PADDY’S WEEKEND

His weekend on the home front promises to be exciting! Between Carrick-on -Suir on Patrick’s Day and Carlow the following day, the fare for the competitors is rather tasty for those who have aspirations of taking on the challenge of participating at Easter in Ras Mumhan.

Certainly riding high at the moment is Brian Kenneally. It would be virtually impossible to deny his three wins on the trot. Obviously, Ciaran Power who also represents the Navigator Insurance team in the USA is not going to make up the numbers at both venues.
On Sunday the Des Hanlon in Carlow has the advantage of being the only event in the southern part of the country and will cater for all catergories.

St. Patricks’ Day Road Race, BATTERSTOWN 11.00am-The traditional Patrick’s Day event which has been part and parcel of the scene for as long as I can remember (and that wasn’t yesterday) is on the road again. It may have the title as the St. Patrick’s Day Road race. If memory serves me correctly, it had a start at the Billy Morton Stadium and finished at the back of the Airport. And! Yes, it was a handicap which afforded the likes of yours truly to get the nod, but the scratch boys in those days took no prisoners.
For years it was on the Finglas Road, but the amount of traffic on the highway scuppered its longeveity! Now, it is out in Batterstown over 40 miles and the handicapper also plays a pivotol role. I think he/she has it down to a fine art with the limit group just getting across the finishing line ahead of the speed merchants. Those days it was the Irish Road Club who were the master of ceremonies, but now they have a grandiose title…….Usher/Irish Road Club and of course the inimitable Alice Sherratt is in the background and the man with the watch belting out the time gaps is the bould Danny O’Shea who looked resplendent in his caravan last week in Kilruddery at the K Capital Source Mountain Bike event where the one and only Robin Seymour bagged a valuable 30 Union Cycliste Internationale points for his flight to the Beijing Olympics without Irish sports Council Funding. Rumour has it that he is the only individual who has a genuine hope of making the Games without spondulex from the TAX PAYERS!
Nice one Robin.

Carrick Cup, Carrick-on-Suir,1.00pm-A town steeped in the tradition of cycling for many a long year. Paul Lonergan is at the helm again in more ways than one. He is the organiser of the ‘Cup’ and is confident that he’ll get a good turn out. ‘The lads have been doing well since the start of the season. We have bolstered up the numbers and no doubt we’ll get a sound return for our sponsor ‘Dan Morrissey.’ Of course in the line of business, Saturday’s event is the first on the menu for the coming year, but we’ll talk about that later,’ said Paul.
The Carrick Cup is over 63 miles on the Glendwe circuit. Those with aspirations of competing in the Ras Mumhan will be anxious to flex their muscles. Stealing everybody’s thunder at the moment is a former member of the club, Brian Kenneally. He has had two convining wins in Navan and Newbridge and is obviosly setting the bar.
Martin O’Loughlin a member of the promoting club and the winner of the opener of the season in Tralee in the Earl of Desmond/Tralee Bicycle Club sponsored ‘LaceyCup’ has been laid low with flu, but is anxious to get in the mix on Saturday.
It looks on paper that it’ll come down to the supremacy of either Kenneallyu’s outfit, MyHome.ie/Cycleways.com or O’Loughlin’s Dan Morrissey team.
There is also chat that Ciaran Power a former winner of the event will be in the line up. Could be an interesting ‘Paddy’s Day’ in Carrick. Stiil the favoutite will be Kenneally.
Des Hanlon Memorial,
Carlow Cattle Mart 11.30am-

Organisers of the Des Hanlon Memorial Race, Carlow Road Cycing Club have made some alterations to the running order of the events that are listed.

This year in an effort to make the racing good for all categories, Senior A and B will see no changes to the course etc. but the first ten finishers will be in the prize money, as will the first two unplaced Senior B riders.

The second race will see changes in that the race will be aimed mainly at Vet and Junior Categories, but Senior C and Women can also race if they wish. The first 25km will be neturalised/controlled, this is to allow all riders to clear the initial hills before the racing begins. The race will be two laps of the circuit and prizes will be first three placed and first and second unplaced Vets and Juniors. No prizes will be awarded to umplaced Senior 3 or Women in this race.
The Third Race is a one lap event and is racing from the “get go”. This is aimed mainly at Senior C and Women categories, however Vets or Juniors who don’t feel up to racing the two lap race can also take part, but will not be eligable for unplaced prizes. Prizes will be for first three placed and first and second unplaced Senior C and Women. As can be seen from the prizes, the two and one lap races have been scewed towards different categories, but still allow riders with different goals to compete at a level that suits them. The club website www.carlowcycling.org has all the details on times etc. and also a neat view of the course and profile on google earth

Contact: Ray 086-8415160.

It is generally accepted that the majority who participate at batterstown and Carrick will make their way to the popular venue in Carlow where the racing has always been of the highest calibre because of the involement of the promoting club and their attention to detail.

Armagh- Downpatrick St. Patrick’s Classic, (Sunday)-Ulster Cycle Promotions Club will promote the 3rd edition of the popular point-to-point –Armagh-Downpatrick St. Patrick’s Classic, which for 2007 is again supported by Down District Council. The years 2005 and 2006 have certainly gained a reputation for this race as one of the best point to point cycling events in Ulster.

Starting at 12.45 pm, the Sign on will be in Cathedral Road Recreational Site at 11.00 am. The race will roll out from Armagh City, along to Hamiltonsbawn, to Tandragree, across to Scarva, Gilford, Banbridge, Castlewellan, Newcastle and Clough before making its way to Downpatrick, finishing at the 30 mph signs on the Ballyduggan Road.

Last years winner Adam Armstrong has steadily improved since his win last year and has been upgraded to a first category rider leaving him unable to defend his title.

There is a substantial prize list for the event with prizes for the first 8 across the line. The winner will be awarded with the Gerald Long Memorial Cup.

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