Archive for April, 2007

It may not have its Union Cycliste Internationale status, but that, has not dimmed the enthusiasm amongst the competitors who’ll take part in the Shay Elliott Memorial that takes place this Sunday from the Town Hall in Bray for 163kms of racing.

Costs of putting the event on the UCI calendar just became to prohibitive, but the generous sponsorship by Murphy & Gunn of Milltown has at least kept the magic that belongs when you mention the ‘Elliott’ in cycling circles.
It has also reached another milestone, with this being the 50th edition of the race that was originally called ‘The Route de Cille Mhantain.

Stephen Murphy whose firm sposors the race, ‘it is a unique event on the Irish calendar. It attracts the creme-de-creme of visting competitors, with the title being exported abroad on many occasions,’ said Stephen.

Back to defend his title is Andy Roche from the Isle of Man, but he’ll face a daunting task in the light of the declared starters which also includes two former winners, Mark Lovatt and Kevin Dawson.

Currently rated as one of the favourites is Brian Kenneally who won the title back in 1999. He has a strong team in MyHome.ie/BDCB and that will count in his favour. Not far off favouritism will be Paul Griffin of the Giant Asia team. Lack of support from any quarter in the recent Ras Mumhan did not deter him from being runner up.

Since the event is primarily for Senior One and Two, 95% of the starters will have ‘been there and wore the tee shirt!’

Not, Isaac Speirs of the Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn outfit. He joined the senior ranks at the beginning of the year. His performance in Ras Mumhan set him apart from the majority of the field and by my reckoning has to be reckoned with.

On Sunday, not only will Bray Wheelers be celebrating the 50th edition of the race, first won by the late John Lackey who went and became a household name, but his legacy was as a race organiser. He went ahead of the possee and trail blazed a generation of other organisers. John was a visionary and was instrumental in making a path for others to gain notoriety in the sport.

It was also the first occasion that the Bray club promoted an open race.

The Bray club have listed John Lynch and Frank O’Leary as starters, but it it would a big ask if either of them were to win the trophy last won a ‘Wheeler’ in 1998, Mick O’Donnell who is the public relations officer of the club.

Back forty years ago 1967) it took the judges a hell of a long time to separate Wim Koopman from Holland and Hughie Davies of the Lorraine Cycling Club after a titanic sprint on the Lower Dargle Road.
Literally on the nose, Davies got the verdict, who on the day was one of the outsiders because of the infamous climb at Drumgoff (Glenamlure) where a monument was erected back in the seventies to commemorate Shay.

Advertisements

Thanks to Pat Dunworth and his team.

Six months ago a Press release from Sean O’Callaghan announcing that he would be vacating the position as race organiser of the very successful Ras Mumhan was a shock to the system. Under his tenure, the race had gained notoriety in cycling circles not alone her in Ireland but abroad also.

It was a further blow to the town of Killorglin who have taken this event with a passion. Not only was cycling going to lose out but the Tourist Industry in the region would also suffer. Think of all the bed nights for three days over a holiday weekend and then take into the consideration the knock on effect, restaurants, public houses, Petrol Stations, the local shops and you begin to realise that this was a blow to the local economy.

Thankfully all as ended well! The Killorglin Cycling Club have taken up the baton and are intent on putting the signs up ‘Business as Usual.’

Under the leadership of Pat Dunworth, race organiser par excellence, ‘yes it is business as usual! Thankfully we received invaluable support and goodwill from a number of people and at the thought of leaving somebody out, I’ll decline gracefully.

‘Of course it has to be said that sponsors are the life line of sport today and that was a big hurdle we had to climb.

In addition to the trojan work being done by the club we have had to bring in new sponsors over a very short period to financially back this event.
Without their financial assistance we would not be in a position to hold this racing festival over the bank holiday weekend.

The main sponsors this weekend are “TLI Technologies” of Tralee, “Garvey’s Super-Valu” of Castleisland, “Pauline Sugrue Properties” of Waterville.

The scene is set for RAS MUMHAN 2007, 4 Day, Cycle race to be held over the Easter weekend, and based in Killorglin.

This year’s race will again be a 4-stage affair. New Race Director Pat Dunworth has introduced 2 new Stages on Saturday , finishing in Castleisland & Sunday in Waterville.

The Race will begin on Friday evening at 6pm with the TLI TECHNOLOGIES 4 mile Time Trial in KILLORGLIN .

Stage 2 on Saturday morning is the GARVEYS SUPER VALU Stage , which will see the race depart Killorglin at 10am for the 100 mile loop to finish outside the sponsors premises in CASTLEISLAND around 2.30pm. This will be an epic stage taking the riders through the roads of Kerry, Limerick & Cork.

WATERVILLE is the venue for Stage 3, the new PAULINE SUGRUE PROPERTY SALES Stage on Sunday at 12 noon. The stage commemorates former Iveragh Cyclist Eamon Scully, who lived for many years in London and the stage sponsor is his sister. The cup in his honour was won by Paidi O Brien last year and he will return in the Murphy & Gunn colours this year . The stage starts and finishes in the South Kerry town after a punishing route that will again take the race onto Valentia Island.

The traditional finish to the race on Easter Monday Morning in KILLORGLIN, at 10am, is 3 laps of the Beaufort circuit and on to the smaller Donal McKenna circuit for the finale, a total of 58 miles.

All the top Irish teams will go to the line, and they will have 2 foreign squads for company. Leading the foreign challenge will be the new Murphy & Gunn Professional team, based in Belgium , that will include winners for the last 2 years John Dempsey and Paul Healion. This team come to the race with
2 Stage races abroad in their legs.

The Surrey League team are regular visitors for the race and they will add to the foreign flavour of the race again.

The Myhome.ie/Cycleways team has 3 former winners, Eugene Moriarty, Stephen O Sullivan and Brian Kenneally who is setting the pace at the moment.

Fermoy rider Michael Hennessy winner of Ras Luimini will lead the Cork challenge that will have the Kanturk Lynch Brothers also. Limericks Tom Shanahan is going well at the moment as is Vincent Gleeson from the Banner, who won the points jersey here a few years ago.

The Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers are one of the form teams’ of the moment and bring all their big guns including Rory Wyley and Martin O Loughlin and double winner this year John O Brien.

The Earl of Desmond team will lead the Kerry challenge or in my neck of the woods the ‘Kingdom’ with Niall Brosnan, the Concannon brothers Eoin and Miceal will be in colours and Sean Lacey will be in the firing line also.

It is a hard ask, but of all the competitors in the event, Paul Griffin from Tralee has the most aeronautical miles clocked up and it would be fair to say the most racing miles. He is back for Taiwan and subject to recovery from jet lag has to be taken as a lively candidate for the overall honours.

‘I only made up my mind to compete in the event yesterday evening. The second stage is 80% familiar to me, but the roads will be very hard as I feel they are very dead,’ said Paul.

Twelve months ago, Eugene Moriarty crashed in this event and more or less never recovered in the sense that he was seldom competitive for the rest of the season, when he got going again. I caught up with him early this afternoon and teased out his feelings about the race. ‘As you are aware and the rest of the cycling community that the MyHome.ie/BDBC squad have been in the winners enclosure seven times since March. That is an enviable amount of success for any team so early in the season. Yes! We’ll be up there to be shot down, but there is tremendous amount of spirit in the team and hopefully we can do the business. Do I need to be reminded that last year in this event. my whole year was more or less finished before it started.

‘We are going over a lot of new ground which will make the event interesting and I am keeping my council to myself as to where the trophy will rest come Monday afternoon,’ said Eugene.

As an honest broker it would be hard despite the pros and the visitors to look beyond Kenneally with John O’Brien of Dan Morrissey/Carrick Wheelers RC and Griffin being in the shake up!

Anthony Mitchell like his fellow organisers in the South, also faces a daunting task, but he has big broad shoulders and readil admits it is a team effort. Although the entry list was done and disted for the last few weeks, he admits that if david McCan now based in the USA, he would be facilitated.
Well that scenarion does not exist now. Souces tell me he is heading back to the USA this weekend. Also, this event has been on the go since 1955 with a few lapses in between.

Interstingly there is a ladies team in the event and a number of juniors. ‘I have no doubt that everybody will get around the course and don’t be surprised and mark my words the ladies will not finish last. Aso we are consious of finishing early as we have a fair contingent from the UK and they will be anxious to get ferries back to the mainland.

The P&O Irish Sea Tour of the North kicks off this evening (friday) with a 1-mile Prologue Time Trial at Stormont at 7pm. All eyes must be on defending champion Ryan Connor (Giant Asia & Ballymena Road Club) to repeat last years win, although the diminutive Co Antrim rider will be hoping for a more comfortable cushion than last years 10 second winning margin.

Connor has been on top form in the early season with wins in the Surgenor Cup and Wallace Caldwell memorial, and currently leading the Slane Cyles Ulster Classic league, he must start as hot favourite to take the victory over the weekends 5-stages.

If successful, he would be the only local rider with 3 wins in the event, passing illustrious clubmate Billy Kerr (1978&9). Connors wins came in 2004 & 2006, and at 23 years of age he has the potential to dominate the race for years to come.

His main opposition is likely to come from the UK mainland, with Team Kinesis UK fielding Elite category rider Pete Williams, 6th overall last year and former British Under 23 Champion Neil Swithenbank heading a strong West Pennine Road Club team.

From the local scene, Ardsman Martyn Irvine, 4th overall last year is looking to improve, and with a year more experience he could well be the one to watch. His defecit last year, one of the colsest on record, was only 15 seconds and a season spent in Belgium has improved the 20 yearold Ards CC rider.

The top 10 last year was covered by less than one minute, and returning from that crop are Adam Armstrong (10th in 2006) Craig Battersby (Lancashire RC, 8th last year) and Daniel Shand (West Pennine, 9th last year)

No one can rule out last years runner up, and a double event winner, Tommy Evans (Usher-Irish Road Club) although now a full time development officer for Cycling, Evans is still capable of pulling off a major coup.

His Irish Road Club team heads a strong contingent from `South of the Border` with Dublin Wheelers ans Stamullen Road Club entering full squads.

For added interest, there are three international standard girls in the line-up, with Jenny Fay home from Australia especially for the event.

The event also has an International flavour, wth 1989 winner Gary Scott, exiled in the USA, home for Easter and Australian Nathan Jones also in the province for a couple of months. Jones has been aclimatising to the local racing and weather over the past couple of weeks, and having finished 9th in the 2006 Australian Pro Championships, he could cause an upset at the weekend. He will be backed by the County Armagh Orchard Wheelers, including former Irish International Keith Gallagher.

With a full field, and an increased prize fund totalling over £4,000, there is all to play for over the coming 4 days and 5 stages as the P&O irish Sea takes to the road once again.

GOREY 3 DAY STAGE DETAILS

Stage 1: Easter Saturday Start 12 Noon. Neutralised to start proper at Riding Stables, Brittas, Blessington, Baltinglass, Hacketstown, down through Tinahely town to Tochar Cross Roads and turning right for Carnew into Carnew and turn left. After approx. 6 miles turn right into Craanford, on straight to Camolin turning left onto Enniscorthy Road, approx. 500 yards on turn right heading for Smith’s Cross Roads, turn left out onto Gorey/Ballycanew Road, its approximately 3 miles to the finish at the 30 mph sign on Ballycanew Road into Gorey.

Stage 2: Easter Sunday 4mile Time Trial Start at 9.00 a.m. just before Clough (4 miles out Enniscorthy Road). Finish at Monument. Riders off in race order number not G.C. order.

Stage 3: EASTER SUNDAY 4 laps (15 mile circuit) Sign on and collect tags at Loch gCarman Hotel, Main Street at 1.30 p.m. Start at 2.30 p.m. at Monument, out Carnew Road, turn left at Craanford, straight on taking left turn onto Enniscorthy Road at Camolin. Finish just before 30 mph sign before Gorey on Ennis corthy Road (same as last year).

Stage 4 Monday – Start 12 Noon, Main Street, Gorey. Sign on and collect tags at Loch gCarman Hotel, Main Street at 11.00 a.m. Riders assemble at side street facing Loch gCarman Hotel for start.
Route: Up Main Street, right at Monument to Carnew (straight), Shillelagh, Tullow (Right), Rathvilly, Baltinglass, Blessington. Finish approx. 4 miles other side of Blessington, finish at Roecrete Quarry (approx 3.5 miles past Blessington.

Allice Sherratt
Sam Darcy has been involved since the start of this event , he has been central to the race along with his late wife Betty Think ‘Gorey’! What comes to mind, of course it is the Gorey Three Day and one person stands out. Sam Darcy has been in since the start of this event way back in 1967. He has been central to it along with his late wife Betty.

Today, the backing comes from BERTONI and it is greatly acknowledged by the ‘A’ team.
Of course Sam would be the first in line to acknowledge the work that goes on behind the scenes. It is a case for the competitor to get his entry in on time. Within days of the application forms seeing daylight! They are snatched up and back with Alice Sherratt such is the demand to be on the start list.

This year’s race has an entry of 200. That alone tells the story of why the race has a special slot on the calendar. Fortunately, I was able to have a few words with the Chief Commissarie for the event, Philip O’Brien. I asked who in his mind stood out as winners’ of the event. Without pausing for breadth, ‘Peter Doyle who was the first winner. He comes to mind immediately as he was a member of Bray Wheelers like myself.

‘There has to be no doubt in mind, but Mark Scanlon stands head and shoulders above all comers. It was 1998 and all the arterial roads around Co. Wicklow were going through transition for want of a better word. The final stage went over Drumgoff (site of the Shay Elliott Memorial). Mark literally was in a class of his own. That would have to be one of the great wins. To think that the year before he was second. Unfortunately we cannot rewind time, but for the break going off course again on the final stage, Mark could have been the only competitor to have back to back wins. But that’s life!

Philip O’Brien
‘He may not have won the event but Sean Kelly’s participation a couple of years ago was also one of the highlights of my involvement with the race. He was such a genuine competitor and on that occasion it created real buzz about the event. Unfortunately he may have been a world beater in his day but the ‘Gorey’ brought him back to terra firma and he finished, (long pause) well not exactly in the top ten. If memory serves me right, I think that Sean Lally never won the event, but he was a great character and competitor,’ said Phil.

Philip Cassidy
The presence of Philip Cassidy as a starter for the first time this year must cause a ripple. Recently I spoke with Philip after his win the Christy McManus sponsored by Duff’s of Bray in Roundwood. ‘The only occasion I have been to the ‘Gorey’ was back in 1979. PJ Nolan a former President of Cycling Ireland was making his mark. ‘Now after all these years I will be on the start line. Of course I am looking forward to the challenge! This race has its own piece of history. The numbers who turn up to race is a testament to its success,’ said Philip. Of course Philip’s team MyHome.ie/BDBC have been causing their own ripples with the success they have attained so far this season. He must be rated to show up in the general classification, but with 200 starters, there has to be a joker in the pack.

I’ll leave the last word to the race commissarie, Philip O’Brien, ‘I have no problem with the numbers. The same practices have to put in place if its for one, but my principal hope is that the race goes well and that the everybody associated with the event have a safe passage,’ said the genial Mr. O’Brien who is better known as the motor bike com. As for a winner, well it is high time that the promoters of the club, Usher Irish Road Club got their name on the trophy. Maybe, Shane Baker on their behalf will bridge the gap back to Karl Donnelly. Looking through the the entires, Neil Martin a former professional and Aidan Duff are in the mix this time around, but it has to Baker to land the prize.

Additional information: Sign on: Easter Saturday 7th April from 9.15a.m. – 11.00am in St. Mark’s G.A.A. Club, Fortunestown Lane, Tallaght. Riders leave St. Mark’s at 11.15 am SHARP and assemble at the starting line in Brittas to start at 12 noon.

PRIZES: First 25 overall, First 2 unplaced Vets, 3rd, First 2 unplaced Cats.
& Juniors, 1st & 2nd Club Teams, First 8 in Stages 1, 3, & 4. First 6 in Time Trial. Ladies Prizes & NEW this year we have a Points and K.O.H.
competitions.

Changing facilities, Prize Presentation/Final G.C. – St. Mark’s G.A.A. Club, Tallaght after race finish.

Ras Mumhan which takes place in Killorglin over the Easter weekend looks to be the most potent of the three stage events that are down for decision.

Whereas the Bertoni Gorey Three Day and the P&O Ferries four day in Belfast have been oversubscribed.

According to Tadhg Moriarty, entries will be accepted on the line in Killorglin, Co. Kerry for the first stage which takes place on Friday evening.

Maybe the opposition has been scared off because of the presence of the Sean Kelly/Murphy & Gunn outfit from Belgium, but this has not detracted the MyHome.ie/BDBC team from taking on the professionals. To date the MyHome lads have won seven races and that in a nutshell puts the rest in the shade.

An interesting competitor in Gorey is Philip Cassidy who is competing in the event for the first time. Anthony Mitchell who heads up the Northern race has told me that David McCann who now races in America would be facilitated with an entry. David is a class act and would bring panache to the event.

STAGE DETAILS

Stage 1: Easter Saturday
Start 12 Noon. Neutralised to start proper at Riding Stables, Brittas,
Blessington, Baltinglass, Hacketstown, down through Tinahely town to Tochar
Cross Roads and turning right for Carnew into Carnew and turn left. After
approx. 6 miles turn right into Craanford, on straight to Camolin turning
left onto Enniscorthy Road, approx. 500 yards on turn right heading for
Smith’s Cross Roads, turn left out onto Gorey/Ballycanew Road, its
approximately 3 miles to the finish at the 30 mph sign on Ballycanew Road
into Gorey.

Stage 2: Easter Sunday 4mile Time Trial
Start at 9.00 a.m. just before Clough (4 miles out Enniscorthy Road). Finish
at Monument.
Riders off in race order number not G.C. order.

Stage 3: EASTER SUNDAY 4 laps (15 mile circuit)
Sign on and collect tags at Loch gCarman Hotel, Main Street at 1.30 p.m.
Start at 2.30 p.m. at Monument, out Carnew Road, turn left at Craanford,
straight on taking left turn onto Enniscorthy Road at Camolin. Finish just
before 30 mph sign before Gorey on Ennis corthy Road (same as last year).

Stage 4 Monday – Start 12 Noon, Main Street, Gorey.
Sign on and collect tags at Loch gCarman Hotel, Main Street at 11.00 a.m.
Riders assemble at side street facing Loch gCarman Hotel for start.
Route: Up Main Street, right at Monument to Carnew (straight), Shillelagh,
Tullow (Right), Rathvilly, Baltinglass, Blessington. Finish approx. 4 miles
other side of Blessington, finish at Roecrete Quarry (approx 3.5 miles past
Blessington.

Think ‘Gorey’! What comes to mind, of course it is the Gorey Three Day and one person stands out. Sam Darcy has been in since the start of this event way back in 1967. He has been central to it along with his late wife Betty.
Today, the backing comes from BERTONI and it is greatly acknowledged by the A team.

Of course Sam would be the first in line to acknowledge the work that goes on behind the scenes.
It is a case for the competitor to get his entry in on time. Within days of the application forms seeing daylight! They are snatched up and back with Alice Sherratt such is the demand to be on the start list.
This year’s race has an entry of 200. That alone tells the story of why the race has a special slot on the calendar.

Fortunately, I was able to have a few words with the Chief Commissarie for the event, Philip O’Brien.
I asked who in his mind stood out as winners’ of the event. Without pausing for breadth, ‘Peter Doyle who was the first winner. He comes to mind immediately as he was a member of Bray Wheelers like myself.

‘There has to be no doubt in mind, but Mark Scanlon stands head and shoulders above all comers. It was 1998 and all the arterial roads around Co. Wicklow were going through transition for want of a better word. The final stage went over Drumgoff (site of the Shay Elliott Memoria). Mark literally was in a class of his own. That would have to be one of the great wins. To think that the year before he was second. Unfortunately we cannot rewind time, but for the break going off course again on the final stage, Mark could have been the only competitor to have back to back wins. But that’s life!

‘He may not have won the event but Sean Kelly’s participation a couple of years ago was also one of the highlights of my involvement with the race. He was such a genuine competitor and on that occasion it created real buzz about the event. Unfortunately he may have been a world beater in his day but the ‘Gorey’ brought him back to terra firma and he finished, (long pause) well not exactly in the top ten.

If memory serves me right, I think that Sean Lally never won the event, but he was a great character and competitor,’ said Phil.

The presence of Philip Cassidy as a starter for the first time this year must cause a ripple. Recently I spoke with Philip after his win the Christy McManus sponsored by Duff’s of Bray in Roundwood.
‘The only occasion I have been to the ‘Gorey’ was back in 1979. PJ Nolan a former President of Cycling Ireland was making his mark.

‘Now after all these years I will be on the start line. Of course I am looking forward to the challenge! This race has its own piece of history.

The numbers who turn up to race is a testament to its success,’ said Philip.

Of course Philip’s team MyHome.ie/BDBC have been causing their own ripples with the success they have attained so far this season.

He must be rated to show up in the general classification, but with 200 starters, there has to be a joker in the pack.

I’ll leave the last word to the race commissarie, Philip O’Brien, ‘I haveno problem with the numbers. The same practices have to put in place if its for one, but my principal hope is that the race goeswell and that the everybody associated with the event have a safe passage,’ said the genial Mr. O’Brien who is better known as the motor bike com.

As for a winner, well it is high time that the promters of the club, Usher irish Road Club got their name on the trophy. Maybe, Shane Baker on their behalf will bridge the gap back to karl Donnelly.
Looking through the the entres, Neil Martin a former professional and Aidan Duff are in the mix this time around, but it has to Baker to land the prize.

Additional information:

Sign on: Easter Saturday 7th April from 9.15a.m. – 11.00am in St. Mark’s G.A.A. Club, Fortunestown Lane, Tallaght. Riders leave St. Mark’s at 11.15 am SHARP and assemble at the starting line in Brittas to start at 12 noon.

PRIZES: First 25 overall, First 2 unplaced Vets, 3rd, First 2 unplaced Cats. & Juniors, 1st & 2nd Club Teams, First 8 in Stages 1, 3, & 4. First 6 in Time Trial. Ladies Prizes & NEW this year we have a Points and K.O.H. competitions.

Changing facilities, Prize Presentation/Final G.C. – St. Mark’s G.A.A. Club, Tallaght after race finish.

Morning is the GARVEYS SUPER VALU Stage , which will see the race depart Killorglin at 10am for the 100 mile loop to finish outside the sponsors premises in CASTLEISLAND around 2.30pm. This will be an epic stage taking the riders through the roads of Kerry, Limerick & Cork.

WATERVILLE is the venue for Stage 3, the new PAULINE SUGRUE PROPERTY SALES Stage on Sunday at 12 noon. The stage commerates former Iveragh Cyclist Eamon Scully, who lived for many years in London and the stage sponsor is his sister. The cup in his honour was won by Paidi O Brien last year and he will return in the Murphy & Gunn colours this year . The stage starts and finishes in the South Kerry town after a punishing route that will again take the race onto Valentia Island.

The traditional finish to the race on Easter Monday Morning in KILLORGLIN, at 10am, is 3 laps of the Beaufort circuit and on to the smaller Donal McKenna circuit for the finale, a total of 58 miles.

All the top Irish teams will go to the line, and they will have 2 foreign squads for company. Leading the foreign challenge will be the new Murphy & Gunn Professional team, based in Belgium , that will include winners for the last 2 years John Dempsey and Paul Healion. This team come to the race with 2 Stage races abroad in their legs.

The Surrey League team are regular visitors for the race and they will add to the foreign flavour of the race again.

The Myhome.ie/Cycleways team has 3 former winners , Eugene Moriarty, Stephen O Sullivan and Brian Kenneally who is setting the pace at the moment.

Fermoy rider Michael Hennessy winner of Ras Luimini will lead the Cork challenge that will have the Kanturk Lynch Brothers also. Limericks Tom Shanahan is going well at the moment as is Vincent Gleeson from the Banner, who won the points jersey here a few years ago.

The Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers are one of the form teams’ of the moment and bring all their big guns including Rory Wyley and Martin O Loughlin and double winner this year John O Brien.
The Earl of Desmond team will lead the Kerry challenge or in my neck of the woods the ‘Kingdom’ with Niall Brosnan, the Concannon brothers Eoin and Miceal will be in colours and Sean Lacey will be in the firing line also.

It is a hard ask, but of all the competitors in the event, Paul Griffin from Tralee has the most aeronautical miles clocked up and it would be fair to say the most racing miles. He is back for Taiwan and subject to recovery from jet lag has to be taken as a lively candidate for the overall honours.

‘I only made up my mind to compete in the event yesterday evening. The second stage is 80% familiar to me, but the roads will be very hard as I feel they are very dead,’ said Paul Twelve months ago, Eugene Moriarty crashed in this event and more or less never recovered in the sense that he was seldom competitive for the rest of the season, when he got going again. I caught up with him early this afternoon and teased out his feelings about the race. ‘As you are aware and the rest of the cycling community that the MyHome.ie/BDBC squad have been in the winners enclosure seven times since March. That is an enviable amount of success for any team so early in the season. Yes! We’ll be up there to be shot down, but there is tremendous amount of spirit in the team and hopefully we can do the business. Do I need to be reminded that last year in this event. my whole year was more or less finished before it started.

‘We are going over a lot of new ground which will make the event interesting and I am keeping my council to myself as to where the trophy will rest come Monday afternoon,’ said Eugene.

As an honest broker it would be hard despite the pros and the visitors to look beyond Kenneally with John O’Brien of Dan Morrissey/Carrick Wheelers RC and Griffin being in the shake up!

Six months ago a Press release from Sean O’Callaghan announcing that he would be vacating the position as race organiser of the very successful Ras Mumhan was a shock to the system. Under his tenure, the race had gained notoriety in cycling circles not alone her in ireland but abroad also.

It was a further blow to the town of Killorglin who have taken this event with a passion. Not only was cycling going to lose out but the Tourist Industry in the region would also suffer. Think of all the bed nights for three days over a holiday weekend and thentake into the consideration the knock on effect, restaurants, public houses, Petrol Stations, the local shops and you begin to realise that this was a blow to the local economy.
Thankfully all as ended well! The Killorglin Cycling Club have taken up the baton and are intent on putting the signs up ‘Business as Usual.’

Under the leadership of Pat Dunworth, race organiser par excellance, ‘yes it is business as usual! Thankfully we receieved invaluable support and goodwill from a number of people and at the thought of leaving somebody out, I’ll decline gracefully.

‘Of course it has to be said that sponsors are the life line of sport today and that was a big hurdle we had to climb. In addition to the trojan work being done by the club we have had to bring in new sponsors over a very short period to financially back this event. Without their financial assistance we would not be in a position to hold this racing festival over the bank holiday weekend.

The main sponsors this weekend are “TLI Technologies” of Tralee, “Garvey’s Super-Valu” of Castleisland, “Pauline Sugrue Properties” of Waterville.

The scene is set for RAS MUMHAN 2007, 4 Day, Cycle race to be held over the Easter weekend, and based in Killorglin.

This year’s race will again be a 4-stage affair. New Race Director Pat Dunworth has introduced 2 new Stages on Saturday , finishing in Castleisland & Sunday in Waterville.

The Race will begin on Friday evening at 6pm with the TLI TECHNOLOGIES 4 mile Time Trial in KILLORGLIN .