The first road race of the season was ridden last Thursday evening and there was a really big turnout which was great to see. The weather was kind to us and the rain held off for most of the time after what had been a very wet afternoon. As our routes are rapidly disappearing due to various “improvements”, we tried a new one and we were delighted that it worked well and was well received by the riders. And that was Kilkeary, Ballinamona, Toomevara with the finish at Lisboney – a distance of 10 miles and an undulating course. As they headed for the finish line, there was a great battle between four riders and the final order was John Spillane in 4th, Duncan Hodgins in 3rd, John O’Carroll in 2nd and in 1st place, Brian O’Neill taking his first win with the Wheelers. Well done to all on a great race!
At the North Tipperary Wheelers Christmas party in The Thatched Cottage on Saturday 10th December, Pat Bergin was revealed as Cyclist of the Year for 2011. A great achievement for a man who only started cycling with the club in July 2010. He has trained hard and through his own determination not only turned out for nearly every race but also took an amazing number of podium places. The whole club salutes and congratulates him!
In only his second season of racing, Pat Bergin has captured two out of three Club Championship titles – a remarkable feat and he is to be congratulated. He took the Hill Climb trophy on Sunday 25th September in truly horrible conditions – rain, wind and the road carpeted with fallen leaves! Liam Callaghan took second – just 30 seconds behind and Mikey Connors was 3rd in his first Championship placing. The fastest time went to Eamon Hartnett in 9.01 with Pat 2 secs. behind him and Tommy Hanrahan in 3rd.
That was the final race of the season and the next item is the club Get-Together in Una Powell’s pub next Saturday night.
Even though the weather was blustery and rain threatened, there was a reasonably good sign-on for the Club Championship TT. The course was the same as last year – Birdhill to the first Nenagh roundabout and back – a distance of 18.5 miles. On the way into Nenagh, they had the strong wind behind them but the return journey was a different matter! Amazingly, in spite of the weather all times improved from last year and it was Eamon Hartnett who stormed across the line in the fastest time with John Foote a close second and Pat Bergin in third. When the time adjustments were made however, Eamon took third place while Shaun Payne captured second and Kevin Byrne, who has been improving steadily all summer became the 2011 Club TT Champion. Well done to all the contestants and a special well done for turning out on a miserable morning!
The Flying Mile was brought forward as an evening race and was contested on Thursday evening last on the N52 bypass over a measured mile. The riders raced as three groups of similar ability and the three group winners were Duncan Hodgins, John Foote and Pat Bergin, the latter being only the fourth rider to beat the 2m barrier. He clocked in at 1.59 while Eamon Hartnett was timed at exactly 2m.