There out of the blocks in Australia….Betting Man has some interesting predictions on the international stage for the year ahead……Phil Leigh goes to great lengths to put my fears on the back burner……track racing in Beijing…….Paddys Day Parade for Bray Wheelers……142 two days for the Wicklow 200…..its all here and more in your Thursday round up.

Well, as far as road racers are concerned, the break is over. The 2010 season has kicked off, with the year’s first ProTour event now underway in Australia. André Greipel, winner of the 2008 Tour Down Under is showing the way after three stages. Today the temperature gage showed 40 degrees. The race continues until Sunday. Of course as far as Adelaide is concerned, their story is that the tourist industry is booming. Thanks to one man in particular! Lance Armstrong who’ll be back in Ireland in August where fans will show up in numbers to watch him compete and generate millions of euros for the beleagured tourist industry.

Last Thursday we introduced some very interesting predictions for the year ahead courtesy of well known personalities in the cycling world. This week we had had a most interesting submission which I welcome.

The year is going to be mainly marked by an ever-growing spat between Lance Armstrong/Team RadioShack and Alberto Contador/Team Astana. The psychological war will build up continuously as the Tour approaches. If Astana is blocked from riding the race for any reason, Contador will switch teams; Caisse d’Epargne is the most likely destination, particularly as Alejandro Valverde is likely to find himself with a two year ban relating to Operación Puerto.

Prior to the Tour, Armstrong will put in better performances than in 2009. He’ll look to take a victory or two in order to prove he’s on form, most likely going for a stage in the Tour of California. Levi Leipheimer will focus fully on hitting top form for the event and may well take his fourth consecutive title. However expect to see the Garmin team put in a strong challenge, perhaps with Dave Zabriskie if he does not ride the Giro.

Over at the Italian tour, Riccardo Ricco will build towards the race thinking of the pink jersey. However there is actually a chance that he will miss the race; the samples from the 2008 Giro are due to be tested for CERA and if this is done before the start of the Italian Tour, expect the Italian to be snagged once again. Ditto for another one or two big names.

Franco Pellizotti and Ivan Basso (Liquigas) will be in the thick of the action, with Basso expected to be stronger than in 2009. They were third and fifth respectively, and both are likely to move up a place after the positive test of Danilo di Luca. The Italian duo will be arguably the biggest favourites at the race start in May.

Earlier on in the year, the move of the finish of Milan San Remo closer to the descent off the Poggio will foil the sprinters and enable someone who goes clear on the climb to triumph. Philippe Gilbert will continue improving and will win either the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix, while one of the Schleck brothers will take Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Armstrong will ride well during the Tour but providing Contador is there, the Spaniard will triumph once again. Armstrong may take second place, but will be pushed hard all the way by Andy Schleck. Should Contador’s win be a decisive one, Armstrong may elect not to ride the race in 2012, realising that he can’t beat the Spaniard. Expect plenty of spin in that case, and further attacks on Contador from his former team-mates.

Mark Cavendish will once again excel in the sprints but may not be as dominant as he was in 2009. Bradley Wiggins will perform well in the Tour but will feel the weight of a nation’s expectation – and that of his new team – and may have one bad day in the high mountains.

Irish riders Nicolas Roche, Philip Deignan and Daniel Martin will continue to progress. Roche will climb more strongly than before due to recent weight loss and could finish in the top 15 in the Tour. Deignan is likely to make his debut in the race, as is Martin. The Letterkenny rider will be obliged to ride for Cervélo Test Team leader Carlos Sastre, thus hampering his GC chances, but he’ll impress in the mountains, be in contention for a stage win, and prove he deserves team leadership for the Vuelta.

Martin will probably need another Grand Tour or two in his legs to have the consistency for three weeks, but he will impress greatly on at least one mountain stage and chase a victory. It will be Ireland’s strongest chance in many, many years to take a Tour stage win.

The Vuelta will go to a Spanish rider, possibly Samuel Sanchez. There will be a very large number of sprinters in the race, with almost all of the big guns travelling there to prepare for the world championships. The sprinters will fight tooth and nail in order to score psychological points over each other but, at the worlds, expect to see Fabian Cancellara try burst clear on the final lap and win. (courtesy of the Betting Man).

relation to the 2010 season for youth road racing,

The key events this year will be The Corkman three day which is run by Kanturk  CC on the May bank holiday weekend. The next big event will be the Mayo youth tour over the August bank holiday followed on by the National championships which are been held in Lurgan this year on the third weekend in August. We also have for the first time a number of park races which will be held in Waterstown park in Palmerstown over a  two and a half Km circuit. These will be run on a number of Sunday’s and Tuesday’s which are all listed in the 2010 Calendar..

Some of the key riders to look out for are Robert Anderson, Orchard C.C. and Ryan Mullin, Navan R.C. who represented Ireland last year in the youth Olympics and remain at under 16 level again for 2010. I n the under 14 section the man to beat will be Darragh Long, Orwell C.C. and in the under 12 section Angelo O’Conner, Laois C.C. will be very strong after showing some very strong performances last year. (The Linesman)


In a week that we got the green light about the rescheduling of the national cyclo cross championships, which will now take place on the 7th of february at St. Anne’s Park Raheny. Hopefully the weather will have improved dramatically, but the long range weather forecast is for a fresh burst of snow.

ireland has been hit by some of the heaviest snowfalls for decades during a bout odf Artcic weather two weeks ago causing all sorts of problems for the population.
The snow is being caused by cold air from the continent meeting a frontal system coming in from the atlantic.
But will not cause concern for track team who are currently in China for the World Track Cycling Championships in the Velodrome.
The third round of the Track Cycling World Cup takes place in Beijing, China this weekend over three days. The Irish Team has recently to plan for changes in their program for the year to accommodate the recent announced changes in the Track Olympic Programme for London in 2012. These changes sees the addition of several new Women’s events plus the removal of some of established men’s events including the individual pursuit which David O’Loughlin excelled at. The team for the Beijing includes Aaron Buggle, Matt Brammeier, Stephen Barrett, Marcus Christie, Martyn Irvine and Sean Downey. Individual Pursuit – Friday, Christie; Points Race – Friday, Downey, Buggle, Barrett; Team Pursuit – Saturday 4 from, Buggle, Brammeier,  Barrett, Christie, Irvine and  Downey; Scratch Race – Saturday, Downey, Buggle, Brammeier; 1K Time Trial – Saturday, Irvine.

I queried Phil Leigh about the current state of ‘track cycling’ and his comments are attached:

‘No there is no change of the guard. We have 8 or 9 guys in the track squad now and they all have to have opportunities to show what they can do, we will continue to test different combinations as each and every member of this squad must be capable of delivering a performance when called upon. Included in this group are four guys who are under 20, Aaron Buggle, Sam Bennett, Sean Downey and Marcus Christie. We now have an opportunity to blend youth with experience. David O’Loughlin and Matt Brammeier being the most experienced track riders in the team bring that experience to the squad going forward. The other riders are all gaining experience every time we train and compete on the track. Martyn Irvine, Stephen Barrett and David McCann all have great engines and contribute to give a balanced team effort on the day. We are very fortunate to be in this position and there are also others knocking on the door. The key task for the High Performance Team is now to gel the right blend of riders and make them go faster towards London 2012. A larger group of riders ensures healthy competition for places and that coupled with quality coaching and preparation can only help us to go faster.’

Charity Cycle
Cody’s Challenge Postponed until 23rd January The details are below. There will be three distances/routes available, 25 miles, 55 miles and 70 miles. Sign on will be from 9.15am at Richhill Recreation Centre with the first riders away at 10.00am. The entry fee will be £10 for seniors and £5 for juniors and U16’s with all monies going to the Heart Beat charity. A ‘goodie’ bag will also be available to for all those signing on. This first group will be for leisure and touring riders as well all those completing the 25 mile route. A second group for competition/club riders will then start 15 minutes later and follow the same route. The 55 mile route will be Richhill, Armagh, Charlemont, Moy, Dungannon, Aughnacloy, Caledon , Armagh , Richhill. Those completing the 25 mile route will turn at Charlemont and return to Richhill via Loughgall (weather permitting) Those wishing to do the 70 mile route will turn right on their return to Armagh and travel out to Markethill and Tandragee before returning to Richhill. All groups will be accompanied by local riders and support vehicles. Showers and changing facilities will be available at Richhill Recreation Centre on the riders return. Hot soup and refreshments will be available there also from 12.00pm For further infomation I can contacted either via email or on 07709454047. Stephen Gallaghers mobile number is 07708064049


Drogheda Fundraiser
A night at the Drogheda Pantomime 2010 is to be in aid of Drogheda Wheelers Cycling Club. The production will take place on Sunday, the 24th of January. It is a great family show and all proceeds will go to the club and will be used in the holding of the numerous underage events that the club promotes every year. All support appreciated

Straight off the PRESS

On the 11th April 2010 cycle racing will make a return to the Counties of  Longford/Leitrim.The IVCA have kindly included a DMS (Divided Mass Start) race in their  2010 calender outside of Dublin.Crossan Electrical Racing Club is going to bring back cycle racing to the cycling starved Midlands.Contrary to popular belief there is another Cycling Club catering for underage and seniors who are wanting to race.
Due to the inclement weather we have all been forced to our indoor trainers but will be hitting the roads fo County Longford hard starting this week end.
The club plans to hold a week-end of racing hoping to incorporate underage racing on Satuday the 10th of April to make for a bumper weekend of cycling in the Midlands.
And whilst we are on the subject of The IVCA, the clock is ticking away with 142 days to the off of Wicklow 200 which starts and finshes in the ‘Garden of Ireland.’
Bray Wheelers CC will divert this St. Patrick’s Day from competition when they will make their debut in the local Paddys Day Parade in the town. As they say ‘they are delighted and excited about the prospect of parading in their lycra gear.

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