Ras Mhaigh Eo 2014
The new format Ras Mhaigh Eo kicked off with a bang on Saturday 15th March with cyclists lining out on roads around Westport. The 2 day event with 3 races was very successful with 100 registered riders whittled down to 68 finishers on a deceptively tough exposed course. It was the windy conditions coupled with hard roads that gave the riders a solid test early in the racing season. This is our first Stage Race and was generously sponsored by local businesses including:
- Castlecourt Hotel – Overall Winners Leaders Jersey – Ronan Killeen, Lucan CRC
- Westport Credit Union Time Trial – Jason Prendergast Liquid Worx Fit Science
- Bourke Waste Polka Dot Climbers Jersey – Derek Bourke, SEEing
- Mill Times Green Sprinters Jersey – Chris Jenken, Visit Nenagh DMG
- Westport Smarter Travel White Jersey – Daire Feeley, Donamon Dynamos CC
- Westport Woods/Clew Bay Hotel Ladies Pink Jersey – Siobhan O’Malley, Westport Covey Wheelers
- Nevins of Newfiels Sprint – David Nugent, Seven Springs
- Sheridans Centra Newport Sprint – Ronan Killeen, Lucan CRC
- Corrib Oil Sprint – Patjoe O’Connell, Westport Covey Wheelers
- Mocha Beans Sprint – Chris Jenken, Visit Nenagh DMG
Stage 1 was rolled out by Kings Hill, Westport at 2pm on Saturday and the pace was frantic with everyone keen to be close to the front going throught Newport. Just after Newport an eight man break clipped away into the headwind to contest Nevins Newfield Sprint which was won by David Nugent of Seven Springs CC. With the full force of the wind going around by Corraun everything was all together until the church when the pace was averaging over 55km/hr. Once back on the main road to Westport Derek Bourke of SEEing clipped off the front and 3 riders managed to bridge the gap who took the remaining sprint and 2 koh primes. Another group of 4 riders tried to bridge after Newport but the break finished 1.46 ahead of the main bunch lead out by Chris Jenken of Visits Nenagh CC.
Stage 2A was the Westport Credit Union Time Trial over a 7.75km course which is normally very fast but a strong headwind curtailed the speed demons. However Jason Prendergasts of Liquid Worx Fitscience local knowledge proved decisive covering the course in a little over 12mins.
Stage 2B was set over a 90km undulating course through Louisburgh, Doolough, Aisleigh Falls and back to Westport via Aughagower. After the TT Ronan Killeen Lucan CRC was presented with the yellow jersey before the start of the stage. With a srong headwind to contend with a small escape of 4 riders clipped off before Murrisk and stayed away to contest the Corrib Oil sprint won by Patjoe O’Connell. However with Jason Prendergast and a non working Lucan rider the break was doomed and was reeled back just after Louisburgh. On a tough section between Killeen and Cregganbaun a number of lone attacks formed into what was to become the break of the day. With strong riders such as Chris Jenken, Daire Feeley, Jason Prendergast, Cale Coen, Derek Bourke and John Holland the race looked over when they had a gap over 1.30mins. However with Holland puncturing, Prendergast dropping out of the break the Coveys took up the mantle and brought the gap back to 30secs by Aisleigh Falls. Cale Coen also dropped out of the break leaving 3 up the road and when they started eyeing each other the gap was brought back to 13seconds on the line.
Ronan Killeen of Lucan CRC managed to hold onto the Overall with Bill Delaney South Dublin in 2nd and Mark Reilly of Lucan CRC rounding out the podium.
In the A4 race on Sunday Paul Dunne of Ballina took the honours from Janis Blinovs, Western Lakes CC 2nd and Sean McLoughlin Westport Covey Wheelers 3rd. Sean Hasting put in a good effort coming in 6th in the 80km race. Siobhan O’Malley put in another great effort to finish ahead of most of the chasing bunch taking the Ras Mhaigh Eo Pink Jersey. Full results of A4 and race report to follow shortly.
Westport Covey Wheelers would like to thank all our sponsors, marshals, drivers, helpers, Westport Leisure Park and riders who without their support this weekend of cycling would not be possible.