Race one in the ten week Altitude Cycle & Outdoors / Comeragh CC League took place last night in glorious sunshine on the difficult 34km Church Hill circuit in Waterford. The race was run on a handicap basis with 3 groups on the night consisting of a fantastic mix of people: we had 10 or so ladies for the first time, professional and international riders like Ciaran Power, Brian Kenneally and John Dempsey, The National Veteran champion Martin O'Loughlin and some of the finest, S1, S2, S3, Juniors, Vets, ladies and triathletes in the country. First off was the ladies section with a 5 minute lead over the S3/Junior/Vet race and the A/B riders a further 3 minutes back.
The ladies were caught by church hill, whilst despite a promising start the limit group proceeded out the road at a slightly pedestrian pace. This allowed a breakaway of 4 or 5 riders including Kevin Shelly, Michael McGrath, Paul Flynn and Ray Grant to get away just after Kilmeaden. Most of these riders were pulled back near the top of church hill where the A/B riders joined the party and the remains of all the groups came together. These groups would remain more or less intact for the rest of the race, however there were 2 riders clear out in front including Dan Morrissey tough guy, Kevin Shelly, who used his triathlon experience to time trial in the road. It was a brave effort but he was caught and swallowed by the group literally metres from the finish line.
And so it came down to the inevitable bunch sprint, with 2005, 2006 & 2007 league champion, Comeragh CC's Robin Kelly taking the sprint from Keith Gater and Mark Nugent, also of Comeragh CC.
Full results to follow and league table to follow, just as soon as it's sent on to me.
A handful of pictures are available HERE courtesy of Karen Ryan.
The video is courtesy of Peter Kelly (edited by Robin Kelly).