Believe it or not! It was in the last century (1913) that Easter was so early in the year.

So! Obviously the organisers of the stage races held at Easter time are beavering away at getting entries for their promotions.

Well! It can be widely assumed from the interest that the ‘Bertoni Gorey Three Day’ has been receiving in the last number of days, that they will not lack entries. It is a sure bet that they’ll be oversubscribed before the season starts at the end of the month! Last year’s winner Denis Dunworth from the Killorglin Cycling Club will not be defending as he has gone on to greater heights and is presently training in France where he will based for the coming season.

This leaves the door wide open for last year’s runner up Linus Murphy who operates out of Oslo. His recent showing in Ras Turcai in Carraroe over Chrstmas would suggest that his ‘time may have arrived’ to win this prestigious event which has been on the go since the ’60’s. Linus of course a former Junior Irish Road Race Champion has never hidden the fact that the ‘Gorey’ is the one that he would like to have on his CV.

Speaking to Sean Kelly on Tuesday evening at the ‘Irish Independent/Jury’s-Doyle Sports Awards’ ”Yes, Linus was in full flight in Carraroe. He initiated the break but on the line I got the decision.’

In the South of the country, ‘Ras Mumhan’ holds centre stage. According to Tadhg Moriarty who is handling the publicity for the event, ‘the organisation is concerned that reports are doing the rounds that the event is not listed. Well, I can assure you that the event is on and that the organisation have all the routes organised. Now the task is to get cyclists into the ‘Kingdom’ for Easter.

‘If we can get the same type of competition similiar to last year, we’ll be at the top table when it comes to a festval of racing,’ said Tadgh.

Brian Kenneally is the defending champion. Obviously the organisation would be pleased if a winner was to emerge from Kerry. You can be sure that Paul Griffin from Tralee who spends most of his time in foreign climes will be there to improve on his second position last season.

As for Isaac Speirs who matched Kenneally and Griffin last year, his movements are in abeyance. His team An Post who will be offically launced the week after next. It is expected that their schedule will be announced then. If indications are anything to go by, then, The FBD Isurance Ras will be high on their priority list, but a ‘Ras Mumhan’ victory would wet the appetite for the new sponsor.

I also asked him if he was running the ‘Gene Moriarty Trophy’ in August. ”No!” Sadly along with Tadgh Michael Gleeson in est Clare has pulled their race.

P&O Irish Sea Tour of the North 2008

Entries are filling up fast for Northern Ireland`s showpiece event, the P&O irish Sea Tour of the North Easter 4-day.

Last years event, won by Englishman Tom Murray (Team Kinesis UK) saw a good representation of riders from across the UK & Ireland.

With the Police limiting Entries to 100, there are only a few spaces left, however included with the entries already received is a squad from the Flandrian Decock-Capino team.

Being looked after by naturalised Ulsterman Dany Blondeel, representatives from the team visited Northern Ireland before Christmas, when they covered last years stage routes. They were suitably impressed to be sending six of their top men to this years event, now only 7 weeks away.

With interest also shown from other European teams, this years Tour is shaping up to be a truly International affair.

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