44 riders signed on for round three of the 2014 Covey Club League on Wednesday evening last. The weather stayed fine for the racers thankfully, with a nice breeze making things interesting along the way. There is a new name atop the table following a strong result for Keith in group one while the top ten are separated by only 6 points. A strong solo effort from Aichliin saw him claim the spoils in group one in fine style. Group 2 was too tight to call with joint first place being awarded to Sean Hastings and David O Malley. In group 3 Tom McGreal took the honours, as did Joe O Toole in Group 4. Reports from the victors are below.

NOTE:The next round of the league has been brought forward to Wednesday June 4th due to conflicts with other events on the calender. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The 2nd Time Trial will now take place on Wednesday June 24th.

 
Group 1, Aichlinn O Reilly
 

A nice bright evening with a slight breeze greeted us on Wednesday evening. A large group gathered by the train station. Members of the Subaru team racing in the Rás were the subject of all the pre-race talk. However they didn’t take part in the actual racing. From the very beginning the racing was fast and furious. Keith broke away from the start and after the group negotiated the bend by the bridge the pace was picked up. Various breaks were attempted with none getting away for the next few km. Then around Knockrooskey me, Dave and Richie managed to get a small gap. We worked together for a few km until the group brought us back together. The pace stayed down for a while as we all recovered from the fast start. In Killawalla me Dave and Aaron managed to get away again. I glanced back and noticed this time no one was chasing us down. We maintained a hard pace and Aaron dropped off. Me and Dave worked together until the turn off for Srah. Going up the drag at Srah I dropped Dave. I looked back and couldn’t see the main group so decided to go for it. I worked hard all the way back and managed to hold the group off all the way back to town. Thanks to all the marshals and organisers.

 
Group 2, Dave O Malley
 

Great evening for racing and a good turn out approx 15 riders in group 2. It was a safe group with most having plenty of race experience. The attacks started early and continued for most the Srah loop, with everyone having a go, especially the juniors who never seem to get tired. This kept the average pace high. Wind wasn’t much of a factor, which meant the breaks all were reeled in after no more than 2km. Most made to the final km intact and I was happy to be in contention under the bridge and put the head down for the line, sharing joint 1st with Sean. Moving to group 1 for next round. Thanks.

 
Group 2, Sean Hastings
 

There was a great turn out for group 2. This resulted in a big group on the road and some very competitive racing. A fast start with the aid of a tail wind settled down into a steady pace, but it wasn’t long before the breaks started going off the front. The young trio of Eoin McLoughlin, Ben Walsh, and especially Declan Maloney put serious pressure on the main group behind. The lads never got too far ahead with strong riders like Dave O’Malley, Dave Hanahoe and Colin Browne to bring them back. The headwind came into play after the turn around at Partry. There were only a few attacks at the front until it became obvious that the group would stay together for a sprint finish. Any one of a number of riders could have taken the honours with a very tight finish on the line. Sean Hastings and Dave O’Malley couldn’t be separated on the line and were adjudged to have finished level.
A big thanks to Noel and Stephen and all the helpers, who make the race nights possible for us all.

 
Group 3, Tom McGreal

My 2nd race of the year
Getting dropped again was my fear
But the group has good numbers tonight
So I will defo be holding in tight.

Keith H led us out on his Look
Tight on his wheel I did tuck
One straight line like a string
But who in group 3 would win??

A few good breaks were tried
But soon filtered out and died
No one had the strength to go
Not even Sean, Walter or Joe.

Up the front we all took a turn
Until the legs they started to burn
Some guys just stayed back out of sight
And had a nice cosy spin for the night.

Through Shrah in a blink we did blast
For the spectators we were going too fast
The marshals were doing great deeds
Attending to Padraig G and his needs

The big turn and we headed for home
Padraig F and Sean O still going
A few breaks again were tried
But quickly by the group were denied..

In through Killawalla and Mace
At an unbelievable pace
We caught 2 guys from down-under
and blew them away like thunder.

Now the bridge with the tracks were in sight
But the train was going under tonight
I was last through the arch in a dart
T’was the 1st time I saw Theo since the start.

Simon made the break for home
Opened up a huge gap on his own
I jumped on the wheel of Joe B
He would be the lead out for me.

I came around him with a 100 to go
And blasted past most of my foe
I sprinted past Simon on the right
YES glory was mine on the night.

I enjoy the club races alright
I love the buzz off the night
So off up to group 2 I roll
Trying not to get dropped is my goal

Too all you Marshals who give up your time
Your time is as valuable as mine
Chris, Tony , John and the rest
To have such organisation we’re blessed.

Great night.. Tom McGreal…………

 
Group 4, Joe O’Toole

The turnout for the group 4 race was down compared to the 1st race. Six group 4 racers lined out on Wednesday evening on the Srah loop. The pace was steady on the way out of Westport with everyone doing their shift up front. There was no breaks on the way out of Westport. I found the road surface tough going and more suited to a mountain bike at times.. On the return trip to Westport the breaks commenced round Killawalla with Martin Walmsley, Noel Kelly and Noel McGourty all making some decent breaks. However, all attempts were in vain and the group appeared to resort to leaving the race to be decided to the last 1-2 km’s. From Knockrooskey to Moran’s garage there was a couple of uncommitted breaks(including my own) with everyone gearing up for the sprint from the bridge. Going in to the bridge I kept reminding myself to stay calm and not break too soon. Martin was on my outside going in to the corner. I slowed down a little going round the corner as I was a little weary that I would not be able to hold my line and take him out of it… Coming out of the bend Martin pulled over on to the left hand side of the road and suddenly at the corner of my eye I seen Martin’s bike shaking. I realised then he had hit the kerb and before I knew it he was off the bike. I figured he was OK and continued on up the drag. On the last 200 yards I could feel Noel Kelly on my shoulder. I felt I had a little bit left in the tank so waited until I could clearly see the finish line and gave a final kick coming in a yard or 2 ahead of Noel.
Group 4 Competitors in the order they finished: Joe O Toole, Noel Kelly, Ray Staunton, Noel McGourty, Martin Walmsley, Elaine Halpin.

The Covey League 2014 Table to date is Round 3 Table
 
NOTE:The next round of the league has been brought forward to Wednesday June 4th due to conflicts with other events on the calender. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The 2nd Time Trial will now take place on Wednesday June 24th.