Western / Covey Round 2 Race Report by Ollie Whyte
Our group 3 worked very well and we kept the wattage up for most of the route. There were huge efforts put in by all the Coveys in the group. There were occasional drops in speed but these were not tolerated for too long! Our Western Lake comrades gave us some welcome local intel re upcoming ascents and junction turns which was very much appreciated. When we caught other riders they worked with us for as long as they could. Fatigue set in towards the final 20km and holding on to the group became the primary objective for some. When there was visual confirmation of the scratch group approaching the group unfortunately slowed.
On joining us, the scratch group brought great tactical manoevuring and jumps. Several attacks were launched but were caught. There was punishment for any cyclist not aware of the several attacks occurring around them. While staying up front I was watching over my shoulder for the usual Western Lakes suspects (Marrey, Quigley, O’Malley) to jump hard. I don’t particularly recall planning any jump with Padraig Hughes, but suddenly we had opened a gap from the bunch. He looked to his rear, as did I, and the chasing bunch were a good distance back. Both of us were unsure what to do so at that point, so I made the declaration: we can work together or not.
We did our turn up front battling winds and self doubt. To be honest I was not too confident we would stay ahead of the powerhouses hunting us down, but we managed to somehow. We were so breathless we could not verbally communicate. With about 200m to go it was my turn to get up and over, but it was just too close to the line to go at that very moment, so I waited another few seconds and then launched my solo attack with about 70m to go to grab the finish just ahead of Padraig. I never usually position in road races so I was quite surprised! These events really are the best training ever, no matter what position you finish.
After crossing the line I was told there was a crash and had to return to help out. I hope John recovers quickly. Thank you to all the volunteers that made the event possible. There is a great season ahead for Westport Covey Wheelers!
Western / Covey Round 2 Top 10 @Ballinrobe.
1st Oliver Whyte Westport Covey
2nd Padraic Hughes Western Lakes
3rd Ger Corcoran Westport Covey
4th Mark Quigley Western Lakes
5th Padraig Marrey Western Lakes
6th Michael Brady Westport Covey
7th Pajoe O Connell Westport Covey
8th Sean O Malley Western Lakes
9th Keith O Connell Westport Covey
10th JJ Flaherty Western Lakes
Ollie now goes into Rd 3 as league leader and will wear the leader’s yellow jersey.
With rider and road safety paramount, all racers are asked to heed the organisers re the rules of the road and the competition, if crashes continue to happen both clubs will be left with no choice but to disband the league.
In the Team section Western Lakes aggressive racing has them at 428pts to Covies 416pts.
In the ladies league Siobhan O Malley leads from Ann Marie Egan with Kathleen Barry in third.
The Handicap group has been up dated for Rd3.
Round 3 takes place in Westport on May 16th.