Well it was a fantastic weekend out on the roads with Mother Nature being very kind to us with the weather 🙂 It was fantastic to see the first real signs of spring shining through which we hope will only be the start of a fantastic season ahead!
It was a busy week starting with St. Patrick’s Day where due to lack of interest our MTB day in Bikepark Ireland was changed at the last minute to a race training spin where we had 8 riders take on the upcoming Visit Nenagh Classic A4 route which doesn’t seem to be getting any easier… 😉 We also had two members, Dan Hogan and Tommy Hanrahan, who travelled to Carrick-on-Suir to compete in the always difficult Tommy Sheehan Memorial. Dan was just in the process of completing a block of races to build up some early season speed in his legs while Tommy on the other hand in the A3 race was well in contention on the day. It was a new route this year so he was getting some pre race advice from Martin and Michael O’Loughlin(who had polar opposite days in terms of luck as Michael would go on to win and Martin is facing a couple of months off the bike nursing some injuries) on the route profile. As usual, there was an extremely strong field and the race started off at a frantic pace with Tommy going with a few breaks that didn’t stick but missed the one that eventually got away. He tried twice to bridge across but was unsuccessful and found that after over an hour of racing the pace was nearly averaging 41kph! Tommy along with several other clubs started the chase with the break just over a minute up the road but a few clubs with riders in the break were successfully disrupting the chase attempts. With 10k to go the breakaway was being caught until they came across poor Martin O’Loughlin lying prone on the road and the commissaire stopped them for about 20seconds until they rolled past him in single file. This effectively ended the race so they ended up rolling home chatting. It is however another hard race in the legs with a long season ahead so he is looking forward to the next outing.
We had several members taking part in racing this weekend and we also had our postponed University spin taking place on Sunday morning. We had 24 members out for the University spin which is the first of our scheduled Leisure calender spins and with such a fantastic morning it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. All rolled out together to the Five Alley where the groups split and everyone worked well into a good breeze on the way out. We had a couple of new people out with us continuing their preparations for the Ring of Kerry being their big goal so fair play guys, ye all did great! We all enjoyed the mid-way stop in the UL Arena Café where some lovely coffee and scones were scoffed down, under blue skies, to provide the energy for the return leg. All in all it was a great morning spin taking advantage of the lovely morning.
We also had great representation in Loughrea at the Seven Springs GP with Liam Callaghan, Eoin Woods, Nanno Vuyk, Kevin Byrne, Charlie Hogan, Dan Hogan, Joe O’Connor and Eva Moynan in her first race. Dan in the A2 race was just using it as a tough training session, continuing to build up the speed in his legs. Liam, in the A3 race, tried to breakaway twice but ultimately due to the stiff breeze making life very difficult out of the bunch, he got reeled back into the bunch and got another good race under his belt. In the A4 category, Eoin’s race was similar to Liam’s with him making several attempts to initiate a breakaway but unfortunately could not get others to work with him in the break so he ended up using a lot of energy and was left wanting when the sprint kicked for the line but it was another strong showing from Eoin. Kevin’s race was a little more eventful but for the wrong reasons… He also tried to get into a couple of breaks but they proved fruitless. Then, with about 5 km to go the race commissaire’s car overtook the bunch in order to get ahead of the race for the finish but unfortunately, this reduced the space available on a narrow stretch of road and the resulting squeeze caused two riders in front of him to collide and fall, bringing down a few others including Kevin. Credit to Kevin, he picked himself up and rolled to the finish with one of the other fallers. Thankfully, there were no real injuries for anyone in the crash but the commissaire’s driving left little to be desired… Nanno was struggling to make his way to the front for the first two laps and it seemed every time he gained a few places others would come around the right hand lane and cut back in front. On the third lap he made his way up to the top 30 but half way through the lap got held up by a crash. He then made his way through and caught up with the lead group which still had about 30 to 40 riders with everyone trying to make their way forward but there was no way through until the last turn. When a gap opened up in front of Nanno, he still had some power reserves and made it up to a 17th place finish. Well done Nanno! Charlie and Joe also had strong performances and finished well up in the bunch.
Last but certainly not least, Eva Moynan in her first open race had an incredible outing! She was the first girl home in her race and finished 9th overall! What a super result in her first race!!
Eva, we’re sure you’ll be pictured holding your own medals in the near future!! Keep going!
The usual spins will continue next weekend so keep an eye out on the website and Facebook for updates during the week.
For any more information on club events or membership please contact our club chairperson Pat Bergin on 087 6744400.