It was a week for the testers, as the Club 10TT Champs clashed with the Nationals, with some outstanding results in both - Dick O'Brien dominating the former, and Claire McEntee setting a blistering time in the latter. Corkagh Park saw first a Horan haul, then an Orwell clean sweep, while three of the men completed the National Road Race Champs on Sunday.

Beginning in Corkagh Park last Tuesday, sisters Ann Horan and Helen Horan each collected a podium spot. Helen placed 3rd in the B race, her best result yet in the Summer series, while Ann also took 3rd, netting 2nd in a sprint behind solo winner Anne Dalton (DID Electrical).

This week Sandra Telford returned to take her second win of the series, following an aggressive race. Aideen Keenan took silver, and Orla Hendron rounded out the podium, making it a very impressive clean sweep for Orwell.

Keenan drilling it at the front, with Telford tucked in behind (photo thanks to Naas CC)

The Corkagh Park Ladies' Racing has been very successful so far, and that last pair of races were hosted by UCD CC and Naas CC, and sponsored by BeSpoke and the Cycle Inn. The event as a whole is organised by Siobhán O'Connor, and it's always good to recognise and applaud her work!

While both of those events took place in sunshine, conditions were filthy for the first of the club champs, the 10TT in Batterstown last Thursday. The lack of any strong wind combined with the slick conditions gave rise to a set of record-breaking performances.

Top of the pile with a dominating time of 22'07" was Dick O'Brien, beating Eric Downey's previous club best of 22'34" (June 2013). After placing 4th (and 1st Semi-scratch) on a road bike in the previous 10TT, O'Brien rustled up a dedicated testing rig for the champs, and his powerful legs did the rest. He took a very hefty chunk out of his previous personal best, the biggest improvement of the night - 1'43". For that, he rightly earns the trophy, a gold medal, and an upgrade to Scratch.

O'Brien at the Shay Elliot earlier this year (photo (c) Sean Rowe)

It was testament to O'Brien's win that silver medalist Brian McArdle was over 30" behind, at 22'40", while Fionn Sheridan put in the ride of his life to take bronze with 22'47". He was another big improver, with 1'28" taken off - a sign (along with his Hammond win) of an increasing ability in testing.

For the women, freshwoman Aideen Keenan won the gold on 25'43", smashing Lucy Soden's time of 25:52 (June 2013). Rachael Kaye-Mellor took silver by shattering her own previous best for the Junior women, 26'18" eclipsing her time from April this year of 27'01". Monica Marconi was next fastest of the nine women who competed, her time of 26'30" trumping for bronze.

Regular high placers Patrick O'Brien and Downey were 4th and 5th, within a single second of each other. Valdis Andersons was a fine 6th, while Gavin Dodd took 7th and the last of the Scratch points.

Triathlete and late joiner Mark Doyle surprised many by coming home in 23'39", which not only topped Limit, but also put him ahead of all of Semi-limit, and Semi-scratch (with the exception of winner O'Brien). That result put him 10th overall, and into Semi-limit.

Milan-San Remo veteran Jamie Busher was next in line on 23'46", and 2nd for Semi-scratch, with only Cormac Bracken and David Maher there to take the points for 3rd and 4th. No other Semi-scratch riders competed, but their numbers have been strengthened for next week with a few upgrades.

Semi-limit was led by Jules Cantwell, 12th overall, with a time of 24'30". The elder brother Brian Doyle was 2nd in the category, while Sallygap placer Garry Blair was 3rd. Malcolm Garland netted 4th, with Frank Moriarty and Julian Moore earning 5th and 6th.

Limit were led by Doyle, with David Bradley taking 2nd, and sneaking inside the top twenty overall. 3rd went to Daniel McElroy. Kilian Doyle and Ann Horan scored their first placings of the league with the last of the points in 4th and 6th respectively, while sandwiched between them was Joe Chester in 5th.

Full results on the forum.

The last of the criteriums (criteria?) are next week, followed by the 25TT Champs. Don't forget the Road Race Champs are happening in Mondello on the night of 24th July.

On the same night as O'Brien's hard ride for gold, Claire McEntee had the same aim in Rochfortbridge, where she was competing in the National Time Trial Championships. Taking place over a mostly flat 37km course with two turn-around points, McEntee was taking on the cream of Irish cycling, and blazed home in a time of 56'25.67".

Though she clocked up an average speed of nearly 40kph, she was left just outside the medals in 4th place. While not on the podium, it's nonetheless an excellent time, and McEntee will draw confidence from her performance. We don't have the record books to hand, but that may well be a club best, a neat increment from Rachel Glendon's 5th from 2013.

Edit: the club has had two winners of the women's elite TT title - Kate Rudd in Enniscorthy in 2003, and more recently Jenny Fay in Carlow in 2005. 2005 was a bumper year for Orwell because Orla Hendron also took bronze, and Ronnie Brannigan took Bronze in the Veteran men's event.

McEntee in action (photo (c) Sean Rowe)

McEntee was all set to line up again on Saturday, alongside Orla Hendron, Ann Horan, Aideen Keenan and Ciara Kinch, but the racing for the day was cancelled due to a fatal car accident on the nearby N4. Gardaí had to route traffic over the race course, and after several delays, Lakeside Wheelers had to make the tough decision to call off the race.

The vets' race was also postponed indefinitely, with Cormac Bracken, Gavin Dodd and David Halpin missing out. Many riders instead enjoyed a non-competitive spin around the area, making the most of the sunshine.

The men's champs went ahead on Sunday, with the best of the Irish professional scene having to compete against Diarmuid Collins, Odhrán Connors, Eric Downey, Brian McArdle and Patrick O'Brien. The action was tough from the gun, with the speed averaging around 45kph for the first two laps. As the winning break formed and went up the road, first McArdle and then Connors packed it in early, while Collins, Downey and O'Brien went on to finish in the bunch.

Downey made a couple of brave efforts early in the race, while O'Brien nearly got away with Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp) later on. To have three riders complete a race of such a high calibre is a great indication of the level the club is at - the early finishers included pre-race favourite Sam Bennett (NetApp Endura) and Felix English (Rapha Condor).

Thanks must be paid to those on hand over the weekend for support - Aidan Collins, John Twomey, Mags Donnelly and Peter Gerrard. All were ready and willing to give their time for their club mates, and we salute you! On the sidelines cheering on the riders were Charlotte MacDonald, Naoise Sheridan, Donnacha McCormack and Stephen O'Shea, as well as Aideen Keenan and Ann Horan who were back after the aborted women's race. There may have well been more - apologies if we missed you!

Lucy Soden was also in action as race doctor, and perhaps ‘inaction' is the best term, as thankfully she was not required to perform any duties over the weekend.

Congratulations to Lakeside on a well-run event, and we fully support the only decision that could be made given the circumstances on Saturday. Multyfarnham had a real festival feel to it, and Gaybo Howard was as entertaining as ever!

The Roche GP was also held during the week, with a full write-up available here.


Corkagh Park Ladies' Racing - R4 (24/6/2014)

A Race
1 Anne Dalton (DID Ladies Racing Team)
2 Hannah Ormesher (DID Ladies Racing Team)
3 Ann Horan (Orwell Wheelers)

B Race
1 Teena O'Malley (Lucan CRC)
2 Agnieszka Kurzydlo (Naas CC)
3 Helen Horan (Orwell Wheelers)


Orwell League R13: Black Bull 10TT Champs (26/6/2014)

Men's Medals
G Dick O'Brien - 22'07"
S Brian McArdle - 22'40"
B Fionn Sheridan - 22'47"

Women's Medals
G Aideen Keenan - 25'43"
S Rachael Kaye-Mellor - 26'18"
B Monica Marconi - 26'30"

1 Mark Doyle
2 David Bradley
3 Daniel McElroy
4 Kilian Doyle
5 Joe Chester
6 Ann Horan

1 Jules Cantwell
2 Brian Doyle
3 Garry Blair
4 Malcolm Garland
5 Frank Moriarty
6 Julian Moore

1 Dick O'Brien
2 Jamie Busher
3 Cormac Bracken
4 David Maher

1 Brian McArdle
2 Fionn Sheridan
3 Patrick O'Brien
4 Eric Downey
5 Valdis Andersons
6 Gavin Dodd


National Time Trial Championships 2014

Women's TT
1 Ryan,Caroline (Garda CC) 52’15.66″
4 McEntee,Claire (Orwell Wheelers) @4’10.01


National Road Race Championships 2014

Men's Race
1 Mullen,Ryan (An Post CRC) 3h57'53"
55 O'Brien,Patrick 4h20'43" @22'50"
60 Downey,Eric 4h20'43" =s/t
71 Collins, Diarmuid 4h20'51" @22'58"


Corkagh Park Ladies' Racing - R5 (1/7/2014)

A Race
1 Sandra Telford (Orwell Wheelers)
2 Aideen Keenan (Orwell Wheelers)
3 Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers)

Roisin Kennedy (Adamstown CT)

B Race
1 Aine McBride (Sundrive CC)
2 Roisin Carter (North Pole CC)
3 Shauna McFadden (Errigal CC)

Lorraine McGill (Maynooth Students for Cycling)