Martin O’Loughlin back-to-back wins Lacey Cup 2008

The handicapper was no match for Martin O’Loughlin as he succeeded in notching up back-to-back wins yesterday in the Lacey Cup in Tralee yesterday.

This was the opening event of the cycling season and as per norm it is run on a handicap basis. Three groups averaging 36 went to the start line in Denny Street, Tralee with O’Loughlin as the defending champion in the second group three minutes behind the limit and two minutes ahead of the scratch group which included all the favourites.

Fortunately Martin’s bunch included the majority of the Veterans who maybe over 40 years of age but experience counts for a lot particularly with these ‘gents’. This was a real bonus and as far as O’Loughlin was concerned their expertise at staying ahead of the favourites proved conclusive in as far as he was concerned.

Admittedly the scratch men hovered up the leaders on the road, but by the time they reached Inch mid-way into the event O’Loughlin in the company of Tom Shanahan and Keith Gater forged ahead to the finish.

Whereas 12 months Martin had to rely on his sprinting ability to claim the prize but yesterday he soloed home to victory ahead of Tom Shanahan of Limerick CC with Keith Gater of Comeragh CC in third place.

The trio had been at the head of the race for the remaining 40kms having broke clear of the main group. At the final ascent of Sliabh Mish, O’Loughlin made his successful bid.

“Yes, it was a great win, plus back to back wins for me are rare and also that I was wearing the Veteran Champions jersey made it much sweeter for me,” said Martin.

Whilst Martin was celebrating his win, it was alarming to note that only one Junior participated. Hopefully this will not be a pattern in the coming weeks.

Lacey Cup, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

 Details:

1 Martin O’Loughlin (Dan Morriseey/Carrick Wheelers CC), 1hr. 52mins.40secs;
2 T. Shanahan (Limerick CC), @15secs;
3 K. Gater (Comeragh CC), @16;
4 M. Nugent (Comeragh CC), @31;
5 M. Lucy (Killarney CC), @46; 6 P. Bane (Kanturk Credit Union CC).

1st Lady-A. McCarthy (Limerick CC). 1st Junior- B. Geoghegan (Kanturk Credit Union CC).

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