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The Covey Youth squad under the watchful eye of Head Coach Tony Walsh put in a strong performance in the U14 and U16 races in this years Ras na og hosted by the Drogheda wheelers at the weekend.

Comprising of 2 day, 3 stage format, the team comprising of Owen Mc Laughlin, Declan Maloney, Ben Walsh, Aaron Doherty, Sean Flynn, and Damion Gannon had mixed fortunes on each of the stages. The u14 team pushed a strong Kanturk squad to the line and finished up second team overall.

Owen Mc Laughlin in his first major cycling race showed good speed and steady improvement over the weekend as his confidence grew and he got to terms with the competition.

Ben Walsh finished top 10 on the first stage , was unfortunately involved in a big crash on stage 2 , however he remounted and finished well inside the top 20 to earn vital points for the team, his performance on Sunday was one of the best recovery rides of the weekend. Having lost contact with the lead group he worked tirelessly to pull back a 2 min deficit and be in the shake up at the Line.

Declan Maloney put in a stellar performance through out, a strong first stage performance, again being unfortunate to get caught up in the crash on stage 2 but making a huge recovery to get into the Top 10 on that stage while being in contention through out on stage 3 seen him Pick up the prize for first U13 rider in the Ras.

Aaron Doherty feeling the side effects of the WLCC/Covey Crash on Thursday night had a slow opening stage which was followed by 2 strong recovery rides to earn top 5 finishes in the longer stages and a 6th Place overall in the U14 Catogery.

Sean Flynn got off to a flying start on Stage 1 and drove the pace for a long period of the race and was unfortunate not to brake Clear, The side effects of the Covey crash came home to roost over the remainder of the weekend however overall a very strong performance and well capable of mixing it with the very Best in Ireland.

Damion Gannon’s confidence grew as the event unfolded getting stronger with each stage and looking very comfortable challenging some of the best youth riders in the country by the third stage.

A big thank you to Tony for supporting the weekends activities and the winter training which now has the covey youths capable of competing with the best in the Land, A stellar performance from all involved.

Race Report by Ethna Doherty