and they received a 4 minute head start on the last group. For many in this bunch it is just a case of trying to hold on for as long as possible; trying each week to get a little bit further down the road. The middle and final group were only separated by a 1 minute handicap as we like to see the groups coming together a little earlier on a Thursday evening so that we can turn it into an actual race from the Five Alley roundabout back.
It was at the Five Alley roundabout where all 3 groups came together. As the large group turned back towards Birdhill they were met by a light headwind. This would make it easier for breakaway attempts. The first break of the evening was made by Shane Scully who was soon joined by Anthony Gahan, Ian O’Halloran, and Simon Ryan. However, the bunch closed down this effort after a few mins. As the bunch closed the break down Dan Hogan broke off the front and opened a gap very quickly, he was followed by Daniel Bresnan from Tipperary Wheelers and some others but the break was chased down once again by the bunch.
As one break gets caught the next one should always go and it was no different here as Shane Scully broke again. Shane was out on his own for a while until his brother Gary broke up to him. The two lads were soon joined by Simon Ryan and Aaron O’Brien. The 3 Nenagh CC lads (who were all using this race as a final prep before the An Post Rás) and top Irish triathlete Aaron O’Brien made for a very strong breakaway group and the bunch would have its work cut out to close them down. There was still a long way to go so there didn’t seem to be much panic in the bunch at first.
As the miles past by the bunch didn’t get much closer so it would be down to the 4 lads to see who would win the ‘sprint’/slog up the Birdhill ramp. This week we put the finish line a little further up the ramp. Pacing this right is very tough as it is deceptively long and tough. In the end, Simon Ryan had enough power to take the win with Shane pipping Aaron for 2nd and Gary finished just behind in 4th. The bunch crossed the line a few seconds later with Limerick CC junior Seán Yelverton winning the sprint.
Final Results: Top 5
1. Simon Ryan
2. Shane Scully
3. Aaron O’Brien
4. Gary Scully
5. Seán Yelverton
Video of the sprint finish