Cowie Not The Bridesmaid This Time!
There were 5 Westport Covies in action at the final and decisive round of the Connacht MTB Spring League at Moorehall on Sunday the 6th April.
The rain took a break as the horn sounded for the start of the senior race, but left behind were slippy conditions which meant it was going to be a tough mucky race.
First off was Reg Cowie in the Expert Group. With two 2nd placings in the last two races, he was hoping to close the season with a win. It didn’t look good on the 1st lap though, as an early crash in the slippy conditions put him to the back of the group. Home advantage paid off, as the trail builder and course designer, he knew all the sneaky places to gain speed and overtake and by lap 2 was back in front. The lap times slowed with each circuit as the mud took hold, but after 80 minutes, several tumbles and 4 laps of racing, he crossed the line in 1st place, 1minute and 30 seconds ahead of Peter Gillespie, Ballina CC (league winner). This was enough to secure 2nd overall in the Experts Category for the season.
Padraic Furlong returned to off road action in the Sports Category, with 3 laps of the leg sapping 5k course. Padraic was joint 9th out of 21 riders in the points standings going into the race. A good result would see him climb the table. He didn’t disappoint, finishing 4th on the day, 3 minutes ahead of Ross Oogan of Eire Og. This placed him 5th overall, in the largest and most contested category in the league – Nice one Padraic!
Noel Kelly continued his crusade in the Novice men’s category. The committed Covey was the only Westport senior rider to compete in every round of the league. 10k of racing saw Noel hold off a late challenge from Darragh Delaney of Annagh Wheelers, taking 3rd on the day and 1st place in the league, earning him a nice voucher and promotion to the sports category for the autumn race season.
The showers couldn’t dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the young Covies, with Charlie Kelly taking 3rd in the Under 10 boys, and Emily Kelly securing 2nd in the Under 10 Girls. The 2km junior course they raced on contains many of the technical features of the adult track, with drops, roots, slippy single trail and even a tunnel to contend with. After racing at all 5 rounds the Kelly duo both secured 2nd place overall in their respective categories, a great way to end the season.
Prize giving took place in Carnacon Community Centre with plenty of well-earned tea, sandwiches and cake.
A big thanks go out to Darren McGann and all the volunteers at Connaught Cycling for organising the best attended off road race season so far.
For full results and League placings check out the Connacht MTB Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ConnachtMtbLeague