Plenty of events to keep you pedalling
NEXT weekend will see Drogheda Wheelers Cycling Club take on the arduous task of promoting three major cycle race events at Cooperhill, Donore and Shallon.
The Ras NaNog 2-day, 3-stage race for the younger brigade will commence on Saturday at 11am with a short circuit race at Shallon. In the afternoon, stage 2 will get under way at 3pm and this time it will be a race over the 6.4km Donore circuit.
The final stage of Ras Na Nog will be held on Sunday at 10.30am and riders will race over the 8km Kilsharvan circuit. This event, as the name suggests, will cater for age groups from Under 12 to Under 16 and results will be compiled on a points system.
Later on Saturday at 5pm the Peter Bidwell Memorial will come under starter's orders at Newtown/Plattin. This will be a handicap race for all senior categories and riders will complete eight laps of the 6.4km Donore circuit.
Last year's winner Colin Robinson from Stamullen M Donnelly Road Club has already declared his intentions to compete and try and reclaim the coveted Peter Bidwell Memorial Cup. The late Peter was the former chairman of Drogheda Wheelers who passed away at a relatively young age.
The final event of the weekend will be the Coombes Connor Memorial races for all senior riders. Here the first race to depart the start line at Kilsharvan at 1pm will be the A1-A2 riders who will complete nine laps of Kilsharvan (on the Julianstown to Duleek road), Cooperhill, Beamore, Duleek, turning left past the cemetery and back to the start point. The Senior A3 and Junior (U-18) riders will complete six laps and the Senior A4 will race over five laps of the same circuit.
Like any cycling event, sponsorship is so important to promoting cycle races and Drogheda Wheelers would very much like to recognise and thank generous sponsors Gerry Cummiskey VW Commercials and Bracken Autobodies. The club also acknowledges and thank Cycling Ireland and Cycling Leinster for financial assistance.
Last weekend Balbriggan Cycling Club very successfully promoted two major cycle races, the Harry Reynolds Memorial at the Man O War and the Ben McKenna and Jim Jazzer Wherity Memorial Races at Hollywood.
The Harry Reynolds Memorial Race was held over six laps of a local circuit, totalled 52.6km in distance and was held on a short handicap basis. The lead changed with each passing lap, and on the uphill sprint to the finish line Anthony Doyle from the Velo Revolution team outclassed Julianstown native Javan Nulty from DID Dunboyne, with 17-year-old Mark Downey from the Nicolas Roche Performance team in third.
In the Senior A3 category Daragh Campbell from Drogheda - a member of the Novo Nordisk team in the USA - finished second.
In the Ben McKenna and Jim Jazzer Wherity Memorial Races, a huge number of cyclists lined up to compete in the various category races.
The Senior A1-A2 race set off to complete seven laps of a tough circuit and covered a total distance of 135km. At the half way stage, a three-man group went clear, comprising Greg Swinand and Eoin Morton, both members of the UCD club, and the aforementioned Javan Nulty. These riders worked well together and opened up a gap of two minutes.
But on the ascent of the Hollywood climb prior to going out on the final lap Nulty dropped off the pace, and his breakaway companions went on to fight out the top two placings on the very steep uphill climb to the finish, with Morton taking the victory from Swinand and Nulty in fifth place.
There was consolation for Nulty as, by his sheer aggression throughout the entire race, he picked up the Combativity Award and was presented with the Patrick Rowe Memorial Trophy.
In the Senior A4 race for the Jim Jazzer Wherity Memorial Cup, Stamullen M Donnelly rider Aurelivcz Klus picked up eighth prize, which was a very good achievement considering this was only his second race ever.