Monday 22 January 2018

Wheelers put on a fine show

Simon Jones in the Peter Bidwell Memorial Cycle. Pic:Colin Bell
Simon Jones in the Peter Bidwell Memorial Cycle. Pic:Colin Bell

DROGHEDA Wheelers Cycling Club promoted the Coombes-Connor Memorial cycle race at Kilsharvan, Julianstown, on Sunday.

The Senior A1-A2 race was contested over a total distance of 128km and was hugely supported, with a very large entry of cyclists. There was some great racing throughout and with three laps remaining five riders broke clear and remained out in front to fight out the finish. The sprint for victory was fiercely contested, with northern cyclists almost dominating all the top placings and Frazer Duncan from the Dave Kane Northern CC getting the verdict by a narrow margin

The Senior A3 race was won by 17-year -old Daire Feeley from the Donamon club in Roscommon and in the Junior section John Reynolds from Stamullen Road Club was best-placed local rider in fifth place.

The Senior A4 race was won by Cuchulainn CC cyclist Stephen Curry and best-placed local in this race was the very popular Duleek Detective/Superintendent Andrew Watters who competes with the Garda/Richies Bikes club, who finished fourth. Glenn White from Stamullen was seventh.

On Saturday evening at Newtown, Plattin, the Peter Bidwell Memorial Race was held and contested over eight laps of a 6.4km course, attracting an entry of 91 cyclists. On the uphill climb to the finish Sean McKenna from the powerful UCD club outsprinted Daragh Long from the Nicolas Roche/Standard Life team, with Naul man Danny Bruton third.

Another local rider who performed very well in this race was Daragh Campbell, originally from the promoting Drogheda Wheelers club but now a member of the Novo Nordisk team in the USA. Daragh finished seventh in this event.

In the A4 section, Stamullen M Donnelly rider Martin Higgins finished second.

Also over the weekend, Drogheda Wheelers promoted the Ras Na Nog 2-day, 3-stage race for the Underage category riders. This event attracted a huge entry of 118 riders from all over Ireland and was deemed a total success by race organiser, Gerard Campbell. When the general classification was compiled, local clubs faired very well, with riders from Drogheda and Stamullen picking up prizes.

The last major one-day classic race before the multiple stage races begin over the Easter weekend, will take place next Sunday at Stamullen but with the entire weekend dedicated to cycle racing.

Starting off on Friday at 7pm the first race of this hectic weekend will get under way with the Brendan Carroll Memorial race and this will be a 50k road race at Piltown, outside Julianstown.

The race headquarters will be at St Colmcille's GFC clubhouse where the race start and finish is located. This race is held annually in memory of Brendan, who sadly lost his life at a relatively young age and is being kindly sponsored by John and Mary Carroll and also supported by Navan UPVC Aluminum Windows and John & Canice Leonard.

Riders will complete five laps of the Piltown, Julianstown, Minnistown circuit and this evening race is expected to be finished by 8.15.

On Saturday the action switches to Balscadden in north county Dublin for the Pat & Monie Nolan Memorial races, with the action here beginning at 11am.

The final races of the weekend will be the Stamullen GP races, with the sign-on and dressing accommodation at Gormanston College Sports Complex. It is expected that in excess of 300 cyclists will take part in the various races here.

The Senior A1-A2 race will cover six laps of the Stamullen, Clinstown, Naul, Whitestown Cross, Tubbertown Cross, Balscadden, Gormanston, Stamullen circuit and will leave the college grounds at 12.30 for race starts.

When promoting cycle races, like every other club, Stamullen club depend on the generosity of race sponsors and thankfully each year without fail regular sponsors step on board to assist, Brendan & Liz Whyte Stamullen, Austin Walsh from Quay Cycles in Drogheda, Flo Gas, East Meath Credit Union, Peter Sullivan from Peleus Steel in Duleek, Eastern Tarmacadam, John Hughes from SafeLink plus a few other sponsors who wish not to be named.

There is no doubt that over next weekend during these three days of cycle races there will be delays with traffic moving through the area, but this will be kept to a minimum and the Gardai will maintain a high presence throughout and deal with any traffic problems that might arise.

Drogheda Independent

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