Navan Avonmore back in the Ras after 12 years

The An Post Ras, which starts in Dunboyne on Sunday May 18th, will feature a Navan Avonmore team for the first time in 12 years.

Navan Road Club members John Kenny, John Murray, Stephen Byrne and Niall Doggett will compete in their first Ras, while guest rider Stuart Cox from Mullingar, will be competing for the fourth time.

This is the fourth year of An Post’s sponsorship of the celebrated Rás Tailteann, which is more commonly known as The Rás. The epic race began in 1953 and has been held every year since. It is one of Ireland’s top sporting events bringing world class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide.


The Rás has a worldwide reputation of being a gruelling challenge in the elite, international calendar. The open racing style allows amateur county and club riders to pit themselves against domestic and international professionals.

Team manager P.J Nolan, a veteran of many previous Rasanna, believes that the Navan riders can compete with the best. “Amateur riders can do extraordinary things in the Ras by being smart and getting in the right moves. Stage racing is all about conserving energy, good positioning and saving the really big efforts for the moments when they will be most effective”.

The team have been training hard for the gruelling 8-day event, since early September and recently competed in the 4-day Kerry Group Ras Mumhan.

According to Nolan, “Ras Mumhan was very difficult, not least because every day there was a big climb within the first 20km, which blew the race apart. But I was delighted with how our riders performed, and this will prepare them well for the Ras.”.

Niall Doggett, the youngest rider on the team is competing in his first Ras. “We’re all really looking forward to it, it will be an amazing event. Having P.J. as our manager is a great boost, with his many years of experience at domestic and international level, and his advice will be invaluable”

During each stage, Nolan and his assistant Simon O’Dea will operate out of the team car, which has been sponsored by local business Academy Car Sales.

O’Dea says “The riders don’t have radios in their ears like the professionals do, so the team car is their only link with the manager during the race. From the car, we can provide spare bottles, energy supplies or spare clothing if the weather turns bad, or a wheel change if they puncture. We’re really grateful to Paul Dunne and Academy Cars for providing us with the Volvo for the week”.

Club chairman Matt Nolan is delighted that the club have a team back in the Ras. “We are a racing club with a rich tradition in the Ras going back to the very early days with the likes of Tommy Flanagan and Frank Reilly”



Summer League Round 2

Youth triumphed over experience in the league last night. For once we saw some cycling talent exhibit itself, Patrick Goczyzyk, a traditional Meath name via Poland closed a 3 minute gap to the lead group on his own and won in splendid isolation, a very promising under 16, he is tipped for great things and showed everyone a clean pair of wheels.

In second place was ace sprinter Sean Nolan who pipped Thomas Mc Elroy on the line, you screwed up your chances of a special shop discount there Sean but Thomas is flying this year and he did a lot of work in the group which means hes either training or he has become an asthmatic and is using an inhaler, hes lost some weight so that must be it.

Grace Kelly and Aoife Fay were also in the top ten and we await the return of Marie Gorman as the standard of women’s racing gets very impressive

John Clarke, last weeks winner broke the handicap record last night by being moved from group one to group four and still came in 11th

Michael Mills and Lorcan McKenna also got placed following their good results in Dunsany at the weekend

The scratch group must have been scratching their rear end as they never got near the front group despite paying the handicapper to give them five minutes less, at least this week they were inside the 15% time limit which means a morale boost for those riding the Ras.

Keith Walls rode well and complained that the handicap was too much, welcome to the world of no accountability Keith.

The most excited the scratch group got was at the end when they were given the new kit with raceline gear and long sleeved skinsuits, lets hope they can do the new luminous colours justice. The Ras team also got bottles and assorted goodies from Cyclize and Planet X so they should go faster now

Despite the good conditions Brian Moran still managed to puncture, does anybody have heavy duty industrial cycling tyres,

Elly McMyler won her first ever race beating Brendan McGuinnes to the lie in a thrilling sprint for the under 12 race

Matt Nolan made a rare appearance on Irish roads and finished well.

The marshals did a great job as did the lead vehicles.
PS League and Race around Ireland regular Ray Keegan is swimming from Trim to Navan for charity in a few weeks time 20 kilometres overall- a fine feat-best of look with the non sewage treatment plants the dysentery and the river sharks Ray-please give generously to Ray as he will probably be in hospital for a month after this epic.

Senior / Junior / U16 Race (Top 15)
Goszczyk, Patrick
Nolan, Sean
McElroy, Thomas
Fox, Philip
Roe, Brendan
Kelly, Grace
Fay, Aoife
Murray, Enda
McKenna, Lorcan
Clinton, Blair
Clarke, John
Fagan, Fergus
Mills, Michael
Clavin, Donal
Gormley, Derek

McMyler, Elly
McGuinness, Brendan
Wall, Chloe

Smith, Mark
Tierney, John
Murray, Shane

The full league table is at this link