Weekend Fixtures

Competition is certainly hotting up in the cycling world. All four provinces will be represented this weekend with races for all categories and also in the mix is a mountain bike race which carries UCI points out in Kilruddery, Co. Wicklow.

Despite the atrocious conditions last Sunday in particular, all events were run as per schedule as listed on the IrishCycling.com.website. At least, the racing fraternity have an outlet to check what is up and coming!
Unfortunately the ‘Bible’ is not yet available as was indicated to me during the week from the offices’ of Cycling Ireland. On Saturday the Surgenor Cup goes ahead in Randlestown and on Sunday the John Haldane takes place in Hilltown.

These two events are selection races for the Armagh – Downpatrick Classic race promoted by the UCPC. An Ulster team of three 2nd category and two 3rd category riders will be selected. A number of riders are already in the frame after last weekend’s two races. The team will be announced by Noel Gallagher on Sunday afternoon. Those interested in selection are advised to ride both events this weekend. The same criteria will also be in force in Leinster for the two events in the Province. Also we have been requested to request that clubs in the province, ‘As per the Cycling Leinster AGM, the limit for race sign-on fees in the Leinster region is 10 euro for a senior rider.’ Out in Batterstown on Saturday the Mick Lally Memorial has pride of place for Sean and Jimmy Lally in memory of their father.
According to race organiser, Wesley Murphy, ‘we will be starting at 10 o’clock sharp! It is to facilitate anybody interested in the rugby match which starts at 1.30. So, hopefully we will have everything done and dusted by 12.30 to get home to see Ireland win again!

On Sunday we have a mixture of road and off road. Kilruddery is the venue for round one of the K Capital Cup. A popular course used many times recently to hold the National Cross country championships. A mixture of woodland and parkland gives a good mix of fast flowing trails and tight twisting singletrack. The featured event will see a return of the infamous wall last used in the national championships in 2005. Work is being done on this to ensure it remains rideable even in the wet! Also a new section of rooty singletrack is added to add a bit of variety to the course. A worthy representative on behalf of the promoting club, WORC, Robin Seymour is expected to land the spoils against overseas opposition.

Newbridge Cycling Club will stage one of Ireland’s toughest one day events on the national calendar this Sunday. Race organiser and the voice for local radio in Kildare, John Malone is a happy camper.

Having secured the return of this prestigious race to its original slot,as the second competitive race of season “the club is preparing for close to 200 entries for an event which has traditionally transformed the roads of Hilltown, Faycullen, Bosten, Dunmurray, and Rathbride, into an action packed cycling spectacle with over three and a half hours of racing .

As we all are aware, John like many of the race organisers in the country, certainly cuts his cloth to the measurement of the ability of those attached to the Ena Loakman/Newbridge Cycling Club. The facilities for all participants and spectators alike has to be one of the most prestigious in the country.

The race H Q and sign on is in the fabulous Newbridge Greyhound Stadium, and once again the Newbridge Credit Union are the event sponsors reflecting their continued commitment to the sport of cycling .The action will commence at 12.30pm when the Senior 1 competitors will be neutralised from the Stadium to the start at Whelan cross just over the Hangman’s bridge “The Senior 2s will follow at 12.40pm and the combined Senior 3s Junior ,Vets and Ladies will be last off at 12.45pm . The Ena Loakman Remax First Choice & Platinum Properties Team will be in the thick of the action and having the advantage of home territory should make it into the prizes.

Seamus Kelly who has turned veteran at the end of last year is capable of causing an up set in the senior 2 category due to his suitability to this gruelling course which will no doubt claim many a victim over the five lap circuit. A word of caution is advised to all motorist in the surrounding areas of Milltown and the race circuit “as their co operation with the race marshalls and stewards will play a major roll in the safety of all concerned.

The Newbridge Credit Union Perpetual Cup which is at present on display at the Newbridge Credit Union Banking Hall “will be presented to the winner of the Senior 1 event by an official of the Credit Union at the race HQ after the final event. Last years’ winner David McCann will be in attendance to defend his title which he won in convincing fashion last year in the colours of Giant Asia. On this occasion David will be in the Toyita Colavita colours, having changed from the Asian Continent to the American scene at the beginning of the year.

He had a rather bad start for his new team in the Tour of California last month when he failed to finish the event. But, these are early days ad you rest assured the Belfastman will open the throttle on the plains of Kildare on Sunday.

Also we have been reminded that the 6th Annual Mick Cahill Memorial Cycle Race promoted by Banteer Cycling Club takes place in Banteer. Race starts at 1pm with sign on at Banteer Community Centre from 12. Prizes for first 10 over the line in the A’s & B’s race and the first 10 in the C’s, Junior & Vet race. Contact Mary or Cormac on 022-47274 or 085-1252570.
The Connacht Road Racing Series which is being co-ordinated by Nigel Forde and sponsored by ‘Harry Cycle Options’ is now into third week of a six week cycle. According to Nigel, ‘it is a great way to give the option for guys who want to race seriously later in the year. At least they’ll have miles in their legs. The turn out so far has been good and believe it or not a blast from the past, Michael McNena showed up to race. It’s definitely getting the message out there and hopefully when the lads go up the country they’ll do the business. Also I was fortunate to have the services of Joe McGuire as commissarie for the series,’ said Nigel. Racing gets under way at mid-day in Monivea and dressing is in the local hall. Simon Coughlan a former Junior Tour winner is currently heading up the points.

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