Archive for the ‘Article’ Category

Australia

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)

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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.’

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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

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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

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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.’
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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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Nice start to the year

I was of the opinion that everything was on ice, pardon the pun, but in cycling operations, the throttle is out and in fine form.

It may be 10 days away, but young Ciaran Campbell is hitting the boards as a member of the cast in a Pantomime. Who could resist the invite to a fundraiser in Newtownards this Friday. Leinster youth commision are trawling their nets this weekend in Bray. here’s hoping they unearth some talent from this undertaking.

Recently I got a number of replys to my request for a bit of crystal ball forecasting. Here are some of those forecasts and I promise more next week.

First out of the blocks-Philip Cassidy to have a great start to the season and ride the FBD Insurance  Ras……..An Irish Rider to win a Premier Calender race ( Martyn Irvirne)……..Brian Kennelly to have the usually dominance to the start of the year ………The Sky Team to be chased down by every other team on the planet earth…… .Lance 2nd in the TDF…….. Duignan top 15 TDF / Roche Stage win / D.Martin top 20 on GC of a grand tour !(supplied by the Park Ranger)

Contador to win the tour….. same podium as last year with maybe the other Schleck brother finishing 2nd…….. Wiggins to abandon and throwing a huff. (Coat)

My crystal ball’s a little foggy at the moment due to the weather… Anyway, paper never refused ink…..A big year from our 3 top professionals with cycling receiving column inches not seen since the late 80’s……… Sam Bennett to join them in a top team by the end of the year……..Conor McAllister to step up a level in 2010 and cause selection headaches for the Commonwealth Games selectors……..Richard Hooton to emerge as a new talent worth watching………Azzurri Sports to become a big player in cycling management…….And the elite, espoir and veterans All-Ireland Road Race titles to be won by riders born outside of Ireland.(Teacher)


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Wheelers Turbo Training sessions Commences this evening (Thursday) 14th January for seven Thursday nights. Venue: Old Friary Church Carrickbeg. Setup/Sign on at 6.45pm. Session 7-8pm. Further information Martin O’ Loughlin 087-2338846 martinoloughlin@hotmail.com , www.danmorrisseycarrickwheelers.com

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Who could refuse an invite to this fundraiser which takes place tomorrow evening. With the weather as we write in their favour a full house is definetly is on the cards.

INVITATION

Dear friends in our beloved sport,

An fundraising evening get on their way in Newtownards on the Friday evening at 8pm in the Ards Bowling Club Comber Road.

The proceeds will go evenly to two worthy projects in Ireland,first of all the “Belgian Project” a project which sends young Ulster cycling athletes to Belgium in the summer, as guest riders for a top Amateur Belgian cycling team (Decock-Sportivo Moorsele West Flanders) who provide guest parents, participation in the team and training and race clothing, this to improve their skills and to improve their sport in a big way.Also to advertise cycling in Ulster and Ireland, as we have enormous talent here.

Secondly for the “Para Cycling Team Ireland” which gives disabled cycling athletes a chance to compete in local and international events (Silver Medallists in the World Champs Manchester 2009 on the track in the 3km.pursuit!)This to aid some funding, to be able to send the team to Cali Colombia for the World Championship in 2010.

The fundraiser is a unique event in N-Ireland,with support of many pros from the continent(Freddy Maertens,Nico Matan,Johan Musseeuw,Niels Albert and many more) Ireland North and South,United States,Great Brittain,Holland,Italy(World Champion 2008 Alessandro Ballan)Germany and Tjechie’, and donations of jerseys for auction (with signed cycling memorabilia)from the top of the sport, incl.Pad Mc Quaid UCI President and The Davy Mc Call Foundation (NI) with a jersey of Tour of Spain stage victor “Phillip Deignan “(Cervelo pro team)

See more info in attachments and web pages below…. www.facebook.com/thebelgianproject please get in touch with Dany Blondeel

founder en organiser on 02891-827628.

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Cycling Leinster Youth Commission is holding a one-day training camp this Sunday the 17th.

The camp will be open to all boys and girls who plan to do road racing in either the U14 or U16 categories this  season. That is a boy born in the years 1994 -1997 and girls born between 1993 -1995.

The camp will be held in Bray Wheelers Clubhouse, which is situated, on Schools Road off the Boghall Road in Bray. The starting time is 10am and ending at around 3:00pm. There will be a training spin followed by a talk on training for youth riders and bike maintenance. All riders should bring road bikes, full cycling gear for all weathers including helmet. Riders should also bring along a packed lunch. Of the riders attending Twelve riders will be selected to attend a national camp in February in Mayo. For any further information please contact Gerard Campbell on 086 8192205 or Colm Rigley on 085 1740544. The base for the camp is to try and broaden the numbers of underage participants in Leinster.

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Postal entries now being accepted for Wicklow 200

Postal entries are now open and the may be sent to:

Wicklow 200

c/o 15 Riverwood Glen

Castleknock

Dublin 15.

Get in early and avoid the rush later on. Entries have gone over the 300 mark, so it looks as though despite the poor weather preparatations are well in hand for a big turn out come the big day in GREYSTONES.

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Drogheda Fundraiser
A night at the Drogheda Pantomime 2010 is to be in aid of Drogheda Wheelers Cycling Club. It tales place in a new theatre on the Donore Road and should entice a number of clubs in the general area. Ciaran Campbell is a participant in the show. 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. The show will be on for 10 nights. Accrding to Gerard Campbell, “It will us with our promotions and particularly Ras na nOg which takes place early in the season. Originally we had a car dealer involved with our promotion, but this year because of the decline in sales, they are giving it a miss and I fully understand their predicament,” said Gerard who’ll be in Bray on Sunday.

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Cycling Club Enrolment night/Western Lakes
On Thursday 21st of January anyone interested in taking up cycling from the South Mayo / North Galway area can come to the cycling centre on the Kilamine Rd Ballinrobe between 6.30 and 8.30pm and sign up as Western Lakes cycling club and sign members.
A free polo shirt to all members who enrol on the the night.
Cycling centre activities
Circuit classes are back on Monday evenings from 7-8pm, a great workout to start off the week while exercising all the main muscle groups.
Spin classes are back on Thursday on evenings, 2 classes to choose from 7pm and 8pm, book early as demand is always high.
Training Spins
The club will be organsing Sunday morning training leisure spins from 9.45am at the Cornamarket Ballinrobe once the weather improves.
Contact Fergal  0871211047
Youths Training will take place on Saturdays at 10am Contact Margaret 0863207666
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Bray Wheelers Cycling Club
Youth Cycling Spins

Bray Wheelers Cycling Club youth spins continue every second Sunday afternoon, and we are looking to recruit new members to join in. Its open to boys and girls, and each fortnight we alternate between mountain biking and road biking, and also include track.

We now offer a service whereby we will meet at Bray Wheelers clubhouse, and bikes can be brought from there, with transport for bikes provided by van. This will make it easier for parents who have difficulty transporting bikes.

If you are interested in taking part, membership of Bray Wheelers is free for those under 14 yrs, and EUR 20 for those under 16. And insurance is provided by Cycling Ireland with licences starting at EUR 5. Coaching is offered by qualified Cycling Ireland coaches and we cater for a wide range of ages. Please contact Mark Loughran on 086 822 53210 email info@identikit.ie, or Mark Murphy 086 810 4648, email sales@brayhondacenter.com

Here is the list of spins for thisa month.

Sun 17th Jan
TRACK, meet 1.30pm sharp at Bray Clubhouse, for 2pm start in Track in Crumlin

Sun 31st Jan
MTB, meet 1.45pm sharp at Bray Clubhouse, for 2pm start in Ballinastoe for mountain biking.

Year End



So, the festive sesaon is well and truly upon us when in theory all people are equal and good humoured.
It has been a good news week for the Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club and for the sponsor of the Junior Tour, Martin Donnely, to my sponsors of the web page Eurobaby Eurocycles, but more about that anon plus the latest news about the ‘individual pursuit’ viz-a-vie the Olympics which ties in comfortably with the third round of the World Cup Track Cycling Championships in Columbia.

But first off we go to the announcement by the Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club who got an early Christmas pressie yesterday with the announcement that Ras Mumhan will be sponsored by the Kerry Group.
Admittedly, from being on site last year with the organising club, they left no stone unturned to deliver the premium advantage which a sponsor is entitled to. On the strength of that, the Concannons, Mary and Miceal plus of course the inimitable Tadgh Moriarty know their work along with the people behind the scenes was endorsed with this announcement and I have no doubt over the Chrismas a glass will be raised.
Continue Reading »

Future Stars

Good news for all aspiring competitors in the the junior and under 23 bracket for the year ahead. The foundation for the future of our stars was laid last year. Now the block building begins at these two levels this weekend in Charleville, Co. Cork.Thankfully there has been an unprecendented level of interest for the course over the weekend and no one will be turned away. Dan Curtin from Kanturk is the man behind the development programme and is looking forward to the new season.

In its first year the ‘Development Program’ exposed many Junior and Under 23 riders to top level domestic racing in a team environment. Some collected stage wins in various stage races nationwide but more importantly all went away with vital experience gained which they would not have been exposed to if competing individually or even not at all. The National Development program will continue for 2010. A training camp for any Junior and Under 23 riders.
In these hard times, Dan through his negociating skills got a fantasti deal with the 4 star Charleville Park Hotel of €50 for 2 nights B&B plus 2 evening meals. The weekend will be aimed towards selecting the panels for both squads for the 2010 season.
One of the main items on the agenda will be that Ireland.inc does not miss the boat when it comes to representation at world level.
Last September at the World Cycling Championships in Mendriso, Switzerland it was noticeable that that no under-23’s were on the start line. They did not contest the requisite number of events to get ranking points and thus were marked absent. Nobody in authority has shed light for  the real reason for not making the grid. In my opinion it is a book passing mechanism within the cycling organisation.

To make matters worse this particular season, we had riches in abundance in the under-23’s with the likes of Sam Bennett, Sean Downey and Philip Lavery. And who knows what grants will be awarded for competition, so maybe with the ‘worlds’ in Melbourne we will marked absent again.
In the junior section we had our best competitors for the Martin Donnelly Junior Tour also maked absent.
Dan Curtin who’ll conduct the course is eager that there are no slip ups for the coming season.

Updates

It may hidden in the bowels of my copy this week, but it has surfaced again and no doubt will keep been revisited and that is the failure to have an under-23 team at the World Cycling Championships in Mendriso, Switzerland last September. And to make matters worse the High Performance Director Phil Leigh announces to all and sundry that the trio of Nicholas Roche, Philip Deignan and Daniel Martin should be de listed from the carding system. Did he think that statement through? Still the good news is that the Mid West Road Club in Longford is preparing for a birthday party…..there is a get together for the juniors and under-23 in Charleville (where they built a station for the cheese)……Round four of the Connacht Mountainbike League is in Newport…..Could it happen here in Dublin?…….finally that man in the West is the news again with the promotion of the Sean Kelly Hamper Race in Westport, Joe McGuire.

“Where it began….the Kelly/Roche/Early/Kimmage and the McGowans of Mullingar era was my introduction to cyling…and now 20 yeares on I am very involved with the Mid West Road Club in Longford who may produce a star worthy of Kelly and the lads, but if it does not we will not lose in any sleep about it”, so said Donal Madden
The love affair or call it what you like began last January and now we aged. Similiar to the horses who automatically add another year to their age, likewise Mid West Road Club in Longford will be celebrating their first year as members of Cycling Ireland. Plus there are proud and stand high with the developments in the last 12 months.
Well with a logo ‘it doesn’t have to be the latest lightweight machine and don’t be put off by some people togged out in expensive looking gear’.
And how did it all start? You have to go back to the days of the Mulingar CC and the McGowans who were heavily involved in the club. Father Seamus and son Tommy were highly regarded in cycling circles at national level. Seamus was a member of the governing biody for cycling in Ireland and also a commissarie and Tommy was the competitor who raced all the country in between his studies at DCU.
Talking with Donal Madden about his involvement in the sport and the development of this club in Longford.
“Well with a logo like We stress it doesn’t have to be the latest lightweight machine and don’t be put off by some people togged out in expensive looking gear.
“Mid West Road Club in Longford have started a campaign locally and afar to increase their membership. They are open to new members and potential members who are always welcome on their club run. The  membership covers the counties of Longford, Roscommon, Leitrim and Cavan but we’re not fussy we’ll welcome anyone from anywhere

“We meet weekly on Sunday mornings at the Market Square, Longford (outside Centra) and aim to depart the square at 9.30am.  All are welcome provided you wear a helmet and your bike is in good working order.
“Our routes are pre-planned and give everyone the option of returning to base relatively easy, if they feel tired.  Each Sunday a nominated “sweeper” ensures nobody is left out on the road alone.
“This is our first year and all told we now have up to 30 people coming out from time to time.  Each Sunday sees a group of 10 to 15 ride together.  We can’t afford a web site yet but we have a Facebook page, which is regularly updated showing upcoming routes, etc.  For any information people can contact Donal on 085-7343494.”
How it began in earnest in Longford……On a wet morning November last year, a number of people met by chance in Kevin Martins bike shop in Longford.  None of us knew each other and a chat got going regarding the lack of a local cycling club as Longford C.C. had been defunct for a couple of years following internal fighting.  I had not ridden a bike in 16 years and was a former member of Lakeside Wheelers, Mullingar.  I noticed that there was a number of individuals cycling alone in the Longford area.  We decided to advertise a get together so as people could hook up and ride together.  In order to break the curse of Longford CC, we decided to form a new club, under a different banner and advertise it more of a cycling co-op than a club.  In January 2009, Mid West Road Club was born.  The club would be a clean start, so initially we had to deal with old problems which arose at the inaugural meeting.
“We decided to follow a few set principle’s, especially in our first year.  It was agreed that under no circumstances would we seek sponsorship from local business’.
“The only subscriptions taken would cover fee’s to Cycling Ireland leaving no surplus funds.  It was also agreed that no person would be turned away from the club as long as their bike was in good working order and that they were wearing a helmet.  After that all decisions would be made by a simple majority vote where the need arose.  It was also agreed that the club would not organise club gear in its first year anyway, so we could see how it was surviving.  The core principle would be “Nobody would be left alone out on the road”.
“Eventually it started to really pick up.  The An Post series of cycle tours became a target and after the Sligo tour a couple of guys mentioned the subject of gear and one of our principles went straight out the window, we organised club Jerseys and shorts.  Lakeside Wheelers invited us to partake in their summer league and a number of people took part.  A couple have decided to take part in open races next season and are busy away training already.
One of our members, Jimmy McDonnell, took part in every round of the An Post series.  He completed the 160km event in each one.  We’re not 100% sure, but it’s believed he is the only one in Ireland to do it this year.  An Post awarded him with a full set of gear to mark his achievement and The Examiner paper ran an article on him in their health supplement.  Jimmy’s achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he’s retired and up to 2 years ago he smoked 70 fags a day.  He joined us from the start and rode a hybrid wearing a tracksuit and runners.  He has since taken delivery of a magnificent carbon Dolan and now lives in lycra.
“Unfortunately there are no clubs west of us until you reach Sligo, so to fill the gap, we have moved our spins to Ballinamore and Carrick On Shannon on various Sundays through the year to expand the club.  The Carrick On Shannon spin on 8th November last was a great success despite the worst of weather.
“Approaching the end of our first year, we have 18 paid up members plus another 10 or so who regularly join us and will sign up come January next.  The emphasis next year will once again be expanding the club to new cyclists.  We have members who plan on doing open races right through to a couple of guys who are cycling for rehabilitation purposes.  We will continue to partake in Mullingars summer league and who knows how many will start their racing careers there.
I have been approached by a local man, John Duffy, who took part in a sponsored cycle in New York last summer.  He was taken aback by the interest and has set about organising a cycle here.  The details are not available as yet but it will be probably early July 2010 and in aid of MS Ireland and a local charity.  John has asked for assistance from MWRC, which will be no problem.  He has already got Longford County Council, Local Sports Partnership and Longford Gardaí on board and as a prominent figure in the GAA scene, I believe he has secured facilities and assistance from local clubs.  This has the potential to be one of the best fun cycles in the country.  As soon as details are finalised, we’ll be straight back onto you.
Our committee this year has been Chair/Sec – Donal Madden, Treasurer – Aidan O’Halloran and P.R.O. – Niall Philips.
As theysay watch this space for further developments and I’m there will be many. Got the feeling, that maybe there are poker players who could trump you at any stage, so I’ll be keeping a watching brief.
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Good news for all aspiring competitors in the the junior and under 23 bracket for the year ahead. The foundation was laid last year and now the block building begins at these two levels. Thankfully there has been an unprecendented level of interest for the weekend and no one will be turned away.
The work that Dan Curtin undertook last year was excellent on a domestic level and is set to continue into 2008 But for the absence of the under-23’s at the world championships in Mendriso which was a blight on all our copy books. When you think back to 2008 Cycling ireland had one of the favourites! YES, Daniel Martin was touted as a winner in the race held in Italy. But we were nowhere to be seen in Switzerland. Only as late as yesterday I had a discussion with a top ranking official and he was scratching his head as to how this happened that we had a great crop of under-23’s and with the championships in Melbourne next year! Was the likelyhood that we could see a depleted team. Nobody has admitted the error and the high performance director Phil Leigh touting the notion that Nicholas Roche, Daniel Martin and Philip Deignan lose their grant aid. This will come back to haunt him as they are our true ambassadors.

In its first year the Development Program exposed many Junior and Under 23 riders to top level domestic racing in a team environment. Some collected stage wins in various stage races nationwide but more importantly all went away with vital experience gained which they would not have been exposed to if competing individually or even not at all. The National Development program will continue for 2010. A training camp for any Junior and Under 23 riders will take place in Charleville, Co. Cork on the 5th & 6th December 2009. A great deal has been agreed with the 4 star Charleville Park Hotel of €50 for 2 nights B&B plus 2 evening meals. This weekend will be aimed towards selecting the panels for both squads for the 2010 season. Further queries contact Dan @ 087-2304365 You can Download the Application form Here www.irishcycling.com

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Connacht MTB League
The Connacht MTB League enters Round 4 this Sunday. The venue is  Shramoor, Newport, Co. Mayo.Round four of the  All races sign on from 11am Youth race 12noon, Seniors 1pm Contact Martin @0872226260 or Darren 0872307821

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Could it happen here in DUBLIN

Boris and Ken – as well as those kind folk at the City of London – have put in loads of cycle lanes for those of us who choose to save the planet on our way into work.

But vans keep parking in them, which means I have to swerve out into the middle of the road and hope that I don’t get clipped by a taxi.
The law, as I understand it, is that vans can stop to unload, but they are supposed to only spend a few minutes doing so.
In the City, they appear to be given rather more leeway than other parts of town which, if you are on two wheels, makes life more difficult.
My entire route is based on avoiding right turns where possible and I am not too keen on having to swerve around obstacles on what I thought was supposed to be “my bit of road”.
At the very least this has underlined how difficult it is to allocate road space and the only way in which our cities will work is if we share it.
Touch wood, my basic cowardice means that I have managed to avoid any road rage incidents during my embryonic cycling career.
But given the open warfare which seems to prevail on the capital’s streets I fear it is only a matter of time.
Motorists have, to date, been as good as gold. The only stroppy person I have come across to date has been another cyclist.

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Mention, Westport, Co. Mayo and one name crops up. None other than Joe McGuire of Mayo Wheelers.
Well what is Joe up for the final event of the year. It is the Hamper Race which has found a new home in that town better known for its cleanliness and the ‘Tidiest Town.’
Mark it in your calendar for the 28th of December and the location is the Castlecourt where the hub of the action will be with the likes of Sean Kelly, Enda Kenny, John Maughan to name but a few.
it is in aid of the Western Alzheimer’s who are doing trojan work in the region. For further details give Joe a Buzz on 086.8702062 and remember it is fun event for 20 of the 40 miles.(8 x 5 mile circuit).

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Cycling Australia is pleased to confirm the final make up of the’Toshiba Cyclones’ Australian team to contest the UCI Track Cycling World Championships being staged in Pruszkow, Poland from 25 to 29 March 2009.
The team has been finalised after evaluation during a training camp in Adelaide with 16 riders confirmed in the final team. The team will depart Adelaide for Poland on Thursday 19 March.
‘Toshiba Cyclones’ – 2009 UCI Track Cycling World Championships

* Ashlee Ankudinoff (Menai NSW, 20.08.1990
* Jack Bobridge (Evaston Gardens SA, 13.07.1989)
* Rohan Dennis (Vale Park SA, 28.05.1990)
* Dan Ellils (Ngunnawal, ACT 07.10.1988)
* Belinda Goss (Nook, TAS, 06.01.1984)
* Leigh Howard (Waurn Ponds, VIC 18.10.1989)
* Sarah Kent (Duncraig WA, 10.02.1990)
* Anna Meares (Gracemere, QLD 21.09.1983)
* Kaarle McCulloch (Gymea Bay, NSW 20.01.1988)
* Cameron Meyer (Helena Valley WA, 11.01.1988)
* Travis Meyer (Helena Valley WA 08.06.1989)
* Jason Niblett (Horsham, VIC 18.02.1983)
* Glenn O’Shea (Eaglehawk, VIC 14.06.1989)
* Shane Perkins (Hughesdale VIC, 30.12.1986)
* Scott Sunderland (Hillarys, WA 16.03.1988)
* Josephine Tomic (Perth WA, 09.06.1989)

Picture & Article by John Pierce, PhotoSport International.

John Pierce passing down “kungfu” to his apparentice:

Some of us are old enough to know it, and if we don’t pass it on you younger guys will never know it.

In Cyclingnews there is a piece about Milan San Remo. In the article he refers to that race as the first of the” Monuments” – That is not necessarily correct.

“The 99th Milano-Sanremo is set to be an Easter weekend slugfest along the Ligurian coast thanks to the number of attacking-type riders who are on form. The single-day race – 298 kilometres from Milano to Sanremo on March 22 – is the traditional first of five Monuments of the year, known as La Classicissima.”

I know what he means, but he should refer to Milan San Remo as a Classic, as indeed it is.

The Monuments of cycling are indeed, just that Monuments to the fallen soldiers of the first world war. These monument events are listed as being five events.

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In my experience, both Paris Roubaix and Liege Bastogne Liege, are indeed war memorials. The roads that are used are protected under local council laws, these are the same roads used by the young soldiers of the first world war. Continue Reading »

Today’s race started off early at 8:55am and ends early before 12pm to accommodate our muslim friends, they have friday prayer in the afternoon.

At about 1pm, after the race, me, Marcus, Sharon and TJ went for some Japanese food nearby. We had some really nice Salmon belly. Check it out…

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Continue Reading »

This interview is conducted before the start of LTdL 2008:

Q: What is your current state of mind?
A: I actually feel quite intimidated. So many pros here, so many other experienced teams. I cannot say I have full confidence but i will for sure do my best.

Q: What is your greatest fear?

A: To breakup with my girlfriend. I love her.

LTdl 2008 - Park Sung Baek

Q: What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A: I hate it when people try to test me. When i do know my capabilities and limitations. Continue Reading »

Article and Pictures by John Pierce, PhotoSport International

The problem with race radio tour, is for the team cars to get information there really needs to be a plane in the sky with a signal relay, beamed up and then back down over a large area.

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That costs a fortune.

The alternative is to devise a route and a roster that will almost guarantee a bunch finish. Continue Reading »