Seniors: The first race of our Nenagh Summer League attracted 30 cyclists for what proved to be a tough test for all and a real eye opener for some. The handicap times between bunches were kept small so as to ensure that this training session more closely mirrored a race scenario.
The field were divided into 3 groups of differing ability, but it wasn’t too long before the last group had swallowed up the others. By this stage the other bunches had disintegrated on the road with small groups everywhere; this made it easy to pick them all off one by one. By Mulrooney’s garage everyone was back together and the real racing began.
The first dig was put in by Simon Ryan who stayed away for a mile or so before Mike Storan brought the bunch back to his wheel just after the roundabout. The attacks came pretty quickly after this with no group staying away for too long. Shane Scully got away for some time on the rise up past the Yellowbridge pub. However, the breakaway attempt came to nothing in the end and he was swallowed by the bunch as the speeds increased with the finish line not too far away.
The finish line for this race is a little different than normal as we now go through the roundabout and finish on the hill. This makes things a little bit more challenging but exciting too. It was hard to know what tactic would work best here. We soon found out as Aaron O’Brien went for it early, taking the roundabout turn with a bit of a gap. As he moved onto the hill Simon Ryan went in chase followed by Gary Scully. Did Aaron go to early? NO! He timed it very well and took a deserved victory. Simon Ryan finished close behind, then it was Gary Scully followed by his brother Shane and Kenneth Kennedy. Points are scored by the top 5 so that puts Aaron on top of the early season table.
1. Aaron O’Brien
2. Simon Ryan
3. Gary Scully
4. Shane Scully
5. Kenneth Kennedy
Tough day at the office! Don’t be disillusioned if you found the race very tough. Don’t let that frighten you off. Consistency is the key. If you commit to this session each week then you will see the benefits by the end of the season. You might be only clinging on at the moment but soon it will get more comfortable. I am not saying it will ever get easy (as it’s brutal tough even for the top lads), you will just go faster and be able to hang it with the bunches a little longer.
Thanks to everyone that turned up. We hope you enjoyed it. It would be great if you could help spread the word about this event. See you all again next week!
Juniors: Now we know who the top dogs are in the club! 12 juniors turned up for our first ever junior race on the N7. This was the first chance our juniors had to show off and gain bragging rights over the others. The race was a long one at 28km so plenty of pre-race warnings were given out about pacing it right. It was still a race though so if you aren’t feeling tired then you are not going fast enough!!
The juniors were divided into 3 groups with 6 minutes separating the first from the last group. The group that worked the best would have the best chance of winning. Out on the road the early starters were moving along nicely but some lads were starting to feel the pinch and they were tailed off. The last group was well organised and started picking off the others one by one. a quarter way through the race it looked like the last bunch would catch everyone, but there were two boys, Conor Brennan and Jack Boland still well out in front and they were moving quickly.
The group containing Aaran, Ronan, Seán, Shane and James were really pushing the pace on in their efforts to catch the front two. However, as the miles started to tick down it looked increasingly like Conor and Jack would stay away. The two boys out front were still together as they turned the last corner and came within sight of the finish line. There was a fierce battle for the win with the two boys all over the road! In the end Conor had enough left in the tank to take the win in a handicapped time of 1:05:09 with a now cramping Jack finishing in 1:05:11.
Two minutes later a bunch of five battled hard to the line. They had reduced the time deficit to the winners from the start but not by enough on this occasion. Aaron finished in 3rd in a time of 1:07:00, he was followed over the line by Shane who pipped James on the line in a tight finish; both lads recorded a time of 1:07:10. Next was Seán 1:07:11, Ronan 1:07:27, and Luke in 1:07:59. Conor did very well on his hybrid bike finishing in 1:10:50. The difference in speed between a hybrid bike and a racing bike is huge so Conor did exceptionally well on the day. Connor Adams did very well finishing in a time of 1:15:04, Connor is relatively new to the bunch so this was a good effort for the amount of cycling he has done. Our two knock victims, Chrisopher and Calvin, were next to finish. Once the hunger knock gets you in its grip you are going to be going nowhere. I have never seen two boys eat Jaffa Cakes as fast!
When flat times were examined we could see that Aaron Duggan recorded the fastest time of the day finishing just over the hour in 1:01:00. Shane, finished 2nd in 1:01:10 and Seán finished 3rd in 1:01:11. Can anyone break the hour mark the next day???
Conor Brennan is the current king of the juniors! Conor was presented with his new robe and crown after the race. His new underlings watched on with jealousy in their eyes. It will be up to the others to knock him off his perch the next day. Handicap times will be adjusted to make things a little fairer the next day. Now you have one month to plot your revenge!!
We hope to see a few more faces at the next race. The more races you miss the more you will get left behind. We wish our two injured soldiers Liam Hayes and Tom O’Meara a speedy recovery. They will be M.I.A for a few weeks but hopefully they can make it back for the next race.
Conor Brennan: 1:05:09 (flat time 1:02:09)
Jack Boland: 1:05:11 (flat time 1:05:11)
Aaron Duggan: 1:07:00 (flat time 1:01:00)
Shane Flynn: 1:07:10 (flat time 1:01:10)
James Maloney: 1:07:10 (flat time 1:04:10)
Seán O’Neill: 1:07:11 (flat time 1:01:11)
Ronan Ducie: 1:07:27 (flat time 1:01:27)
Luke Carroll: 1:07:59 (flat time 1:07:59)
Conor Hough: 1:10:50 (flat time 1:10:50)
Connor Adams: 1:15:04 (flat time 1:15:04)
Christopher O’Meara: 1:25:09 (flat time 1:22:09)
Calvin O’Brien: 1:25:09 (flat time 1:22:09)