Scott-Orwell Wheelers were active on several fronts: Visit Nenagh Classic, The Lakelands Two Day, Rás na n’Óg, the Coombes Connor Memorial and IVCA race in Kilcullen.

Visit Nenagh Classic

In the tough 81km hilly classic, Aideen Keenan took a fine win in a race that Scott-Orwell Wheelers animated. Earlier Yvonne Doran was in the first break of the day and Orla Hendron disputing the sprint prime and joining the break that stuck. Hendron took the first KOH before the group was caught. In addition to Keenan taking victory, Ciara Kinch was 4th and Monica Marconi was 7th. Keenan's victory was covered extensively on Stickybottle Keenan Storms Home for cracking VisitNenagh Classic and Keenan: We beat the crap out of each other and also on womenscycling.

In the A3 race which saw the peloton do a 119km loop, Bernard English took 14th (top 15 scored): "A Bunch of 18-20 of us came to the line together from a much reduced field. It was a tough, tough day on the bike. Probably the hardest one day stage I've done. Harder than the Des or Gorey Stage 1 etc. A lot of top juniors there from NRPT / Cork Giant (containing Team Ireland's winner of the Gorey Three Day) / Carrick etc. and boy can they climb. There was a real classics feel to it i.e. a lot of the race is on tiny agricultural country roads, grass in the middle, the bunch lined out maximum two a breast etc. gravel, pot holes, dirt on the road etc etc. It was very enjoyable looking back on it now but had to fight like a honey badger for every thing. The last KOM of the day (Bigpark) is a beast, especially coming so late, it nearly killed me. The Town centre finish was pretty cool."

Aideen takes victory (photograph with thanks to Dublin Wheeler Shane Murphy)

IVCA Update

At the Curragh IVCA last week, Diarmuid Collins placed in race one taking 9th. Arthur Ebbs placed 9th in race two. In the race in Kilcullen, Eddie Lynch took the final placing in race one in 10th place. Romano Morelli took second place in race two.

Romano takes second in a tight sprint in a photo finish against St. Tiernan's Rodney Joyce obscured behind Sorrento's McGarry who won (photograph with thanks to Brendan Culleton)

Droghea Wheelers Weekend

Drogheda Wheelers had a busy weekend with both the Rás na n’Óg and the Coombes Connor Memorial

Coombes Connor Memorial

The A1 and A2 group completed 9 laps on the relatively flat circuit of approximately 14 km maknig it a 126km race. The A4 race was four laps and 56km long. Diarmuid Collins was 4th in the A2 race while Conor Dowler was 9th in the A4 race.

Diarmuid Collins

Fast race on a relatively flat course with loads of big A2 lads. Lots of attacks but nothing sticking. There was a little drag every lap so on that last lap I jumped away on it, a few followed and in the next 10k that increased to a group of about eight. It was a head wind for 8k followed by 4k of a tailwind. The bunch were 10-20 seconds behind us but we held them off to the line I had a good position for the gallop but didn't have the legs or the 11 sprocket to get the win. Next time.

Diarmuid Collins

Conor Dowler

Very fast race, which from the start I really had intended on just sitting in on to see how I got on. Felt good from the off having chatted to John Blennerhassett and Ronan Foley beforehand. Having chatted to Ronan in the previous race and seeing Johns result in the club league, I felt I was in really good company and these were the lads to follow. John had said he might sit in for the first lap and then look to make some moves. From the off, Ronan had a good position near the front which I tried to keep an eye out for. The race set off at a furious pace, but the legs felt good so I was happy. John then decided that 40kph was too slow for him and took off towards the front with me sitting on his wheel. Coming up to the first corner and I found myself on the front leading the race. On the way around John I asked him what happened to sitting in and he gave me a smile! About 500 metres later and someone decided I wasn’t pushing the pace enough so I guess that’s when the race really started. Got to sit in but always kept near the front to see if any breaks were getting away. With the pace so high, nothing stuck. Coming around on the last lap, the pace picked up and there was a lot of movement in the bunch. Two km’s to go 55kph and a touch of wheels on my left sent a few people flying! I found out after the race that Ronan got caught up it and ended up going head first over the handlebars. Thankfully only a couple of scratches and no real damage (to the bike!) Another couple of hundred metres later and another touch of wheels. This one sounded even worse than the previous one. Scared the crap out of me to be honest, which probably sent me further up the road to keep away from trouble! With about 1km to go one guy made a good break for it… I was slightly boxed in and was hoping to see someone close by go after him. Thankfully a few did and I picked a wheel I felt was strong… sadly the wheel I let go of was the eventual winner! Coming up to the finish I pushed hard for a wheel and made my way up to second… still pushing as hard as I could, I got as close as about 3 metres off the wheel of the lead guy… with that someone appeared on my left and just took the wind out of my sails! Another to my right… gone! I kept pushing and rolled over in ninth place. Still, delighted with my result in only my second race. Onwards and upwards!

Rás na n’Óg

The Scott-Orwell Wheelers Team (photograph with thanks to Gen Sheridan)

Rás na n’Óg 2 day Youth Stage race consisted of there stage with three age categories taking part: U16, U14 and U12. Stage one was the 1.8km Bellewstown Short Crit Circuit. U16 completed ten laps while U14 had eight and U15 had five. Stage two was on the Bellewstown Circuit a 6.5km loop with U16 having five laps, U14 three and U12 a single lap. The final stage was the Copperhill Crufty Circuit - a 7.6km loop. The U16 completed five of these, U14 three and the U12 a single lap.

In the Under 12s Ruairí got better with each stage, finishing up in 23rd overall, with Lorcan one place behind him in 24th. In the Under 14s Lara and Andrew ended up level on points, slipping ever so slightly to 24th and 25th places respectively, which was good enough for 3rd girl for Lara. Tadhg was another steady improver, moving up to 34th overall, with Ronan just behind in 36th, and Dylan rounded out the 14s in 48th place. Best of our lot was Ronan in the under 16s, taking an excellent 7th place on the final stage to move up to 16th on GC, which is an impressive return from his first ever road race.

Tadhg, Lara and Andrew in the Rás na n’Óg peloton (photograph with thanks to Lakeside Wheelers)

Droghea Wheelers Weekend

Lakeland Two Day

Lakeland Cycle Club in Fermanagh hosted the Lakeland 2 Day. The A3 only race (no juniors) had a single Scott-Orwell Wheeler lining up in Ronan Grimes. The first stage on Saturday morning was 90km long and started in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh and took the riders south of the county. On the second climb of the day, Carnmore, the race broke up. Unfortunately Grimes punctured half way into the stage and lost 8 minutes. On the time trial on Stage 2 on Saturday afternoon, a 4km loop, Grimes finished 36 seconds down. The third and final stage was a very hilly stage finishing on the top of a steep four kilometre climb. The yellow jersey was still up for grabs. The ascent finish produced time gaps all the way along and the stage winner took the final yellow jersey. The 2nd and 3rd place on the stage were 10 seconds down. Showing his form, Grimes finished only 33 seconds down in 9th place and ended the Lakeland Two Day 8 minutes 29 seconds down, indicating that without the puncture on stage one he could have placed.

Ronan during stage two's time trial (photograph with thanks to Paul Carron Photography )