The opening stage started off with a bang with numerous attempts from all the strong teams to get away. We averaged 48km/hr for the first 20 minutes until the elastic eventually snapped and the decisive break went away that eventually decided all the top placings overall. While that group pulled out a sizeable lead many groups tried to jump away from the bunch to form their own chase. One such attempt did eventually break away but with good team work from James, Keith, Richie, Dave and Ger along with help from our neighbours from the Western Lakes we soon brought the bunch back together. 3 more broke away outside of Newport and took 30 seconds out of the group but it was the boys out front that had the damage done and finished 4 minutes ahead. Our former team mate Anthony Murray of Subaru Albion from Australia was in that break along with a few future stars from the Munster Development Squad in the shape of Eddie Dunbar, Stephen Shanahan and Dylan O Brien. Galway Bays Derek Joyce was there along with Paddy Clarke and stage winner Mike Storan of Liquidworx Fitscience. Although we had no such luck on the day we did try and get away a few times to no avail and when we were chasing the break James, Richie, Keith and Dave were very strong and sacrificed a lot of energy. Overall the team worked well and were looking forward to Sundays double stage.
Sundays morning stage started off minus a man as Keith withdrew due to family commitments on Mothers’ Day. Once again with decent weather and with the 6 man strong Liquidworx Fitscience boys defending the yellow jersey it was always going to be hard for a break to stay away. That didn’t deter too many though and as the race headed out towards Ross many riders jumped off the front looking to form a strong group that might stay away. Eventually one such attempt stuck with Padraig Marrey WLCC, Chris Troy Castlebar CC, Tony Bourke Galway Bay CC, David Nugent Seven Springs CC and Marc Potts Omagh Wheelers. This strong group pulled out a max of 50 seconds on the bunch but were always in sight of the Liquidworx boys. James, Richie, Ger and Dave added to the chase with James in particular stringing out the bunch with his driving power. With 20km to go the bunch all came back together and then the Munster Sensa boys lit it up with numerous digs on any short drags we encountered. The terrain however wasn’t as grueling as they would have possibly liked and with the stage being a short 60km a group of 35 were still together with 5km to go. A few attempts were made to get away by the strong A1s in the closing kms but were all shut down rapidly. As the race entered the final km the Liquidworx boys were all at the front with the Munster Juniors primed but with about 550 metres to go our very own team mate Ger Corcoran decided to take a chance and go for broke as he launched himself from around 12 places back in the bunch. It couldn’t have worked out better as the big names all briefly stalled and looked at each other while Corcoran gave it his all to take the win by 3 bike lengths from a fast finishing bunch. Marc Potts from Omagh was second with Paddy Clarke 3rd. The win was a great boost for the team and even better that a few Covey club mates were there at the finish to witness the win and cheer for one of their own. Ger was seeing stars at the finish and didn’t stop sprinting until about 10metres past the line in a scene similar to that in the film Forest Gump 🙂
This was an 8.2km time trial from Ross back towards Castlebar. With many riders energy levels dropping due to earlier exertions it was going to be the real strong men that would prosper here and so it did. Chris Troy from Castlebar CC was the popular winner of the race of truth with a super fast time of 10.55 with Munster Junior Dylan O Brien a second slower and with that taking the overall prize for the 2 day event. Eddie Dunbar was 3rd quickest finishing 2nd on general classification and Patrick Clarke 4th quickest thus rounding off the podium on GC.
James was the quickest Covey finishing 8th with a super time of 11mins 28secs. With that James finished 3rd best unplaced A3 overall. Just reward for his aggressive no nonsense style of riding.
Richie was 11.39, Dave 11.46 and Ger 11.49.
A great team performance overall with Ger getting his first open race win. Dave Walshe only in A3 a couple of weeks and still up there with the best of them and Richie Meaney a real powerhouse that would have excelled even more with a bit of luck on his side and had the roads been hillier. Keith is building momentum too and would have had a say in proceedings had he not to don the apron for the day that was in it. 🙂 Ger and Ollie will know all about it soon.
Onwards and upwards now as we hope for similar results as the season takes full flight over the next few months.
Well done to all on a super result for Team Covey.