With no Orwell results in Clonard on Saturday, all eyes were on Newbridge to salvage the weekend, and the club did not disappoint! Diarmuid Collins, Mark Mulcahy and Ciara Kinch all took home prizes, read about them below.

There was a good showing of Orwell riders in the crosswinds of Clonard on Saturday morning - Odhrán Connors and Diarmuid Collins were making their season debúts in the A2 bunch along with Tom Blennerhassett, while Neal Hudson, Dick O'Brien, David Swift and Masterchef maestro Nick Watson lined up for the A3s.

The women's race saw the biggest field of the year so far, with over 20 riders fighting for first. Representing Orwell were Ned Flanagan winner Aideen Keenan, and racing freshwoman Ann Horan.

Each race was a brutal affair, with the strong winds creating echelons in the men's race and resulting in wins from breakaways. The women's race stayed together until ex-Orwell Anne Dalton attacked with 10km to go for a solo victory, with a fragmented sprint behind her.

With nothing to show for Saturday, Sunday was our shot at redemption. The weather was a pleasant relief from the past few weekends of sodden racing, with a bright clear sky greeting the riders in Newbridge and heralding a happy hunting ground for the club.

Always a testing circuit, even in relative warmth, this year's races would prove no different. The break didn't snap the elastic until the fourth lap in the A race, meaning plenty of attacks and surges in the peloton throughout the race. A five-man group eventually went clear, whittled down to three by the finish line. Those three were a team of UCD riders, sweeping the podium in a remarkable feat, with third place going to former Orwellian Seán McKenna.

The two Collinses, Diarmuid and Aidan, approached the line with unplaced prizes still up for grabs. Aidan Collins attacked just inside the flamme rouge, but was sniped on the line by a sprinting group of seven, including Diarmuid Collins.

D. Collins salvaged what he could for the club, romping home second of that small bunch to take fourth unplaced A2. Not wanting to chase his teammate, he sat on the wheels of the other A2s and only came around in the final metres when it became clear they would catch A. Collins. You won't see a tighter finish outside of Roma Maxima!

D. Collins at centre, A. Collins far right (copyright Sean Rowe)

In the A4 race, racing sophomore Mark Mulcahy took a tight 6th place in the bunch sprint. He was originally told he had earned 5th, but the photo finish demoted him one position. A pity considering his efforts to keep in the front ten of the pack throughout. Nevertheless, it's a promising sign - he concentrated more on the club league than open racing last year, and won two second places. One of those was from a break, and the other from a sprint, so we're sure we haven't seen the last of his versatile talent!

Ciara Kinch followed up her fine second place in Navan last week by finishing in the bunch to take home the unplaced woman prize. On a tough parcours like Newbridge, holding on to a cat 4 peloton is an achievement in itself. As an added bonus, Kinch's legs are now well warmed up for next week's Boyne GP, the first round of the National League.


Rás Naomh Finian, Clonard (8/3/2014)

A1/A2 Race
1 Javan Nulty (DID Dunboyne)
2 Robin Kelly (Aqua Blue)
3 Anthony Wlash (UCD CC)
4 Seán McKenna (UCD CC)
5 Joe Fenlon (Aqua Blue)
6 Elijus Civilis (Top Team)
7 Derek Joyce (Galway Bay)

Unplaced A2s
1 Niall Quinlan (Epic MTB)
2 Colm Bracken (Murphy Surveys)
3 John Doris Epic MTB

A3 Race
1 Ciaran Kelly (Bikeworx)
2 Daire Feeley (Donamon Dynamos)
3 Seán Bracken (Usher IRC)
4 Phil O’Flaherty (McNally Swords)
5 Ken Tobin (McNally Swords)
6 John O’Shea (Carlow RC)
7 Fintan Ryan (NRPT Standard Life)
8 Lloyd Scott (DID Dunboyne)

A4 Race
1 Gareth Dargle (Stamullen M Donnelly)
2 Paul Murphy (Unattached)
3 Keith Holligan (Unattached)
4 Eamon Watters (Drogheda Wheelers)
5 Declan McKenna (Emyvale)
6 Steven Vauls (Waterford Racing)
7 Brendan Lynch (Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar)
8 Mark Sartini (Limerick CC)

Women’s Race
1 Anne Dalton (DID Ladies)
2 Michelle O Halloran (Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar)
3 Susie Mitchell (Sundrive Track Team)
4 Roisin Kennedy (Adamstown CC)
5 Marie Gorman (Navan RC)
6 Sandra Fitzgerald (Garda CC/Richies Bikes)


Newbridge Grand Prix, Newbridge (9/3/2014)

A1/A2 Race
1 G. Swinand (UCD CC)
2 A. Walsh (UCD CC)
3 S. McKenna (UCD CC)
4 M. Fitzgerald (VeloRevolution)
5 D. Watson (North Down)
6 J. Nulty (DID-Dunboyne CC)
7 M. Dowling (Unattached)
8 A. Stanley (Dublin University, Trinity CC)

Unplaced A2s
1 L. Doran (Cuchulainn CC)
2 D. Bruton (AC Bisontine)
3 S. Byrne (Navan Road Club)
4 D. Collins (Orwell Wheelers)
5 R. Campbell (Lucan CRC)
6 H. McMahon (VeloRevolution)

A3 Race
1 S. Hahessy (Iverk-Carrick Wheelers)
2 M. O’Loughlin (NRPT)
3 M. O’Loughlin (Iverk-Carrick Wheelers)
4 F. Ryan (NRPT)
5 D. Campbell (Novo Nordisk)
6 F. Regan (Headstrong)

A4 Race
1 T. O’Malley (UCD CC)
2 D. Maher (Usher-Irish Road Club)
3 S. O’Brien (Give Blood)
4 G. Duffy (Fixx Rouleurs)
5 S. Moore (BWCC)
6 M. Mulcahy (Orwell Wheelers)

Unplaced Woman
C. Kinch (Orwell Wheelers)