Club Leagues & An Post Rás

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"136","attributes":{"class":"media-image aligncenter size-medium wp-image-249","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"300","height":"225","alt":""}}]]The Cuchulainn Mountain Bike League continued on Tuesday night with Sandra O`Hagan setting off first. The course headed up into the Cooley Mountains & Sandra held the lead right to the top of the final climb before finally coming in in 7th position. First to pass her was John Sharkey who had started just behind her. John rode strongly all the way to the line to take the win. Next home were a pair from Group 4 last week's winner Seamus McEvoy in second, who narrowly held off Niall O`Flaherty. Niall used his considerable descending skills to make his way up the field. Rounding out the top 5 were Group 5 riders Stephen Kelleher & John Grace. By the end there was very little in terms of time gaps from first all the way back showing the the handicapping system has been well thought out.
On Thursday night it was the turn of the road riders in the FPM Accountants Summer Cycling League. Again there was a big turn out of over 60 riders, split into 6 groups, with 18mins separating the first to Super Scratch. As the league goes on the groups are becoming more efficient at riding together & this showed last night as group 1 settled into a good rythem with all 7 riders contributing to the pace. Behind them group 4 quickly set about catching the groups ahead, while by the half way mark Super Scratch had caught Scratch. This was in no small part due to the hard work of Alan Gray whom has hit a strong vein of form recently.
As the line approached Group 4 had caught Groups 2 & 3 & had actually thought they had caught the leading group. However this was not the case & it was this group home first. Winning the sprint was Gary Winterloch, a resident of Dundalk but originally from Tuam in the West. Second place was another visitor, Bohermeen's Kathleen Gill Croal & the first Cuchulainn rider in 3rd Mickey Stokes. Colman Ledwith was 4th ahead of Suzy Mackin & John McLoughlin. Less than 60 secnds later Declan Gray led home the combined bunch of Groups 2, 3 & 4, to take 8th position ahead of Peter Comming. FInally behind them Alan Gray took out the sprint amongst the scratch riders beating off Dermot Keeland & Damien Trainer. Unfortunately a touch of wheels saw Bohermeen's Chris Reilly come down, however it was quickly seen to by the race ambulance.
On Sunday the An Post Rás started in the county Meath town of Dunboyne. This year the club has 2 former members riding with the Meath Stamullen Team. Derek Finnegan of Carrickmacross, now residing in Liverpoool and Tony Brady of Shercock, now living in California, both rode with Cuchulainn in the early 90s. This will be Tony's 3rd Rás & Derek's 1st. The first stage saw the riders cover 150km en route to Portumna & was won  by England's Dean Downing of the Rapha Condor Team. Derek had a great result finishing 15th on the stage while Tony finished further back safely in the main field