McNally Cup Club Championship – Race Report
Last Sunday 9th of September was the annual Westport Covey Wheelers Club Championship in the form of the McNally Cup. Last years Club Championship was held as a separate race but this year they were combined. The Club Champion for 2011 was Joe Browne who was out in force to defend his title but having returned the McNally Cup after last years win, Michael Brady was still showing the signs of a hard season in 2012 which included the Ras in May.
Over 30 cyclists turned out on a windswept, wet and muggy morning for a 72km handicapped road race from Westport – Louisburgh – Delphi – Aisleigh Falls – Cushlough – Farnaught. The groups were distance handicapped with Group 1 starting at The Reek, Group 2 at Belclare and Group 3 at The Skate Park on the West Road.
There were two intermediate primes one after Delphi at the top of a short climb and a Sprint prime outside Derby’s in Cushlough. The race whistle blew at 10am with all groups starting together.
Immediately there were a number of casualties with Patjoe O’Connell puncturing outside Gannon’s garage before he even started with Group 2, Padraic Conway punctured in Murrisk while riding with Group 3, Tommy Burke retired just after Lecanvey while Martin Nee punctured twice in Group 1 before turning back before Louisburgh. Up the road things were unfolding nicely for Simon Moran who surged ahead of Group 1 to take the KOH Prime just after Delphi.
Brendan Conway was working his Group 2 nicely and closing steadily on the group ahead. With Group 3 down to 5 men they had their work cut out and found it severely difficult through the Valley with a savage headwind and no place to hide. Having caught Group 1 just after the KOH Prime Brendan Conway made his move just after Aisleigh Falls. Michael Flynn managed to bridge across and the two rode well contesting the Sprint Prime. Brendan took it by 4inches and put the hammer down after that.
Back the road the five riders in Group 3 were closing quickly but running out of road. With riders all strung out they anticipated catching the front of the race before Liscarney but Brendan Conway made good use of the handicap and rolled across the finish line on his own 1minute ahead of Michael Flynn. Damien Gannon Under 16 was impressive taking 3rd Overall only a further 30seconds back with the bunch gallop riding home 2minutes after the Overall winner. Westport Covey Wheelers would like to thank the McNally family for their continued support along with all the marshals and organisers of the race.
1st Overall – Brendan Conway
2nd Overall – Michael Flynn
3rd Overall – Damien Gannon
KOH Prime – Simon Moran
Sprint Prime – Brendan Conway
Unplaced Winner Group 3 – Colm Staunton (4th Overall)
Unplaced Winner Group 2 – Joe Browne
Unplaced Winner Group 1 – Simon Moran
Junior – Con Doherty
Unplaced U16 – Sean Flynn
U14 – Ben Walsh
Race Report by Keith O’Connell
There are more photos on the Facebook page.
Photos below by John Lenehan.