Suffering our first casualty before we left on Saturday morning was a sign of what lay ahead for a tough weekend of racing in Cork. Colin Kelly fell sick and was unable to travel. Competing in A4 were Patjoe O’Connell, James McGreevey and new open racer Richie Meaney. Keith O’Connell was the only Covey in the A2/3 race.
4 Stages over 3 days included 3 road races and an individual Time trial. Saturday was a hilly 67k (A4) and 100k (A2/3), Sunday morning an inclined 8k TT and a flat afternoon stage of 44k (A4) and 70k (A2/3). Monday was a tough lumpy circuit of 69k (A4) and 93k (A2/3).
20k into the first stage James retired with an old injury giving bother. Patjoe was involved in a collision with only 14k to go having climbed well and broke his hanger, derailleur and spoke. Richie who was also involved in the collision managed to chase back on and finished in the bunch. Patjoe managed to finish but was 67th on GC. 2nd last place! with last place been given a time penalty.
Keith having taken all the slagging going down in the van managed to finish in the bunch having attacked the last corner with Eddie Dunbar, the inform junior. Sean O’Malley from Ballinrobe managed to get into the main break and finished 3rd on the day.
Sunday morning’s stage was a gradually inclining 8k time trial. Richie and Patjoe finished a respectable 5th and 7th Overall. Richie was only 14seconds down leaving him 5th on GC. A great effort with his first outing on the Club’s TT bike! Patjoe was only a further 6seconds behind but he had held back to keep fresh for the road stages with nothing to gain from the TT sitting in 67th place in GC. but should he have gone harder he could possibly have taken the stage. All the while poor James was thinking “what if?” Keith’s TT was nothing to write about obviously feeling the effects of the previous day’s efforts.
Patjoe who was persistent in his efforts on the phone managed to source a replacement hanger from a guy on Donedeal narrowly avoiding having to ride the Iron Horse (James McGreevey’s Claud Butler).
Sunday afternoon was a pan flat course and Patjoe was eager to give a good effort after his bad luck on stage 1. With 1km to go he was in 3rd position after the last turn but the pace eased up and he got boxed in. The race finished in an 80m sprint! Richie maintained his GC position finishing in the bunch. Cathal Usher from Western Lakes took 4th on the stage.
Keith mixed it up in the closing stages of the A2/3 race in an effort to help Michael Gilvarry stay up the road who was there to defend Sean O’Malley’s 7th place on GC. Keith finished in the bunch who were a narrow 6seconds back on the break.
Mondays stage was a bit more promising with everyone well rested and the sun splitting the stones. (O’Leary Stones Kanturk that is!). The A4’s had 3 laps of a 23k circuit with an uphill finish on each round. The lumpy course did not split the bunch with Patjoe, Richie, Cathal and Shane Giligan driving it on. Cathal Usher gave Patjoe a lead out through the technical last kilometre before Patjoe took 4th on an uphill sprint finish known locally as Hospital Hill.
Richie who was on Patjoe’s wheel half way up the drag managed to stay in the bunch avoiding any time splits and finished 5th on GC. Cathal Usher took 8th on GC.
Meanwhile in the A2/3 race of 4 laps of 23k Eddie Dunbarr was up the road and at one stage had 45sec on the bunch. It all looked over when none of the big teams were prepared to chase. The Nichloas Roache Performance Team juniors said they were tired! While Blarney CC defence of the yelow jersey was very poor. However the effects of the the previous days began to tell when the break was caught with 8k to go. The final few kilometres were fast and furious over technical rough roads and Keith managed to finish in the bunch alongside the Blarney CC yellow jersey race leader.
A very well organised race by O’Leary Stone Kanturk CC with good weather to top a good hard weekend of racing. Patjoe now moves up to A3 with Richie on 6points on his first weekend of Open Racing. (James is still on 7points after driving the support vehicle for the A4 race, thanks James!)
Race report by Keith O’Connell
Kanturk Youth 2 Day Race Report
Declan Maloney represented Westport coveys in the under14s in Kanturk over the weekend. On the first stage he finished 6th overall, placing him 1st in the under 13s.
The time trail was very close, with Declan losing to PJ Doogan by 200th of a second. This result meant they were on level points in the under 13s, going into the final days racing.
The final stage on Sunday was a very hard circuit, finishing on the top of hospital hill. On the final KM five riders inc Declan battled it out to the top of the climb. Declan managed to pull away from PJ and finished in 4th place.
This gave him the win of the under 13s overall and 6th overall in the under 14s race. A very hard weekend of racing for his first season, but one that gave him some good experience.