Dan Whiting began his ascent to first category status with a hard fought sixth place finish at the Ned Flanagan Memorial in Monasterevin on Sunday (February 19th)

The second-year racer surprised no one who has witnessed his strength in Orwell winter training spins by netting the club’s first top placing of the year in the first race of the new season.

Following an intense winter training regimen that would have drawn nods of approval from the late, great Kildare hard men Ned Flanagan and his brother Paddy, Whiting finished alone to register his first upgrade point of the season.

He showed few ill effects from his 100-mile Saturday training spin to Arklow and back with fellow An Post Rás aspirant Pat O’Brien as the A1/A2 group whittled down the handicap advantages of the A3 and A4 groups in the 70km Newbridge CC promotion.

While the win was fought out by riders who had forged ahead earlier, Whiting responded to a ‘order’ from clubmate Declan Byrne to try his luck as the bunch began finessing ahead of the final dash to the line.

With an attack three kilometres from the line that Whiting afterwards described as “excoriating”, the relative novice showed his undoubted strength in holding off the baying pack.

Close behind him, another racing sophomore Gavin Dodd scooped his first prize envelope of the year in 13th place, while there were notable performances from other Orwells including Aidan Collins who was to the fore throughout.

Ned Flanagan Memorial

Monasterevin, Sunday 19th February

1, Robin Kelly (Waterford CC) 1hr 45min 38secs
2, Ryan Sherlock (Cycleways CC) same
3, Mark Henning (South Dublin CC) 53 secs
4, Darragh Zaidan (V.C Morteau) same
5, Colm Cassidy (UCD CC) same
6, Daniel Whiting (Dundrum Town Centre Orwell Wheelers) 1:11

13, Gavin Dodd (Dundrum Town Centre Orwell Wheelers).

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