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.
It was a miserable day for a race – wet and quite windy. And the problems started before the race even began! On the way to the start, there was a crash involving six riders. All got up and continued, contesting the race but afterwards, it was discovered that jim Carey, who had ridden to a 7th place, had broken a bone in his hand. The riders started in three groups according to handicaps and nine riders from all three groups combined to make a very exciting sprint with Eamon Hartnett claiming third just behind second place man, Shaun Payne while Pat Bergin took the win at the head of affairs.
Thurday is the Flying Mile – the last evening race of the season – and next Sunday is the Club Championship Time Trial.