The FPM Accountants Summer league continued with its second road race, held on the Ardee to Dorians circuit.
Once again, despite the bad weather, a field of almost 70 riders assembled and was split across six groups with 14 minutes separating those first off to the last group on the road.
In a repeat of last week’s performance, group two were the big winners on the night, with the group’s strong riders pulling back group one and holding off the faster moving riders behind them.
Group three were the second group to arrive home, with literally seconds to spare over the other three groups, whom had all together.
In the sprint for the line Kenny Sullivan was first home, a remarkable feat, giving this was only his second race ever. Kenny had been riding in group two and beat fellow group two rider Seamus Byrne into second.
Jim Loughran, the winner the previous week, rounded out the podium in 3rd position. Barry Dunne was 4th and Gary Morton scored points for the second week in a row with 5th position.
Annette Dawe was first lady home in 8th position. The road race next week is the demanding Ravensdale Circuit, which usually sees a strong ride from the scratch riders given the difficult terrain.
Tuesday May 8 will see the Mountain Bike league kick off, running for the next 12 weeks all rounds will be held at the Bellurgan Park off-road track.
As with the road league, action will get underway with a time trial so as to calculate handicaps for the rounds ahead.
Full details can be found at www.dundalkcycling.com and those interested are asked to register before hand.
On the road racing front, the club’s ladies had a successful outing in the Orwell Wheeler’s Ladies League on Tuesday night.
In the main event Eve McCrystal and Annette Dawe were taking part with Eve taking 4th position in her first race of the year. Meanwhile in the support event Suzy Mackin and Breda Dawe competed, with Breda taking 7th position.
The IVCA racing moved to the Curragh on Sunday last with over six club men signing on.
Dominic O’Brannigánh was to make his racing debut, however with a race official having a medical emergency prior to the start Dominic, a doctor when not tearing up the roads of Louth with his sons, was on hand to ensure the official was properly looked after.
Sé Weston and Martin Grey, the club’s National Champions, had the best results of the day finishing 4th and 8th respectively in their race.
Newcomer sprints to victory
The second round of the Irish XC NPS took place in the beautiful setting of Bellurgan Park on Sunday April 29.
Riders from all over Ireland, as far south as Killarney and north as Derry, travelled to take part in this great XC mountain bike race.
For the second year running Cuchulainn Cycling Club had a strong presence, fielding riders in every male category and one in a female category.
Ray O’Shaughnessy, who has been riding exceptionally well on the roads, was riding equally as well on the trails, taking 2nd place in the Senior 1 category.
Aaron McCann had a very good race and shone through yet again by taking 2nd place in the very competitive Junior category.
Cuchulainn’s only female entrant, Sandra O’Hagan took 3rd place in the Female Senior 3 category.
John Sharkey was unfortunate to just miss a podium position by getting a 4th place in the Senior 4 category.
And what of the course? What with the recent rain, it was feared that there would be a lot of lying water and loose soil making the going a bit tougher, this proved not to be the case, thankfully.
The good weather on Friday and Saturday dried out the course and judging by comments from the competitors, “the course was brilliant” seemed to be the census of opinion.
Thanks though, must be extended to Race Director Gary Sheils and his team who sacrificed a lot of their personal time to make this round of the XC NPS very successful.