Comeragh CC notes for the weekend 19th/20th
DES HANLON MEMORIAL RACE – CARLOW SUNDAY 20TH MARCH
Sunday proved to be a tough one for many cyclists that took part in the Des Hanlon memorial races Comeraghcc again had a large contingency of 14 riders travel the M9 motorway to Carlow. In the A1/2 race Martin Cullinane, Robin Kelly, Keith Gater and Tommy Fanning set out on the grueling 150km 3 lap race, there was no taking it easy or saving themselves for the climbs in this race as a group of riders including Robin took off opening up a substantial lead by the end of the first lap. Putting pressure on the groups that followed, the Des Hanlon is a tough race, it heads up the back of the renowned “Butz” which to those of you who never rode the old course is basically a brick wall where the men were sorted from the boys and although no longer used the back end of the Butz is still pretty hilly and tough, a number of climbs followed by very fast descents makes a peleton of 110 riders looking like a line outside the social welfare office pretty quickly. Although we didn’t have anyone in the top ten all riders finished safely in the bunch as they came to the finish line, thanks to Tosh Lavery for doing team support in this race.
In the A3 race we had Aubrey Storey, Alan Mullins, Shane O’Donoghue and Finbar Power. This was a two lapper or 100km of the same circuit as the A1/2 and once again proved to be pretty devastating on the peleton with the race splitting into a number of groups on the first lap and again although we had no rider in the top ten, all riders finished safe and sound as they crossed the finish line.
In the A4 race we had our largest number with Anthony Corbett, Eamon Ryan, Trevor Robinson, Keith Barnes, Karl Stafford and Dermot Galvin. This was just one lap of 50km and looked like it would pretty much stay together until we turned left at Castlecomber onto the first of the many climbs on the course, having only dropped two riders on the initial climb from the team car it looked like it might stay together however as we progressed up the various climbs we were dropping bodies in bucket loads and by the time we turned right to start our decent towards the finish line we had a remaining bunch of between 15-20 riders including Trevor and Anthony. An overnight oil spillage on a bridge about 5k from the finish caused carnage for the riders with about 10 riders hitting the deck including both Anthony and Trevor. Anthony still recouperating from an earlier accident in Navan hit the ground hard and unfortunately was unable to continue in the race, Trevor managed to get back on the bike but spent the next 4k chasing the front group, he had only just got back on when the sprint for the finish started, he managed to take a well deserved 6th place which I am sure could have been first if it wasn’t for the crash but it won’t be long before we see him cross a finish line at the front of the bunch. Well done to all concerned and speedy recovery for Anthony and thanks to Sinead and Norah for doing Team support.
Next up for Comeragh cc is Limerick on Sunday 27th