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!
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.
The TT Series kicked off last Thursday evening on what must have been the coldest evening of the year! But in spite of the north-east wind, a good many riders took the challenge and some surprisingly good times were posted. The course was Yellow Bridge – Birdhill – Yellow Bridge which is 10 miles. Pat Bergin completed the course in 24.47 for 3rd place while Eamon Hartnett secured 2nd spot with 24.06 but in spite of the cold and the strong wind, the man of the day was Shane Scully. setting a new course record of 23.35.
On Sunday last, four of our racers went to Castleisland and while they all finished well, it was Paddy Rohan who secured a well-earned 7th place in the A3 race and very well done to him!
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.
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.