The race season is in full swing now and the season is absolutely flying by with 9 road races contested already! So far we have had a fantastic season with a mix of winners and it’s great to see so many members attending these tough races.
Thursday night was going to be in no way an easy race as it took in all the tough drags from Terryglass, Ballinderry and Coolbawn and to make matters tougher the riders had a strong headwind to contend with. After a nice warm up spin from Nenagh to Carrigahorig the 12 riders racing on the evening were split into three handicapped groups. In group 1 we had Eva Moynan, Peter Moynan, John Foote, Martin Quigley and Stuart Witts, in group 2 we had John O’Carroll, Kevin Byrne, Nanno Vuyk and Joey Donnelly and finally in group 3 there was Eoin Woods, Pat Bergin and Liam Callaghan. Each group were set off with a certain amount of time allocated between each start. From the off the first group were flying it, setting and incredible pace and working extremely well together. They had a game plan from the off which involved getting over the climbs without exerting too much energy and giving it socks on the down hills and flats to make up time which as it turned out proved very successful. Group two were four minutes behind the first group when they hit Balinderry and were putting down a savage pace also as they knew they would have to work hard to keep away from the fast group who were only three mins behind them. Just before Ballyscanlan, Eoin Woods unfortunately punctured leaving Liam and Pat to have to work very hard to make up ground into a very tough headwind. They dug deep and I’ve never seen anyone cycling up the drags out of Ballinderry and Coolbawn at the pace they did it at, I even felt tired watching them and I was only driving behind them!! 🙂 There were a couple of riders dropped from the first and second group when they hit the drag from Coolbawn as the pace being set was so tough. Meanwhile the riders remaining in group one were still out in front on the straight stretch of road nearing Puckane having a two minute advantage on group two. It was going to be tough to keep away with the groups behind closing in fast. It was a waiting game at the finish line guessing who would cross the line first. Pat and Liam caught up with the second group just outside of puckane and within a few minutes had the lead group in their sights, Eva, John Foote and Peter. Meanwhile John Foote had a look behind him and seen that they were being caught by the oncoming groups so, with a last ditch effort and a final burst of energy, the three riders upped the pace where eventually Eva and Peter went for the sprint. Liam and Pat had a savage race but, with the lack of a third engine to help reign in the rest, were not able to catch the lads from group one and Eva who incredibly after all the hills had some energy in reserve which allowed her to dig deep and just pip her dad, Peter, on the line to take her very well deserved first ever club win in her first season with the North Tipp Wheelers with John Foote taking the last step of the podium. Eva held her nerve throughout the race and it’s fantastic to see this young lady coming into winning form. A huge well done to everyone who raced on the evening it was great to see you all out.
As usual no race is ever a success without the team organising them. We would like to thank Jan for time keeping, Conor for being our back up driver behind the riders, John Caulfield who marshalled the junction in Ballinderry, Selina for the photographs which you can see here and also to young Joseph Donnelly and Owen Hynes who came out to support the lads and cheer them on the evening even though both are nursing injuries.