Covey League Round 4 Results

Round four of the Covey League took place on wednesday June 4th, with a different format to the previous rounds. This race started on the Newport rd with a course of over 60km putting the riders through their paces, many of whom would not have raced this distance before. Reports for all group winners are listed below. Keith O’Connell tightened his grip at the top of the table with a great win from group 1, Ben Walsh, Eoghan Carr and Martin Walmsley were the other group winners!
Also linked below is the table for the Youth section of the Covey League. Keith Mulroy continues to lead this league although the margin is now down to a single point. Oisin Gannon took the spoils on Wednesday evening, followed by Liam Horgan and Shane O Malley.
We would like to thank everyone for taking part on Wednesday night. Thanks to the marshalls all over the route, as always without your help none of this would be possible. The lead cars and support cars and especially the motorcycle riders who did a great job of stopping traffic at junctions on the route. A big thank you to those who looked after the sign on and the eagle eyed spotters at the end who noted all the racers as they crossed the line and frantically jotted down their race numbers, a great effort indeed!!!
The next round is a Time Trial which will start at the Old Head cross roads and finish at the usual race finish line on the West Rd at O’Gradys house, not down at the garden centre. Distance is approximately 16km. This round will take place on Tuesday 24th June. Start/Sign on times to be announced shortly.
Race Reports
First Man across the line: Keith O’Connell

Showery looking clouds cleared away for the start of round 4 of the Covey League although we did get some light showers around Derrinumra in the main it was dry and there seemed to be a headwind around every corner! The groups were given a small handicap of 1min intervals which meant chasing from the start. As usual at the start I took off on a flier to get the ball rolling. The bunch caught up with me half way Barley Hill and the pace was frantic. We got organised around Tom O’Flynns house and caught the Group 2 around Noel Mulroy’s dad’s house. A few clipped off the front but nothing to worry about. Aaron drilled it into Newport and I took the right turn tight under Chris Keane’s nose onto the Castlebar road. We could see the two front groups had merged with Ray Stauntons shorts visible from the top of the reek. We duly put a bit of pressure on and caught them before the drags at Cuilmore school. A couple of us rode passed and more sat in, feeling the pressure after chasing hard to Newport. I made sure I was on Aichlinns wheel going up the drag by the school and Aaron the only other rider with us. Torture…. We rode hard for 10mins and when I looked back I saw we had a good gap. However the boys behind got organised fairly quickly with strong riding by Sean Hastings, his first outing in the scratch group. They closed us down to 25secs by the turn onto the Belmullet road before we picked up the pace. Once we were out of sight we were out of mind through trees around Beltra Lough. The gap went out to 50secs by Glenhest and apparently the chase group splintered when lack of cooperation set in. A number of incohesive attacks by James, Patjoe and Michael Flynn along with stop start chase efforts helped to open our lead. Coming up from Newport I could see Aaron was in difficulty looking for gears that weren’t there. Aichlinn gave push on the small dig before Barley Hill and Aaron was gone. Aichlinn then rode Barley hill hard before trying to take off across the top. I held on to take the sprint and my first ever win! Thanks to all the race organisers and marshals. Sorry Chris Keane about your toes…

Group 2 Winner: Ben Walsh

Group 2 started off steady and gradually got faster, but as the groups were in reverse order we knew we would be caught fairly quickly by Group 1 which happened as we were passing Mid West Furniture, I hopped on the back and started to work my way up. We caught group 3 just outside Newport and the pace slowed through the bad corners which allowed us to catch group 4. It was then the pace picked up and the bunch was strung out in single file and one by one people started going out the back and the group started to get smaller. Keith O Connell, Aichlinn O’ Reilly and Aaron Doherty went off the front and with nobody willing to put the work in, the gap kept increasing. A lot of attacks followed throughout the race trying to get access to the leading 3 by Pat Joe, James, Michael, Sean and Colm. None of them succeeded until James put in a hard effort but was caught shortly after on the return through Newport. Knowing we were on the home straight the pace picked up and Sean attacked as we hit the hills in Kilmeena followed by James which they would hold to the end. Coming up to the finish I looked around to see who was left of group 2 and it was me and 3 others so I got into a good position for the sprint and thankfully took first in group 2. A harder race format but much more enjoyable. Thanks to all the marshals who helped out on the night, it was greatly appreciated.

Group 3 Winner: Eoghan Carr

I knew the course having completed it last year in the Connacht Finals Championship. I knew that the main attack point would be the main drag about a mile past Newport on the way out. I was feeling good on the night and attacked after Newport to get in a good position to try and latch on to the fast approaching scratch group. Achlinn, Aaron and Keith zoomed past and disappeared up the road. James Mc Greevy and the rest of the scratch group were in pursuit but at a slightly slower pace and I managed to get in behind Colm Staunton and dug in to stay with this group at all costs. The pace was very high for me and I was genuinely at the limit for most of the rest of the race. I only noticed after about halfway round that myself and Eamon Daly where the only group 3 lads left. We had a few words and worked hard to stay in the main group til the end where I just managed to get a slightly better position than Eamon for the final sprint to the line. The backup and organisation behind the race was first class, thanks to all responsible.

Group 4 Winner: Martin Walmsley

Good weather for racing yet again!
We only had 4 starting tonight! – Anthony Harrison, Noel Kelly, Paul Reynolds & myself. We climbed Barley Hill fairly quick & settled in to a steady rotating group. With so few to share the workload, we were caught by a much bigger group (group 3 & some of 2, I think) on approach into Newport.
From Newport river climbing up to Derrinumera it was a bit of a blur as the majority of the overtaking occurred. I think group 1 whizzed by as I struggled for breath, as I clung on to the back of the main bunch. As the pace increased on the flat, I hit “the wall” the bunch started to disappear from view.
I had a tough solo effort from Belmullet road to start of Beltra lake, where I was caught by a group of about 10 (mostly from group 3 I think) This bunch kept at a steady pace, picked up 2 more in Glenhest. By the time I (foolishly!) lead the group charge up Barley Hill, we were down to about 6. I had nothing in reserve & came last in that bunch sprint, won by Keith Hastings.
The rest of group 4 came in about 5 minutes later.
The reverse order start (fastest last) proved to shake things up & make it more interesting. Thanks to all those organizing & marshaling…….creating a great evening out!

Eight youths out on the night who had a nice easy cycle down to Newport where they turned and headed back for Westport and the battle began. There were four in contention from the off; Shane O’Malley, Keith Mulroy, Oisin Gannon and Liam Horgan, with a sprint finish up the hill to the line Oisin took first with Liam coming home strong in second. There was a battle for third with Shane O’Malley pipping Keith on the line. Yannick Sheerer and Orla Harrison battled it out for 5th and 6th with Yannick being the stronger on the evening. Young Finbar McLaughlin finished in 7th position followed home by Mark Gannon who is the newest member of the club and this was his very first race where he looked comfortable and one to watch in the future.
Round 4 Table
Covey League Youths

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