We knew that if we waited long enough, it would happen – and it did! On Sunday last, we had the first hot, sunny day for our tour for years. We have been sick of being drowned and frozen so we really enjoyed the change – and it did no harm to the number of riders taking part – over 140 – a new record! They were divided into two groups – one starting at 9.30am and the second at 10.30am and both covered the 73 miles with a food stop in Portumna Forest Park. The Lakeside Hotel in Ballina was once again the perfect start/finish point. David Forde and Stuart Witts drove the cars, John Spillane manned the Broom Wagon, Michael Sheedy was our motorbike marshal, Shane Mulcahy from Order of Malta kept an eye on us and Tracy, Kevin, John McCarthy and his sisters, Gemma and Clare did a brilliant job on the sign-on. Selina Hynes coped with much of the food operation and naturally, Vic Nott took some great photos. Mike Molamphy and Mike O’Keeffe were the two road captains.
Many thanks to all the club members who brought along food for the day – it was much appreciated by all.
And finally, we had a draw for two pairs of Rudy Project Glasses – one pair was won and claimed but we are still looking for the owner of the second pair. The winning ticket was blue – no. 5 – let us have the ticket and its yours!
Last Thursday, the Wheelers held the 3rd of the 6 TTs in the J.Moynan Series. It was a 15 mile course from Moneygall to Roscrea roundabout and back. Again, there was a strong sign-on and just for a change the weather was perfect – warm and sunny and calm.
In the on-going battle for fastest time, this evening was the turn of Pat Bergin with a time of 37.01, closely followed by Eamon Hartnett on 37.16 and Liam Callaghan on 37.24. When the times were adjusted, Tommy Hanrahan took 3rd, and John Foote and John O’Carroll riding well within their handicaps, took 2nd and 1st. Owen Hynes rode his first ever TT and is be to congratulated on a great time!
Continuing our search for new race routes, last Thursday we returned to one that the Wheelers have not used for several years and it proved to be a hard and testing course – and that was from Donal Ryans, the old N7 and the road up to the Silvermines, finishing at the hall. Inspite of the weather not being the best, the sign-on was the largest seen for a little while. In the flat race Liam Callaghan took third spot just seconds behind Pat Bergin in second and in the race result, young Darren Dunne in his first club race took third effortlessly with Pat Bergin again taking second, but the man who did the double whammy of race and flat times was Shane Scully. On the night, we welcomed two visiting riders from the Limerick club, Mark and Andrew. Well done to all who took part.
The weather last Thursday evening could not have been more miserable for a cycle race but still the sign-on was very good indeed. And many of the riders plied their way around the 10 mile circuit of Kilkeary, Ballinamona, Toomevara, Lisboney in very good, and often, much improved times. The fastest man on the night was Eamon Hartnett with an excellent 24.31 and very close behind him was Liam O’Callaghan in 25.08 with Pat Bergin only a whisker away on 25.16. When time adjustments were made two riders had improved on their previous times by a considerable amount – Liam took third place while Margaret Hogan took a very well deserved second place and the winner of TT2 was John O’Carroll. Well done also to Niall Keller who rode a very good time for his first-ever TT!
Last Thursday, it was the turn of The Lookout Trophy on the Wheeler’s racing calendar and unlike the relentless rain of last year, we had a glorious evening for racing; sunny, calm and quite warm. Margaret Hogan put in another brilliant performance against her male counterparts, taking a well-deserved third place while Aidan Killen took a fine second place and Duncan Hodgins took his first win of the season with a very strong ride up the 5 mile drag from Ballina to The Lookout. In the flat race, Shane Scully took an impressive fastest time with his brother Gary taking third and sandwiched between them in second place was Pat Bergin.