Cyclists come from far and wide for Drogheda races
A HUGE contingent of cyclists from every corner of Ireland is expected to converge on Donore next Sunday as Drogheda Wheelers Cycling club promote the annual Brendan Campbell Memorial Races.
This is the 18th staging of the races and once again they are being sponsored by Coca-Cola International Services, as they have been since the beginning.
They are being held in remembrance of the late Donore resident Brendan Campbell, father of race organiser Gerard Campbell.
Sign-on for all will be located at Schoil Naomh Mhuire, Donore, and getting proceedings under way will be the Senior A4 race, starting from Donore village at midday and completing eight laps of a local 6.4km course around Donore.
Following at two-minute intervals will be the Under-16s (six laps), Under-14s (three laps) and the Under-12 riders who will race over one lap of that 6.4km circuit.
Then, at 2pm, the Senior race for the Brendan Campbell Memorial will get under way and will race over 13 laps, a total race distance of 83km. Finally, at 2.05, the Ladies National League Race will depart from the start line and will complete seven laps.
A great battle is envisaged between the UCD squad, in particular Eoin Morton and the very much in-form Aqua Blue outfit. These particular teams have won most of the races between them so far this season.
This race is ideally suited to the 'sprinters' and perhaps the best hope of a local victor lies with one of the other rapid sprinters in the field - namely Stamullen M Donnelly rider Craig Sweetman (pictured right), who is seldom out of the prizes on any given Sunday.
Tucked away in the main peleton in the race and in serious contention for a Senior A3 category prize will be Ciaran Campbell from the promoting Drogheda Wheelers club who is a grandson of the late Brendan Campbell.
Another young man from Donore who has been making an impression of late is 17-year-
old Conor Kavanagh, who has just returned from competing in the 6-Day International Junior Tour of Ireland where he was a member of the Leinster Development Team. Kavanagh is quietly and successfully working his way up the ladder to achieve his goals.
On Monday night of last week Drogheda Wheelers held the fourth round of the Mark Mullen Memorial League and once again the race was very well attended.
At the end it was Stamullen M Donnelly rider Gary Gorman who came through from the scratch bunch and soloed to a clear victory, with George Devin from the promoting club finishing in second spot, John Lawlor from Drogheda Wheelers third, Colm Laverty and Seamus Howard (both Stamullen) fourth and fifth and Brian Martin (Drogheda Wheelers) in sixth place.
In the Underage category, Drogheda Wheelers' Aaron Treanor claimed the victory from Stamullen M Donnelly sisters Ellen and Grace Gorman.
Ahead of this week's penultimate round, Gary Gorman was sitting on top of the leaderboard with three points to spare over his teammate Colm Laverty, with Conor Kavanagh from Donore in third position.
The final round of this League will be held next Monday night, with the prize presentation in the Thatch Bar at 9pm.
Over the weekend Navan Road Club hosted the Tommy Brady Memorial Races over 80km at Robinstown, where Arek Klus from Stamullen M Donnelly was placed second in the A4 category.
Earlier in the afternoon, the various underage races were held and Luke Coll from Stamullen M Donnelly RC was second in the Under-14 category and his brother Shane was placed third in the Under-12 event.
Further afield, Javan Nulty from Cooperhill, Julianstown, will be competing as a member of the Irish team in the European Track Championships on Thursday and Friday of this week in Poland.
Also included is National Under 23 and Elite Road Race Champion Ryan Mullen who has big connections in Duleek.