THE cycling season is in full swing and for those interested in racing, Cuchulainn Cycling Club currently have four different racing leagues.
The main event is Thursday night’s FPM Accountants Summer Cycling League, however in addition there is the Tuesday night’s women’s only league, also on a Tuesday night the Mountain Bike League is back in action and finally on a Wednesday night there is the five series Gailiber Time Trial league.
In the Women’s League, round one saw Louise O’Hagan, take the win ahead of Sinead O’Hanlon and Linda Stokes. These three were part of the first group, whom used their handicap to it’s full potential to stay away. Round two saw scratch work incredibly hard to overtake all in front of them with Eve McCrystal taking the win ahead of Annette Dawe and Fiona Rogers.
Round two of the Mountain Bike League was two laps of the purpose built track at Bellurgan Park.
The results of round one’s time trial set up the gaps for the night and first off were the ladies Sandra O’Hagan and Sarah Fagan. The handicapping system worked a treat with all 20 riders finishing within five minutes of each other, with Sandra and Sara holding out for the win.
Sandra used her greater experience to be first home ahead of Sarah, with Gary Winterlack in 3rd. Gary Shiels, whom was amongst the last to start, set the fastest lap for the night, with a 16 min 4 sec lap two.
The Gailiber Time Trial league commenced with a 10 mile event on the Castlebellingham Road.
Despite a blustery night almost 30 riders signed on and a fast time was set with Newry’s Dessie Woods winning with a 21:48. Second place was a dead heat between the Christmas TT winner Niall Clarke and Murt Rice, both stopping the clock at 22 minutes even.
In 3rd was another Newry rider Kevin Lynch at 22:12. Fastest lady was Francine Meehan at 23:16, just four seconds ahead of Eve McCrystal. The league was a big success with many riders traveling from outside of Dundalk.
Meanwhile in the An Post Rás, the Louth team are flying the flag for the Wee County. The team was hit with bad luck early on when Ray O’Shaughnessy was forced to abandon following a bad accident.
Roger Aiken has been in the thick of the action and currently holds the best county rider jersey, marking him as the first amateur in a largely professional race.
Bryan McCrystal is also having an amazing outing, being in the mix every day bar the 2nd stage, where two punctures saw him loose some time on the leaders.
Sunday June 2 sees the return of the annual Tour of Louth. Once again competitors have a range of options with the full 105km route, a shorter 50km route or the family 10km route.
Participants in the full route are competing against the clock to earn either a platinum, gold or silver medal based on their finishing times. To get a platinum medals the cyclists most cover the course in 3 hrs 10 mins, which requires an average speed of 33kph.