League Results May 27th

1 Niall Clarke
2 Adrian Bagnall
3 Sean Nolan
4 Thomas McElroy
5 Philly Fox
6 Derek Madden
7 Niall Doggett
8 Enda Murray
9 Blair Clinton
10 Simon O’Dea
11 Stephen McGovern
12 Derek Gormley
13 Keith Walls
14 Pat Doocey
15 John Wall

1 Mark Smith
2 Eoghan McGee
3 David O’Sullivan

U14 Beginners
1 Oisin McGee
2 John Tierney

1 Chloe Wall
2 Shane Murray

U12 Beginners
1 Brendan McGuinness
2 Elly McMyler
3 Ian McDonagh
4 Anna Nolan

The main table looks very like it did last week, with Thomas McElroy and Philly Fox still running away with it. The top 15 are listed below. The full tables are here

McElroy, Thomas 90
Fox, Philip 72
Nolan, Sean 69
Goszczyk, Patrick 64
Clarke, John 59
Murray, Enda 55
Clarke, Niall 55
Roe, Brendan 50
Molloy, Denise 49
Harding, Andy 46
Clavin, Donal 46
Gormley, Derek 40
Fay, Aoife 39
Clinton, Blair 38
McGuinness, Andrea 35

Ras Epilogue

How has the Ras changed on the past twelve years since I was on it last.

Technically the race has really moved with the times.

The communication system is very good with the radio system really efficient with the results on the web within an hour of the finish-this is really impressive considering the complexity of the results.

The racing is faster than I remember with some very high speeds and selections made such as the day out of Cahirciveen where the leaders climbed an 8 kilometre Cat 2 climb at 40 kilometres per hour on the tunnel road.

This was the biggest mistake of the race where the New Zealand team went too fast and were outfoxed by the British and Austrians.

The non appearance of an Irish team is a pity however with the new UCI rules it means that it is virtually impossible to find non contracted Irish riders who would be able to compete against the Professional teams.

A contracted rider on a continental or Pro Continental team cannot represent another team if their own team is entered in the race so this would rule out the likes of Matt Brammieir, Conor McConvey, Sean Downey, Jack WIlson, Ryan Mullen, Conor Dunne, Philip Lavery and Marcus Christie if Baku or An Post were riding the race.

There is limited point in sending a bunch of young 19 year olds to get outgunned by experienced Pros.

Race DIrector Tomy Campbell has achieved a good balance of International teams and the racing is at a high level so where does the County rider fit in to the race.

Well it is totally right that cat 3 riders are not allowed in the race because riders need to be at least cat 2 before they are ready to ride the Ras in a meaningful way.

This was illustrated by the fact that only 3 riders were eliminated for being outside the time limit of 20% this year versus over /0 riders going out last year.

So is the Ras as relevant for Irish domestic cyclists as it was in the past when there were 150 Irish riders making up 75% of the field versus now when there are 85 riders making up less than half the field.

I would say yes because we are very fortunate if not unique in Europe to have domestic rider access to a world level event.

This is a great opportunity for Irish based to race against riders who have ridden the top races like the Tour de France.

If a good first or second cat rider prepares properly and is lucky enough to stay healthy and not crash then they can get through the Ras having being in the racing group for most of the week.

Looking at the week riders like Damien Shaw, Brian McCrystal, Mark Dowling, Ian Richardson, Eoin Morton, Fraser Duncan, Sean Lacey and others rode well at a high level and if they had a constant level of racing at this level they would be very competitive.

The route every year is spectacular and well thought out and the sight of a number of foreign teams clambering around the rocks at the ferry name hotel in Caherdaniel showed that they were in awe at Ireland’s natural beauty.

So what would I change about the Ras in an ideal world?

I would love to see the race take place in July, this would give the domestic riders longer to prepare and help the Irish calendar by having time for longer events and more domestic stage races but this may not be possible because of event clashes and high season hotel availability.

More circuit finishes would be a real crowd puller as in Skerries but might be logistically very problematic and unpopular with some riders.

Overall the Ras is a unique iconic and wonderful event and has a unique and legendary status in Irish sport-well done to all involved

Final Ras Report – Well done lads!!

Wow 49 kilometres in the first hour and then they wound it up.

It was balls out from the line and after 50 kilometres, Stephen punctured a back wheel and got back on over Dorey’s forge and Dunsany.

He did really well because the field was completely lined out at the time.

Fair dues to Chris Reilly for getting up the road in the break of the day that was only caught near the finish.

The bunch went nuclear on the finishing circuit with the entire field in little bunches over five minutes.

It was brilliant to see so any familiar faces along the road and so many Navan jerseys round the circuit.

Colm Farrell was surgically removed from his sprayer to cheer the lads on and star of the future Brendan McGuinness was there at the finish with his mum and dad to cheer us on.

It was very good to have all five lads finish the race and get their finishers medals.

I made Simon go up on the podium. Not only was he brilliant during the week and had a wicked sense of humour but now I have the before picture to submit his application for extreme makeover.

Also thanks to Neil Pyne our masseur who did a great job and very special thanks to Micky Kennedy of Cyclize who worked until midnight on the side of the street in Waterford to fix john Kenny’s bike.

Hopefully we will be back next year with narrower arses bigger thighs and better medication.

John Murray has refused to pay his fine for telling the commissaire to
&€@? off but.

In true solidarity with our team mate, we have forwarded his address to the UCI and they will be visiting Trim’n’Healthy Natural Health Foods to test for dubious substances sometime in the next 2 weeks.

Now it’s time to admit that the lads were only doing this for training for the Navan club league so it should be fun on Tuesday night.

Ras Report Stage 7

Today was tough 95 miles in the mountains. Just to make things more difficult, it rained really hard for the first hour.

This meant that my advice to wear minimum clothes for the first hour resulted in a frozen team with poor Niall doing the shivers in the cavalcade, while we abused him to get back into the group, which he did, of course.

Later Simon videoed him descending mount Leinster which is worth watching except for the bit where a remedial team car got in the way and we politely asked him to go into the field.

Speaking of abuse, John Murray got fined for politely asking the commissaire to please stop beeping the horn at him while he was on the limit on the climb of mount leinster.

After 70 kilometres the climbing went mental with some vicious ascents of the foothills of mount Leinster, causing chaos.
The two Johns made it into the big group and the rest of the lads came in just behind them after being misinformed that they were outside the time limit which was 44 minutes and they were only 7 minutes behind the main bunch.

Simon, the knob, got the worst sandwiches of the week in Carrick on Suir. Mind you, the apple tart was passable and he said he spotted the best looking schoolteacher of the week,  which was a bit of a stretch considering there were no schools open because it’s Saturday.

There are now only three Irish teams left with full teams in the race so I am really proud of the lads and the way they have ridden.

With a bit of luck we will get to Skerries tomorrow with a full team.

It was great to see all the support today with club chairman Matt on top of Corrabutt gap.

Hopefully we will see a lot of club  members in Skerries tomorrow afternoon.

Ras Report Stage 6

The day started with a drama over john Kenny’s gears and finished with a continuation of the same drama.

Just before the start we noticed they were giving trouble so Micky Kennedy got them sorted and all was well until the vertiginous slopes of Seskin Hill where the gears went into the 11 and stayed there. So he lost some time there but he still put out about 3000 watts coming up the 20% slope.

Now we have to sort it out.

The stage was controlled by the pro teams and all was well until 120 kilometres when the race lined out at 55kph into a cross to headwind and it split into two groups with John Kenny making it into the first split.

Earlier both Stuart and Stephen punctured at the same time but they did well to get back on except that we were progressing at 80 kilometres per hour.

With Stuart writing his initials on the rear bumper when the ambulance behind the race pulled out in front of us and we completely lost our momentum.

We heard Stuart politely asking the ambulance to please vacate the planet.

Coming out of Dungarvan there was a vicious shower of rain and the temperature went from 11 to 6 degrees so they were going from riding in a crosswind to riding into a headwind at 45 kilometres per hour in the freezing rain

It was a bit like racing in a cold shower for an hour with no waterproof or warm gear on.

Loads of guys came out the back in the last 20 kilometres shivering on the bikes in the February-like conditions.

Our lads changed on the side of the road then huddled in Volvo heat inside the car during the one hour traffic impeded transfer to Clonmel.

In fairness to them they never complain but when you hear delirious sandwich fantasies you know they are beginning to go under.

Tomorrow is a real mother of a stage there are only 127 riders left in the race with only 4 Irish teams still with 5 riders left thankfully we are still one of them and hopefully they will all make it home.

John Kenny is now on the first page of the classification sheet and if it was a power output race he would be leading overall.

Ras Report Day 5

Today was our best day yet.

John Kenny finished in the top 30 on the stage and moved up 20 places overall to 63rd.

All the other lads finished in the big main group seventeen minutes later.

This was really impressive because John Murray had two wheel changes in the first ten miles and Niall Doggett was very unlucky to have to stop on the descent of the first climb when a rider and a motorbike marshal crashed in front of him so they did really well to get back on to the group.

Stuart and Stephen were a lot stronger today and this is very encouraging because over 30 riders have abandoned the race due to crashes and an outbreak of vomiting and the trots.

I have never even driven up the tunnel road out of Kenmare as fast as we went up it today.

The yellow jersey made a mistake and tried to get across to a 20 man break with the help of his team mates. He closed the gap from 4 minutes to 40 seconds and then he tried to tow the bunch across on his own. He blew, and the break went back out to 10 minutes-the Ras has no respect for jerseys

Meanwhile Simon found one of Blair’s bars hidden in Stephen’s race food, but I grabbed it off him and I ate it and then he sulked for half the stage.

I hate to say it but he is a really good driver. Today was hairy on the wet descents and he managed to keep the car on the road – thanks again Paul for the Volvo.

Next stop Seskin hill in Carrick, but now that the race is so tight, tomorrow will be very tough – a real Philip Cassidy day.

Oh thanks to Micky Kennedy of Cyclize for doing some bike magic for us last night and to Noel, Andy, Ken, Padraig and Liam for all their support at the stage starts and finishes.

Pink Roller Cycle

Navan Road Club were delighted with the success of their “Pink Roller Cycle” event that took place at the Boyne Valley Inn in Slane.

The cycle was held to celebrate the arrival of the Giro d’Italia cycle race in the region. Patsy Fitzsimons, a legend in the club, officially started the cycle and also took to the rollers, along with Nicko Lynch and Frank Mc Closkey.

Navan Road Club
(c) Kieran Maguire Photography

The Slane Spinners also were out in force with Brian Kelly who was in tremendous form on the evening. At the start of the event Fr Joe Deegan P.P Slane made a special presentation to Patsy who recently celebrated his 80th Birthday and also for his tremendous contribution to the club over a long number of years.

Also there was Noel Collier and Benny Gogan who are great supporters of all cycling events in the area and a great welcome they received.

Navan Road Club
(c) Kieran Maguire Photography

Club Chairman Matt Nolan was also there to encourage all in their most enjoyable. That evening a function took place in the Boyne Valley Inn, where the local Chapel Street Band provided music, and great entertainment with local comedian Tom Kerrigan also preforming.

Proceeds of both events will go to the ARC Cancer Support Centre. The club thank all who took part and supported the event,also thanks to Brian and Gillian of the Boyne Valley Inn for all their support.

All images are (c) Kieran Maguire Photography
No image may be captured, copied or distributed by any means without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Kieran Maguire
Hanlonstown Navan Co Meath
Email: kieranmaguirephotography@gmail.com
Web http://www.kieranmaguire.com
Member of (N.U.J)