The FPM Accountants Summer Cycling League returned to a road race on Thursday last, with riders racing the 35km Ardee Road, Dorian’s Pub route.
In the past around this time of year numbers in the league dramatically dropped off as summer holidays started, however such is the strength of cycling in the town that the numbers are still well up with over 50 competing in the race.
The riders were spread across five groups and by the finish line groups one and two had merged to contest the win, with group three just about holding off the fast moving groups four and five.
As the leading group approached the line, three riders were fighting neck and neck for the win, John McKenna, Kevin Trainor and Brendan Dunne.
Clearly these men had been watching the pros in France and all lunged their bikes for the line. A nervous wait ensued as the cameras played back the action to see who had gained those vital few inches.
The judges saw that Dunne had taken it ahead of McKenna and Trainor in 3rd, in what was one of the closest ever finishes. Kenny Sullivan and Gary Morten rounded out the top five.
Behind the scratch group were setting a relentless pace all night, completing the 35km course in less than 40mins. In the sprint for the scratch prize Peter Tomany showed Aidan Cunningham a clean pair of heels with Ray Fedigan in 3rd.
Mountain Bike League
In the Mountain Bike League, on Wednesday night, Conor Kavanagh showed once again what a bright prospect he is for the future with a commanding victory. He led home Niall O’Flaherty and John Loane in 3rd.
League Leader Terry McEneaney finished outside the scoring position, but with two rounds to go has a lead of 25 points over Stephen Kenny. Crucially while McEneaney was outside the points he did finish one place ahead of Kenny. Early pace setter Ed Lennox Cunningham still sits in 3rd position.
Kavanagh’s win moves him up to joint 4th with Gary Morten. With 50 points on offer for the win, and two rounds still to go, the top five are all still in the running.
Meanwhile in the Ladies League Celine McPhilips all but cemented her win with a second place on Tuesday night, behind the dominant Eve McCrystal.
McCrystal, McPhilips and the Dawe twins set a relentless pace in scratch to catch all those ahead. The scratch riders occupied the first four spots with Fiona Rogers taking 5th from Lisa Neary in 6th.
Lisa Neary sits overall in 2nd place, but with 18 points required to overtake McPhilips it is hard to see her taking the win. 3rd to 5th are only separated by three points so there is a lot to play for in the remaining races for the minor placings.