Pat McNally Cup Thriller
On one of the greatest days in recent Irish cycling with Dan Martin winning stage 9 of the Tour de France, Colm Staunton has taken the McNally Cup Club Championship in fine style.
The 72km handicapped race kicked off at 10am from the Skate park out to Louisburgh, Doolough, Aisleigh Falls, Cushlough and finished on the Farnaught drag just outside Westport. Group 1 worked the handicap and stayed away until Delphi. Group 2 also worked well but with a strong scratch group averaging 43kph into a headwind they were caught just before Louisburgh.
Michael Brady initiated the attacking with a burst of speed through Louisburgh but the bunch stayed together until Group 1 was reeled in. Following a steep decent near Doolough Michael Brady and Ger Corcoran clipped off the front just before the KOH prime which Michael took. Colm Staunton, Keith O’Connell, Ollie White and others took up the chase and narrowed the breakaways gap. James McGreevy and Michael Flynn both tried to bridge the gap but were quickly pulled back.
There was a sprint prime outside Darbys which was taken by Ger Corcoran and with just the overall left it was Colm who took command and organised the closing down of the breakaway. Keith tried a last ditch solo effort coming down through Knappagh but was again closed down just before the drag to the finish. The final sprint was quite short with the main contenders looking at each other. Once again it was Michael Brady who lead the charge for the line. Colm was tight on his wheel, Ger was on his own on the right and Patjoe tight to the left hand side. Colm managed to kick around Michael with Ger pipping into 2nd, Michael held onto 3rd from a charging Patjoe O’Connell.
Patjoe O’Connell took the Group 1 prize for his efforts. John Lenehan managed to finish in the bunch taking the Group 2 prize while Eoghan Carr also finished in the bunch taking Group 3 Prize. Siobhan O’Malley had a battle with Ann Marie Egan but it was Siobhan who finished the strongest taking the ladys prize. U14 Declan Maloney had a great performance to take the overall youth/junior prize while the in form Ben Walsh took the U14 category.
There were also a number of spot prizes. Joe Brown suffered two punctures but managed to get back on twice, he received the Best Drafter award. Sean McLoughlin put in another sterling performance showing that he can drive things on just as much as anyone and was rewarded with a Most Aggressive Rider Award.
Mary Mulchrone, Pat McNallys granddaughter, presented the prizes in Tom Bourkes with a buffet meal being served afterwards.
We would like to thank the McNally family for their kind sponsorship and support of the McNally Cup. Thanks to all the Marshalls, lead cars, organisers, Tom Bourke and Nicolas Food Emporium.
Race Report by Keith O’Connell
Finish line video below courtesy of Pat Monaghan.
1st: Colm Staunton
2nd: Ger Corcoran
3rd: Micheal Brady
Best Unplaced Group 1: Patjoe O’Connell
Best Unplaced Group 2: John Lenehan
Best Unplaced Group 3: Eoghan Carr
1st Lady: Siobhan O’Malley
1st Youth/Junior: Declan Maloney
1st Under 14: Ben Walsh
Best Drafter: Joe Browne
Most Aggressive Rider: Sean McLoughlin
KOH Prime: Micheal Brady
Sprint Prime: Ger Corcoran
Photos by Ollie Whyte.